Maxie McCoy

Being Passive Feels Like Hell. Here’s Your Way Out…

I’d venture to say that most of us feel the worst when we don’t know what to do. There’s a retraction that happens in the heart when we see things that sadden us, that terrify us, that break our hearts, but we literally have no idea what to do about it.

It’s a darkness that surrounds us and shuts us down. And instead of refusing to accept what’s happening in the world. What’s happening in our community. What’s happening in our circle…We decide not to do anything about it because we don’t know what to do and feel like our voice doesn’t matter anyway. We say that this sucks so bad, but there’s nothing we can do to change it. And in that we don’t lose our power… we give it up.

There’s been plenty happening this year that’s made me feel this way. Plenty. I sat on the phone during one of the goddesses hours after this Nation’s worst domestic massacre in recent history and we exchanged loss, tears, rage, concern. I felt passive. She felt powerless. And we decided together it’s not good enough. Neither are true, we just needed to grieve our way to solutions that felt right to us. It’s hard to look at images of the world, especially ones that hit close to home, and not feel something similar. But then we all do the same thing, we shut it out and shut thinking about it down because we don’t know what to do to change it. Refugee Crisis. Paris. Orlando. Stanford. Nice. Alton Sterling. Dallas. Inequality Guns. Wage gap. Race. Terrorism. Natural Disasters. 

Here’s the deal though…. this is our fu*king problem. Right now. Right here. If we do not do something, passivity will kill us. It’s rise or bust. Find your voice or chance losing so much of what others have fought to keep. Tweet: It’s rise or bust. Find your voice or chance losing so much of what others have fought to keep. @maxiemccoy

Figure out how to shine your light in the direction of purpose right now. Fighting out darkness requires it. It IS our problem. All of this. Right now. Right here. We can rise up like princess warriors do and decide what’s being handed down isn’t good enough. And we can do something about it.

All of the things matter. Doing something tomorrow doesn’t mean you need to quit your job to start a non-profit committed to gun control. Doing something now doesn’t have to mean hopping on a plane and picketing Washington for gender parity. It can be that big, if that’s what the world is calling you to do (honor it. we need the big leaps too). But it can also be the local love that matters so much.

Start conversations about these topics that matter and these crisis that shouldn’t exist with your galpals, your partners, your kids. Shifting the consciousness of the current generation and the next one is important. And if senseless acts serve anything, let them serve an uprising of dialogue and change.

Attend group hearings, meditations, and candle light vigils. Go to your version of temple. Whether that’s a yoga mat, a church pew, or on your knees by the window. Pray loud and pray hard. Collective intelligence absolutely has the power to heal and change the world around us.

Get into public service. Sign up to volunteer. Knock on doors. Whatever it is that matters to you most, get into action and be a part of groups trying to change the reality that you’re feeling so passive about.

Money. If you’ve got it, someone probably needs it. Dollars matter. Money speaks. It can be a little or a lot. Donations do something. Money where your heart is will get you into the momentum of action. And send it with an intention.

Vote. Seriously. If you want change in this nation and don’t want to worry about knowing where the nearest exit is in a movie theatre should some angry man with an assault rifle decide to fire up…if you don’t want to live with that anxiety in a way that no one should, place a vote. Decide to put representatives of your voice into power that actually represent you.

There will always be more solutions than these. However, start thinking about that pressure of helplessness on your chest for the world’s greatest problems as a sign that you need to act. And then come up with something, no matter how small, to do that. Not only will it release your own suffering, it’ll help heal that of someone else’s.

If we don’t wake up, all of us. Me. You. Our colleagues. Our kids. Our friends. If we don’t begin taking ownership over the problems plaguing our country, we will continue to see more of what breaks our hearts so much. Make this lifetime about contribution by refusing to dim down your light. By refusing to stay seated. By refusing to stay quiet. Rage on the issues that make you rage. Lead with your heart and lead with your love and there’s nothing we can’t change, together.


With a Little Inspiration, Anything is Possible...

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1 Comment
  1. Great article. So true that half the battle sometimes is just taking things in baby steps instead of making our good intentions so big that we end up giving up because they seem so unattainable! This article is inspiring me to be less passive to invite more people to read The Skimm. Many people in my generation don’t read the news or not nearly enough and so I can inspire more people to do so when I invite them to sign up! The hope is that they will be more aware and have those conversations that inspire action. Thanks Maxie!

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