In more recent years, I’ve realized the true impact of my physical exhaustion, stress and constant inundation of negative, inhumane behavior across the globe. I know now that these elements create a biological reaction that dramatically impairs my ability to make wise decisions, problem solve or respond deliberately, rather than react emotionally.
My passion and commitment for humanity has always carried me through my inadequacies, but at one point I thought, “What more could I do if I were not constantly stressed, exhausted and angry? What if I were actually healthy in my mind, body and spirit? How might I increase my impact if I were thriving as an individual?” As an instrument of activism, I was operating with a dull blade.
A scene kept playing through my head. I imagined hanging off a ledge, only holding on to a small root. I had two friends at the top of the ledge. One was strong, wise, healthy and optimistic. The other was perpetually exhausted, weak and pessimistic.
Who would I want to help me up? And more importantly, which friend was I to the people I was attempting to help?
This questioning hit me hard. It caused me to pause and to realize that I was becoming part of the problem, rather than being wise enough and disciplined enough to discover a more effective path. I was reminded of the famous quote from Gandhi, “we must be the change we want to see”. It was time to reanalyze my methods, to get healthy and to take a fresh look at what I was really fighting for.