Taking a Break

"They don't get a break, so neither should we!"

So goes the rallying cry of many a revolutionary, activist, and general do-gooder. And it's a rallying cry I'm sick and tired of hearing.

Some of you - particularly the more zealous ones - will probably mistake this for me being a lazy, bourgeois shit who doesn't really care about the struggle at all. Perhaps I'm even a traitor to the cause, and you now need to expend your valuable energy on removing my poisonous influence!

Well, breathe deeply for a moment. Oxygen good...hyperventilating righteously and jumping to conclusions, not so good. I'm not tired of endless toil because I'm lazy, I'm tired of endless toil because I've been there and, instead of having limitless energy and passion, what's actually happened is that I've curled up crying, loudly declared that I give up and nearly killed myself.

This, by the way, has happened multiple times.

At this point some of you may say I'm weak - and to be honest, I couldn't care less. I didn't ask to end up overworking myself, which I've clearly done. If you aren't overworked, good for you - but don't assume our thresholds are the same.

Anyway...what was I saying? Yes - I have overworked myself several times in the name of the good and the right. I pulled as much weight as I could and more, and I'm still trying to pull my weight as best I can. I actively encourage that, because this is our world and we should all be doing something about it. What I don't encourage is taking on more tasks than you physically have the time and energy for out of a misplaced sense of duty, because all that happens is you burn yourself out.

Overworking yourself to the point of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion doesn't help whatever cause you're agitating for; all that happens is for a period of time, a relatively small group of people trying to work against a system controlled by rich and powerful people and perpetuated by many others loses a desperately needed member.

That's it.

At this point someone is probably going to jump in and say "Well, what if we all took a break? Then nothing would ever get done!"

I would like to ask these people if they've ever heard of shifts, which would actually be easier to manage in this case because we are all working across different time zones. The idea's very simple: some people work, then they stop and take a break. At this point other people start working and, well, I think I've had my fill of insulting people's intelligence now. The idea of shifts has been around for far too long for people to forget its existence in their zeal to get something done.

I'm not asking people to run the struggle like a business - if we did, chances are people would be getting even more burnt out. What I am asking is for people to afford themselves a break and cover for each other so we look after ourselves and ultimately get more done.


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