It’s properly Sisyphean, isn’t it? Only, you don’t even get the damn “thing” to the top of the hill before it rolls down again.
I am writing in this context-
am trying, with colleagues, to do some “services to the movement” (yes, that is as pompous as it sounds) around
a) skillshare evenings where people come together to discuss relevant topics with a bias to creating “how to” guides and
b) a handbook/directory of environmental groups in Manchester
And it is just so damn hard. So many last-minute cancellations for the meeting (and in each individual case an inarguably good reason) , so many organisations not replying to simple emails, forcing us to send again.
And these are mostly people and groups who will swear blind that they care about movement-building, capacity-building etc.
What is going on?
I think there’s the usual level of nonsense – there was no golden age, ever. We just aren’t that organised or diligent. We’re humans.
And I think there is a lot of undiagnosed brain fog, as if we as individuals and organisations have been affected by the last 16 months, whether we caught the damn bug or not.
What is to be done?
Don’t know, to be honest. Part of me (the part I repress, mostly) wants to grab people by the lapels and shake them and say “why don’t you actually match all your vigorous agreement with me about the importance of capacity-building and movement-building and so on with the occasional piece of you know, actual fucking action?”
Yeah, I used to do that, back in the TADs (total asshole decades). Eventually I knocked it off because
a) it’s tedious being the asshole all the time (tbf, it’s more tedious for those on the receiving end of assholeness)
b) it doesn’t work.
All you can do, I guess, is
a) grit your teeth,
b) lower your expectations
c) have compassion for all of us (it’s not like I don’t have brain fog too).
d) make sure that those you are actually working with are getting what support you can give them, what opportunities you said you’d give them. And, you know, lots of those opportunities will be squandered, as I have squandered countless opportunities in the last few decades.