Hi! I'm Amanda.

Hope at the End of Winter

Published about 1 year ago • 2 min read

Every Day Protests Consistently Over Time

You know that time of year at the end of winter when everything feels like you're walking through water? Honestly, unless you all are less like me than I thought, you probably know it way too well. I know it's coming every year but somehow, it's always a surprise. Though, I suppose, this year I did not anticipate a record breaking winter to coincide with the rapid nosedive into fascism we're doing. But this newsletter isn't about that last part. Well, not exactly.

As winter starts to recede, though, I'm thinking a lot about the ways we can fight back and I keep reminding myself that protest doesn't happen only in the large demonstrations (that the news conveniently refuses to show us are even happening). Protest happens every single day when we push ourselves and those around us to Be Better. It happens when we ask how we can make spaces more equitable. It happens when we reach out a hand to help someone with no expectations of receiving anything in return. It happens when you read books by people who used to be denied the knowledge to even read. It happens when you learn your neighbors name.

I don't mean to diminish large demonstrations at all, but it helps me to think about all the ways in which I'm protesting every single day. It helps me to remember that protest is in how I choose to live my life, not just in my ability to show up to the capitol and yell at my representative (keep doing that though, don't let them get an ounce of rest, make them dread going out in public). It's in my ability to care for others and not in my ability to control legislation.

Did you know that the American Revolution lasted for 6 years? How about that the Haitian Revolution lasted for 13 years? I knew these things, but I didn't think about that timeline critically until more recently. I see these large demonstrations sometimes and I almost think to myself "this is it" even though I know it doesn't work that way. Change doesn't happen overnight. It's never one single protest, one large turnout, one petition, one nonprofit. It's pushing the status quo, consistently over time.

I'm not saying this empire is falling (I mean, it always could), but I am saying that when empires fall, We The People still need to make breakfast the next morning. I am saying that when systems fail, if we're already looking after our neighbor, the impact will be less harsh. Systems are only as real as we think they are, after all, but care and community have ripple effects that transcend any system.

Care and community will persevere into whatever is built from the ashes of failed systems. These large demonstrations won't mean anything if we don't have a backbone of community, after all. And if we do, maybe, if we're lucky, these systems of oppression couldn't even exist if they win. Whatever that means anyway. Why do you think they work so hard to keep us so separated from each other?

Perhaps the revolution starts by simply learning your neighbors name.

Thank you!

As always, I'm sending you all a big thank you for being on this journey with me. You're doing such amazing work and I can't wait to see where this goes for all of us.

What have I been reading?

Come visit my Bookshop list to see all the books that I read in April!

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You can always hit that reply button and chat with me! I'd love to know, what are you reading? What is your next read? Is there a story that you heard recently that changed you?

Hi! I'm Amanda.

Decolonize your bookshelf with me! Amanda (she/her) is a mixed Vietnamese American writer who firmly believes that stories can change the world and that protest happens in small everyday disruptions consistently over time. She's based on unceded Tongva land and is the Chief Editor at Bookish Brews and an associate editor at Cast of Wonders and GigaNotoSaurus. 🤍

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