We need to make sure that we are recognising the huge emotional, spiritual, physical costs of this work. The lack of recognition. The lack of freedom. The stress of coping with hatred and violence on a daily basis.
We need to come full circle and recognise how all of this influences your security, your ability to stay safe.
Because it is all connected.
Every aspect of your activist life affects how you think about security – and whether you think about it at all.
And our security affects all aspects of our lives.
Your security is about your health, happiness, well-being, stress levels. Nutrition. Whether you can keep your job. Your identity and who you love. How you feel when you get up in the morning. It is about everything.
How you feel about yourself – your sense of worth and self-respect. It all affects the degree to which you believe you are worth protecting – worth the effort. If, deep down inside, you feel that it is not worth taking the time to care for yourself. If you believe your life is expendable, particularly in comparison to others. Or if you are just too busy, or too exhausted, to prioritise security. And conversely, how we feel about a security threat directly impacts on our ability to sleep, our health, our relationship with our lovers and families.
This all influences very directly our decision-making on protecting ourselves. Our ability to strategise.