Now Is the Best Time to Start Your Work

Now is the best time to organize

And no, I don’t mean the work capitalism requires of you to survive everyday. I mean now—in this outrageously scary and demoralizing moment—is the best time to learn that new skill, create an organization, build community with the people around you, and do the work you’re passionate about and that sustains those you love. Three days ago, I wrote this post about grief and why everything feels especially hopeless right now. However, if there’s anything I’ve learned from the past few years of following the great Mariame Kaba‘s abolition work, it’s that hope is a discipline (and one that takes a lot of practice and gentleness to work toward) that we must exercise every single day in all scenarios. And because hope seems like a rare noun in this time, I’m realizing that we must work in community with each other and get into the dirty work. We already know by now that electoral politics will not save us from the hellscape we’re currently living in (here’s why I’m not voting!) because Tr*mp is just a function of this white supremacist society, so learning how to organize and build together is even more important than simply casting a vote every two or four years. For the past couple of years, I’ve wanted to get involved with an abolitionist organization, but I couldn’t find any in Waco or Hawaiʻi. Of course there are groups doing great reform work, but I’m interested only in complete abolition, so I wouldn’t find a space in any of those. When I connected with my friends Laurel and Leilani (we wrote this article about abolition together!) several months ago, we decided to create an abolition working group where we could study and practice together. After weeks of briefly discussing how we’d want to establish our group, we were lucky enough to discover the Study and Struggle program that’s taking place from September-December. Many discussions and emails later, we have a group of 20 people who we’ll be reading and deliberating with and will eventually morph into Hawaiʻi-based abolitionist actions in the big picture. It’s still easy to feel like anything we do on an individual basis is not enough to create the world we want to live in, but especially in this time, I’m finding hope is in the community and the people we struggle alongside because there truly is no future without each other.