We all know despair. We all know joy. We all have been told to believe that these two states of mind are mutually exclusive.
This is a lie. Unfortunately, it's one of the most prevalent and malignant of the many lies we get fed on a daily basis.
Of all the false dichotomies that we confront, and they are legion, the one that opposes hope and happiness to doom and despair is the most damaging to the vigour and longevity of a movement like this, the vital effort to stop the weapons of the system. Nowhere is burnout such a constant threat, as in a situation where one knows that even if one prevails, the outcome will still be negative.
Some people seem to believe that if, or since, we're all going to die, die, die! we should turn our back on everything, and focus entirely on immediate pleasures. They call this "living well.". They have decided beforehand that the struggle is for naught, and therefore not worth wasting energy on. They don't, of course, know what may happen to the world in the long run, any more than we do. Rather than risking burnout, they have chosen to cop out.
Contrarily, we who are gathered here all know that the fight is "worth it" – but what is it worth? The answer to that question isn't as obvious or as univocal as it may seem. Of course it is worth fighting to spare any life forms hardy and adaptive enough to survive the changes Earth is undergoing, whether humans number among those or not. Of course it is worth doing the right thing, always, regardless of guaranteed – or even possible – success. Just knowing that one is doing the right thing is uplifting, restorative to the spirit (however one defines that vague concept), and thus its own reward.
The one thing we truly own, the one thing no one else can touch, is our free will. If others control us, it's because we gave them permission; it was an act of volition on our part. Unless one has been genuinely hypnotized, one's will is intact – and people with a strong will cannot be hypnotized.
One of my favorite comic strips, from my childhood, shows the 5 members of the same family each thinking his or her thoughts at the start of a new day. The first four are drooping, depressed,...