I have been organizing since I was a young person. And I get this question, [what does winning look like?] a lot because we don’t always win. Sometimes we suffer some pretty hard defeats.
And people ask, what allows you to sustain a life in this work and to stay committed to these sometimes seemingly maybe abstract or distant sort of revolutionary ideas or goals?
And for me, it isn’t in the winning. In fact, the conditions are 80 percent of it. And we don’t control the conditions, but they often determine whether or not we win or lose. We got a good 20 percent. That’s on us. Right?
But it really isn’t [up] to us whether we win or lose. We do our best, and sometimes we suffer some hard defeats. Sometimes we experience some amazing lifts. But the winning and losing isn’t for us. And then, the moralizing, whether or not this is a morally just thing to do. It’s hard to know enough to know if the things that you’re doing are the right things.
“This work, to me, is about…who I’m choosing to be in community with, who I’m choosing to fight with and fight for, win or lose.”
We try to do the right thing. But history often determines. History often determines whether or not we were right. And sometimes obsessing about whether or not you are right is more for your ego than for the people that you’re in struggle with.
We try to do our best, but we always are operating with incomplete information. And all decisions have downsides and upsides and trade-offs.
But the thing that I like to focus on, and the thing that I think we could really lean into is: what are we building together? Who are we choosing to be with? And who are we choosing to be? And we could always return to those questions. Win or lose. We could always turn to those questions and turn to one another.
And it’s like, when I lose, I’m choosing who I want to comfort and who I want to be comforted by. When I win, I’m choosing who I want to celebrate with and who I want to make assessments with. That’s really what this work, to me, is about, and getting every day to make those choices about who I’m choosing to be in community with, who I’m choosing to fight with and fight for, win or lose.