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A Pleasure-Based Approach to Activism and Coping With Suffering

Everywhere we look, we see reminders of the many tragedies happening in our world. Wars, human rights violations, environmental catastrophes, discrimination, and so much more. In the midst of all of this collective trauma, it can be easy to feel hopeless and helpless. Especially as activists. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t immediately think about the word “pleasure” when I think about activism. I have experienced a lot of compassion fatigue and burnout in my activism-related work and research over the years. An experience that is all too common in this line of work. It makes sense that pleasure has never felt like a priority, or that it even belonged in my work at all.

Today I see it more clearly: working myself to the point of burnout and hopelessness does nothing to support the causes and people I care about.

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