I tell you what. I’ve been working on campaigns since 2003 and while it’s led me to being a much better person, given me a lot of skills and some AMAZING friends and contacts; it’s mostly a fucking thankless job.
Most of the time you are not winning.
Most of the time you are fighting like hell just to hold on to what we’ve got. Sometimes you are losing. Losing lives to suicide. Losing lives to deaths in custody. Losing land to clearing. Losing biodiversity. Losing community. Losing culture. Losing a chance at a safe future free of human-induced climate chaos.
Most of the time you are not getting the thanks you should get.
Most of the time you are getting called names. Most of the time you are getting harassed. Most of the time people just want to argue with you, so they take positions they don’t really hold just to test you. Most of the time you are left seething with rage. Most of the time you are upset. Most of the time others have no idea what is going on in your head.
I’ve been character assassinated.
I’ve had people say I’m a stooge for big business, that I’m only in it for ‘personal glory’, that I only do this work because they think I “want to be Prime Minister”. I’ve lost jobs over it. I’ve quit jobs over it. I’ve lost friends over it. I’ve dumped friends over it. I’ve fought with family. I’ve been ridiculed by friends and family.
I’ve been told I’ll never make a difference.
I’ve been repeatedly told my actions have no impact.
But then we’ve won. We’ve suddenly, out of nowhere had a win. A tactic has worked. A government has caved in. A government has been defeated. A company has given up. People have changed their minds.
After over a full solid year of committing THOUSANDS of hours to lead a solid team of volunteers organising an awesome campaign, I’m fucking exhausted.
I’m not financially better off. In fact I’m out of pocket – from supporting the team financially during emergencies, from working less to commit more volunteering time without losing my own sanity.
But I’ve also never been more proud of myself.
I’ve never done anything in my life that was more important than this.
And the only thanks I really care about, I get all the time – from Clinton himself.
It’s always worth it. But it ain’t ever easy.