Rechkemmer: Are you doing enough?

Columnist Gracie Rechkemmer notes the underlying struggles the younger generation of adults have, as well as reassures them they are enough.

Gracie Rechkemmer

Each generation has unique issues and responsibilities, but I believe the young adults of 2020 face a particularly heavy load. We have grown up in a world rife with distress and unrest, and the burden now lies on us to make a change. Every time I read the news, I learn about new disasters. Every time I open my email, I prepare for more bad news. Every time I scroll through social media, I am presented with the same question:

Are you doing enough?

This is a complicated question to answer, and I only want to begin the process of unpacking it. It is impossible to create a standardized assessment to determine whether individuals are sufficiently addressing current issues such as pandemic response, police brutality and climate change. Each person has a unique capacity to contribute to change, and each person needs to regularly self-assess in order to determine what they can do better. 

First, doing enough means staying informed. Too many people are apathetic regarding the state of our nation and world, choosing instead to focus on solely their own lives. I have been guilty of this, and it is terrifying how easy it is to remain uninformed. We are surrounded by media, yet we often do not make an effort to distill this media overload in order to seek truth and varying perspectives. Without accurate information, how can we expect to accurately address the many issues plaguing our communities and beyond?

Are you doing enough?

Next, it is essential to ensure your contribution to society does not end with simply being informed. Doing enough means turning accurate information into meaningful action. Whether taking action involves informing others, protesting wrongdoing, voting or something else entirely, each person has a responsibility to analyze the issue and determine what the right thing to do is. Very rarely is nothing the right thing to do. Get involved, speak out and stand up for what you believe in. 

Are you doing enough?

Finally, doing enough must include taking care of yourself. We are never finished with the work of improving our world, and you can always contribute more, but you cannot do so if you allow yourself to burn out. One person can only do so much. If you are daily, conscientiously, evaluating your knowledge, intentions and actions regarding relevant issues, then keep fighting the good fight. Give yourself some grace, and rest assured:

You are doing enough.