Just because somebody is speaking up alone and eloquently and being brave does not mean they don’t need your support.
Those who seem courageous often need you more than those who don’t.
Speaking up, working for the greater good and activism leaves anyone who does it very vulnerable and takes a huge amount of energy. Everyone gets scared and tired doing this, a lot more than you might think.
Often the only voices an activist will hear are the ones trying to silence and frighten them – and this can be a lonely experience.
Give your heroes some backup!
Preferably *public* backup.
Public support for those acting publicly is far more valuable and less energy draining than telling them privately that you share their mission – which makes them feel they have to take time and energy to answer you privately and feels more like a cry for attention than actual support – public support on the other hand can really be a lifesaver.
Go to their rallies. Comment positively on their articles (and share them). Sign their petitions. Write to your MP on the issues they raise. Take action shoulder to shoulder with them, don’t just leave all the speaking to one person.
Oh, and make sure they’re eating properly, if you can.
I’m not even remotely kidding about this last one.
Maybe make them a sammich or a cuppa, send them a treat through the post, knit or buy them some cosy socks, offer to mind their kids or clean their home if they’re somebody you know well. Write them a cheque or send a voucher for a meal out, some groceries or a massage if they’re not.
We tend to deify those we admire and leave them without the very basic human support they need.
Heroes are human and humans always need socks!