We all know that person, or maybe we are that person: involved in many community projects, always stepping forward to chair an event or be the boots on the ground. We admire that person for the community activism, for their doing good, for our society.
But perhaps there is a need for caution for this person. In all this activism, a couple things can happen. One, you can burn yourself out by being over-involved with many activities. Two, your role as activist can become more of an ego identification and less of a do-good identification. In other words, we can get caught up with who people perceive us as, and lose the perspective of what our work is really about.
As Thomas Merton wrote: “To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his or her work for peace.”
Perhaps we are better off to take one cause and do it well. And only then, when we are satified with our work, can we move on to the next project.