On Youth Mental Health + Making Things Happen in Northern Michigan

“…there is a gap between making demands and making them happen. It is the gap between the rhetoric of revolution and the actual changes in values, systems, habits, and skills that add up to a revolution.” 

Making demands and making things happen are miles apart.

Making demands is easy – and often lazy and selfish.

Making things happen is hard – as it often requires effort and generosity.

And sustaining those things is even harder.

When We Fight, a self-organizing community dedicated to building a Northern Michigan where everyone plays a role in protecting our kids’ mental health, started last winter, I heard many demands.

I heard, “You should do this.” and “They should do that.”

I also heard generous offers to contribute – to make things happen.

Contributing By Making Things Happen

Offers that would contribute to We Fight’s vision:

Offers like being a lunchtime school buddy by Stephanie Slawnik to foster connections and relationships.

Offers like building “Zen Dens” by Will Unger to have quiet, calm places in school for students.

Offers like creating a mental health summit series for young leaders by Ian McGurn to boost knowledge and learn practical tools.

Offers like hosting a community conversation on suicide by Kathy Grinsteiner to shift attitudes and decrease stigma.

Offers like promoting local youth mental health trainings by Jessie Williams to develop the skills necessary to help.

With all these, I heard, “I will do this.” and “We can do that.”

Power Literacy Matters

One reason these ordinary people are successful in making things happen?

They understand power:

– what power is 

– who has power 

– how power operates 

– how power flows

– what part of power is visible 

– what part of power is hidden

– why some people have power

– how to build their power

– how to deploy their power

– why power compounds

Are you ready to make things happen?

I’d love to help.

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