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Advocacy and the Struggle for Authenticity: A Reflection on Miscommunication

Apr 19, 2024

In the realm of social media advocacy, even the most well-intentioned messages can sometimes spark unexpected confrontations. This was a reality I found myself confronting recently, as a single post led to a profound encounter that left me grappling with my own vulnerabilities and the complexities of communication in the digital age.

It all began with a simple plea—a call for advocates to support one another, to stand united in the face of adversity. Little did I anticipate the ripple effect it would have, particularly in the form of a direct message from a passionate First Nations advocate.

This message, while singular, carried the weight of a thousand voices. It expressed frustration, disappointment, and a sense of urgency that I hadn't fully comprehended. In the heat of the moment, I found myself ill-prepared to engage in the depth of dialogue that was being demanded of me. She was on and I had just woke up and not in the enlightened sense.

As the exchange unfolded, I realised that we were speaking different languages, addressing different issues, yet somehow finding ourselves at odds. What I saw as a plea for unity was perceived as silence on crucial issues by the advocate. Our perspectives clashed, and I struggled to find the right words to bridge the gap. I fucked up on grammar, spelling and punctuation only infuriating her more. 

In the aftermath, as I reflected on the encounter, I realised that while I may not have been met with a barrage of responses, the impact of that single message was profound. It forced me to confront my own limitations, to recognise the importance of humility and empathy in advocacy.

I may not have stood my ground in the traditional sense, that she was silencing me but she too felt silenced by my post but I stood firm in my commitment to understanding and learning from different perspectives. 

Moving forward, I carry with me the lessons learned from this encounter. I approach advocacy with a renewed sense of humility, recognising that my voice is just one among many. I remain committed to fostering dialogue, building bridges, and seeking understanding, even when faced with unexpected confrontations over assumptions that were not intended.

I hold back now, careful, more considerate in how I approach advocates and my own advocacy but steadfast in my ownership of staying in my own lane and for that I refuse to apologise. 

For anyone thinking about stepping into an advocacy space - do it. Your voice is needed and don't let anyone tear you down. Just listen and learn. 




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