It’s important to care whether you and others are ok

In some groups, people are taught to follow rules. And told that, if they follow the rules, things will be good. And that following the rules is the only way things can be good.

And then… the consequences of the rules aren’t actually what people say they should be. People get hurt. And then, people who get hurt are pressured to think that nothing is wrong. And that’s bad.

Because you matter. Everyone matters. And if the rules are hurting people, there’s a problem with the rules. Magical thinking won’t make the rules work better, but it will prevent people from fixing them.

Some examples:


  • If you’re in a religious group that has rules and,
  • Following the rules as your community requires is causing you serious problems, and…
  • …everyone tells you that if you just keep following all the rules, pray harder, and have more faith, everything will be ok…
  • …something is seriously wrong.
  • (Common examples: gay men being told to pray harder and date women, women being told to pray harder and accept that they shouldn’t have as much power as men because God gave them a different role)

In social justice space:

  • If you don’t feel safe in a Safe Space
  • Or you have reason to *think* you’re not safe in a Safe Space
  • And everyone is telling you that the space is definitely safe and that you’re just imagining the problem…
  • …something is seriously wrong, and you’re allowed to care that it’s wrong and seek to fix the problem (whether within the space or by finding somewhere else to be)