New York, New York – Thirty-two-year-old Jack Roberts says that getting informed on politics and current events of the day is costing him his happiness.
Whether it’s educating himself about the Trump Administration’s power grabs or learning about the systemic disadvantages faced by Black Americans, Roberts says he’s too upset to go on.
“It’s like every time I learn something, I just…get mad about it, so why bother?”
Roberts added that if he spends too much of his time learning about “problems” that upset him, like the unconstitutionality of sending unidentified federal agents to Portland, Oregon in rental cars to pull protesters off the street, then he could end up inspired to do something about it, which he doesn’t have the “emotional bandwidth” for.
“It just puts too much stress on my body you know? If I were to read some book about like – our government’s role in redlining people of color into poor neighborhoods so that they can never rise out of poverty, my anger would just be so unbearable that I’d have to work with a civic organization or research center like the Fair Housing Justice Center, and like, call people to remind them of their housing rights.”
“I value my downtime too much. I need to be able to rest, reset, rejuvenate, refresh, and restart; in that order.”
Roberts went on to explain that he is mindful of the time he puts into learning about these issues and that he has a “healthy mix” of “leisure and wokeness,” that allows him to live well while also being informed and partaking in activism when it suits him.
“Look, people like me are are good people you know? Like yeah we think Black Lives Matter and we also know that Donald Trump probably shouldn’t be tight with Russia if they paid the Taliban to shoot our soldiers. But you know what else? I have to do me and prioritize my well being. So yeah I can stop by a BLM protest on my way to brunch if everyone’s already talking about it and my friends are there, but doing more than that is a lot to ask.”
When asked if he thinks this strategy being shared by too many Americans is part of the failure to achieve “real change,” Roberts acknowledged that this is likely true, and said he has a suggestion for “activist-types who don’t work traditional 9 to 5s, are angry all the time, and aren’t as concerned with their “wellness.”
“I respect all the firebrand activists out there who don’t mind being angry all the time so they can make change. We definitely need them, so I hope they keep it up, but I just can’t live a life where I’m worked up all the time, so maybe they could find ways to make it easier for me to participate when I feel like it. Or to find a way where participants can feel joy.”
When Roberts was provided with existing examples of such “light activism,” like having an organization place calls and provide a script for him to reach elected officials across the country about police brutality towards Black Americans, he said that this was still a bit much for him.
Speaking from Radegast beer garden in the hip neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the hot sun, dripping sweat, and gasping for air due to extreme temperatures and potential sun poisoning, he told The Daily Orb, “I don’t know, I could try it, but I think the anticipation of waiting for someone to answer the phone is just bad for my mental health. You know, like it’s ringing and I’m sitting there waiting for someone I don’t know to answer? Like eek, that’s awkward, you know? A text message would be easier.”
When informed of the numerous opportunities that exist for text messaging his elected officials, Roberts again hesitated.
“I mean yeah but I don’t really know who my elected officials are and I just dont think I should text them if I don’t know them, I could read up on them but that’s just something I really don’t have the emotional bandwidth for right now,” he explained.
I was thinking something more along the lines of posting an instagram story of that BLM sticker on the menu over there,” he concluded.
Roberts ended his interview with The Daily Orb prematurely as he was late for a meetup event called “Rest, Reset, Rejuvenate, Refresh, and Restart,” in nearby McCarren Park.