Editor's note: Eboni Nash is a graduate of Eads High School and Hastings College in Nebraska, where she majored in psychology, religion and sociology. She now attends Harvard University in Massachusetts. Eboni writes periodically for the Kiowa County Press.
This past week, I had the opportunity to be featured on a podcast called "Closing the Distance." It is a podcast started during the outbreak of COVID-19 in hopes of bringing people together. They reach out to various people and talk about their days as well as what drives them in life. I was a bit nervous to be put on the spot without any prepared questioned, but I saw it as a new journey!
During the podcast, we talked about my abolitionist activity, my organizing and care for people experiencing incarceration, and my current activity in the People Not Prisons coalition. We dove into Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign and our most recent lawsuit against Harvard, as well as our new Political Actions on Facebook. It started off with a heavy lean toward support in my activism, but then took a shift. I was asked to explain how I have begun to care for myself during these times, a question that I have not been asked! After reflecting for a moment, I realized that I had to go through an unprompted reflection to really ground myself in my work. I described it as, "slow is fast."
When we heal, it takes time. Our bodies pay close attention to every aspect of the wound, and together, it begins to piece itself back together. I see it to be the same in life. When we are to request change, it cannot be a fast change, or the results will not last. Change takes time, progress is slow, but the results are forever. When I think about my self-care and my organizing, I think back to this reference of "slow is fast."
Slowly, I will rest and gain motivation to begin my daily activities. Slowly, I will get back to my exercise and care more for my body. Slowly, my skin will clear, and my metabolism will regulate. Slowly, my assignments will be finished, and I will salute my semester goodbye. Slowly, normal will return and we will begin to bloom again.
In organizing, slow is better. Slowly, we will gather a crowd of supporters. We will distribute information, check our facts, and humble ourselves with shared suffering. Slowly, we will advocate for change while demonstrating and model better. Slowly, we will gain media attention, public eyes, and together we will proceed at a steady pace. Slowly, heart will change, and minds will be put towards the progress of our grassroots.
In our current day, slow is safe. When reopening businesses, it is important to take it slow. Slowly allowing people to gather, slowly lessening the distancing, and slowly raising prices. Landlords must respect the downfall and slowly expect payback. As a society, we must realize the swinging diversity in people's situations. Being patient and understanding with small businesses, the struggle to maintain, and the importance of slow but steady progress.
It took talking on a podcast to reveal to me a lesson of a lifetime. Something my body already knew, but my mouth had to say out loud. Sometimes I believe in instinctual knowledge, really listening to what my soul feels right. Slow is fast. When we want a solid and stable foundation, it takes time to produce. Be patient. Be tolerant. And take things one step at a time. The journey will be tough, but the results will be wonderful.