How we keep going: Lather, rinse, repeat.

When you fight for the truth to be told, and denial tap dances on it, sometimes waking up and naming truth all over again can feel impossible.

We rise. We work. One step forward. Lather, rinse, repeat.

For those who devote their lives to creating societal change, what we're aiming for is big change. Policy, legal, social, cultural change. On most days what we'd take: the truth, said by everyone, out loud.

When it doesn't come and so often it doesn't come, we keep trying. We do it all - write, fight, collaborate, convene, listen, learn, strategize, organize. Days of certainty, resolve, and celebration followed by days of defeat, fatigue, and depletion. We go to sleep having given everything we got. We wake up and do it again. Looking for when and where and how the truth will get named and when it's named the cascade of transformation that will follow.

We rise. We work. One step forward. Ten steps thrown back. No change. A little change. Not enough change. Attacked. Misunderstood. Misrepresented. So often we are in small groups, many times it is just two. And in cases throughout the world one sole voice.

Then, one day, after day in and day out, weeks in and weeks out, years in and years out of naming truth and wondering what it might feel like to have truth be the collective voice, a gathering. You who was one is is suddenly one plus 399,999. The you who was that voice of hope and love and possibility is everywhere around you. You beautifully and lovingly amplified.

On September 21, 2014 in New York City, hundreds of thousands of you marched. You occupied 4 miles of NYC streets. Artists, musicians, students, teachers, dancers, doctors, social workers, justice seekers, capitalists, socialists, communists, parents, and puppeteers. You who has felt what it is to be on the outside voice looking in waited nearly two hours to be begin marching. You waited with love and patience and calm. You know what it is to wait for truth. You could wait two hours longer.

Then movement began and you erupted with joy and celebration. 400,000 truth tellers, catching each others eyes and knowing that you were seen and known. Realizing that truth has a powerful place in this world. Turns out, it's worth working for and waiting for.

And what of denial and its ever present place in this world?

Before marching and after marching, denial will be there. It will keep tap dancing along, upheld by sleekly tainted dollars, flashing digital billboards, illusionary distractions, magical consumption. On those days you are fatigued, you might even be captivated by its brightness. Despite your best efforts, some days you will want to sink into it, the comfort of it. Just for a break. Just to breathe. Underneath it all though you will remember. You will remember what it feels like to be in the presence of truth-telling. You will remember the looks in all of our eyes: that beautiful knowing that you were not just there for you, you were there for everyone who has been alongside yo On those days after this march we will remember that we're not alone, that we want a good life for everyone who was there and everyone we'll never meet. No one excluded, all of us breathing together.

We go to bed knowing that we'll wake up and do it again the next morning. Lather, rinse, repeat. Except this time with hundreds of thousands by our side.

Kathy LeMay's picture
, Climate Solutions

Kathy LeMay is the founder, president, and CEO of Raising Change, which helps organizations raise capital to advance social change agendas and individuals create Generosity Plans to help change the world.

LeMay began her global activism in war-torn Yugoslavia where she worked with women survivors of the siege and rape-genocide camps, and has been a social change fundraiser for 15 years, raising more than $150 million dollars in the fields of women’s human rights, hunger and poverty relief, and movement-building.

In 2000, LeMay was nominated for a Reebok Human Rights Award for her 15 years of service as a human rights activist. She was named one of Business West Magazine’s “40 Under 40” and, in January 2010, she released her first book, The Generosity Plan, published by Simon & Schuster/Atria and Beyond Words. She is the recent recipient on the 2012 First One Access Award, which honors prominent public figures for their inspirational roles as the first in their families to get a college degree.