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Home » Activism Needs Introverts: Sarah Corbett at TEDxYouth@Bath (Transcript)

Activism Needs Introverts: Sarah Corbett at TEDxYouth@Bath (Transcript)

Sarah Corbett – TRANSCRIPT

I’m going to share a secret with you that I hope I don’t regret. And I haven’t shared it with nearly everyone I know.

And that is that over the last probably 10 years, I have been hiding in toilets quite a lot. It’s nothing dodgy. There’s a few reasons I do it, and it tends to be at events. And it might be events that I go to, which are quite loud, and if it’s very loud and there’s a lot of stimulus, then I get a little bit overwhelmed, and I go and sit in the toilet for a bit of quiet time and to recharge my batteries. Or it might be an event like this where you talk to lots of people, and I love talking to people, but talking to loads of people for a long time really drains me of energy.

So I’ll go and have a little rest in the toilet so no one can see and don’t get upset that I’m not talking to people or think that I’m an emo or I’m a bit sad or I’m just being rude. Or I do it at events where I don’t know lots of people, which happens a lot, because I travel a lot with work, and I’ll come out into a room where I see lots of people talking in groups, and I immediately look around, freeze, and get too scared to join a group and start talking, so I go and hide in the toilet.

And few years ago, about seven years ago, I found myself hiding in a festival toilet, a music festival toilet, and if anyone’s been to a music festival, yeah, you’ll know that by the third day, it’s pretty nasty. I was standing in the toilet because I couldn’t even sit down, because the toilet roll had run out, there was mud everywhere, and it smelled pretty bad. And I stood there thinking, “What am I doing? I don’t even need the toilet.”

But the reason I went was because I was volunteering for a large charity on climate justice, and it was seven years ago, when lots of people didn’t believe in climate change, people were very cynical about activism, and my role, with all of my teammates, was to get people to sign petitions on climate justice and educate them a bit more about the issue.

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