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The modern era is one of great political, social, and cultural upheaval. With so much going on in the world, many of us feel overwhelmed by the apparent hopelessness of remedying these widespread problems and injustices.
Instead of turning a blind eye to these pressing issues, however, it is important to confront them head-on. Regardless of your age, health, or wealth, you can find a way to get involved in activism. Getting started is easier than you might think. Follow these simple steps to become a budding activist!
Find a cause and educate yourself.
There are thousands upon thousands of causes in this world, many of which are worth supporting. Begin by reflecting on your principles. Are you most outraged by social inequality, or is the treatment of animals and our natural environment more upsetting to you? Is education an issue that is near and dear to your heart, or is working with the ill and disabled personally most personally fulfilling for you? Pick an issue and research it. Read books on the subject and explore all sides of the issue. Find reliable organizations and news sources to follow on social media. By getting informed, you will be able to establish your personal convictions and support them with valid facts, stories, and statistics.
Spread the message.
Vocalizing your beliefs is a crucial part of activism. There are many ways to spread the word regarding the causes that you care about. Discuss the subject with your family and friends over a cup of coffee. Start a blog or submit an article to your local newspaper to raise awareness of the issue. When you come across a particularly illuminating article or powerful petition, share it on your social media pages. Consider organizing events or fundraisers in your local community to educate others and generate support for your project. Taking a stand and speaking out are simple yet powerful ways to generate meaningful change.
Change your behavior and lifestyle.
Being an activist doesn’t require being a constant mouthpiece for change. Rather, private actions can be just as valuable in supporting a given movement. If you’re concerned about racism, reflect on your own behaviors, beliefs, and practices. Confronting your own personal biases and actively working to be more inclusive are invaluable ways to fight injustice. If you’re concerned about the environment, actively begin researching the ways in which you can reduce your personal waste output. Consider writing letters to companies and organizations that engage in destructive practices. Boycott those businesses that continue to do harm. Quietly practicing what you preach is a powerful way to enact real and valuable change.
Donate your time (and money).
Nearly every activism-focused organization is looking for volunteers and assistants. Whether you’re looking to get involved in a local political campaign or spread the word about water sanitation in Africa, donating your energy and presence to a cause can have a tremendous impact. Do some research to discover groups and organizations in your community. Make a couple of calls or send out a few emails to figure out the ways in which you can help. If you’ve got a knack for writing or illustrating, an organization may need you to help create social media content or flyers. If you’re known for your persuasive abilities, you might be the perfect candidate for educating others at a local rally or fundraiser. For those who have the means to offer financial support, consider donating to trustworthy charitable organizations. Getting truly involved in a given movement will fill you with feelings of empowerment and personal fulfillment.
Stay politically active.
In many cases, activism overlaps with the world of politics. Educating yourself on political issues, particularly those related to your cause, is one of the best ways to ensure that your efforts will be acknowledged on a broader scale. Get involved in regional politics. If you’ve got a number of strong political stances, consider running for a local office. Be sure to vote in state elections, too. As fewer voters turn out for regional elections, every vote has a larger impact. Even if you’d rather stay out of the broader political sphere, vote on the issues that you truly care about. Simply casting your vote is a meaningful way to promote justice and change.
In Conclusion: Activism comes in many shapes and sizes. Supporting a cause can involve quietly changing your lifestyle or protesting at a large rally. By becoming informed about a cause, educating others, and offering your time and support to a movement that matters to you, you can contribute to the betterment of our world.
Photo: © missty / fotolia.de