The Different Faces of Activism

different faces of activism

With the plethora of platforms available to express ourselves, more people are turning to activism. Expressing ourselves is both important and necessary as political and social issues become increasingly strident. While there are different faces of activism, the importance lies in involvement itself. We shouldn’t ridicule others over what they choose to advocate for and the method of which they do it.

Why Your Voice Matters

A lot of times it’s easier to sit in the sidelines. But we are at a point internationally, where that’s no longer an option. On some level, even those that ignore the worldwide crises occurring, hold guilt for not doing more. It’s time to change this.

Leading a life of watching others tear down societies, environments, and more internationally, is no life at all. Helping others eventually comes back to you. We all have heard this at one point or another, but it’s truer today more than ever.

As the Amazon burns, bigotry seemingly lurks at every corner, and freedoms are threatened, matters worth fighting for are felt on an increasingly personal level. We now are driven to action by both personal and collective interest.

If you’ve remained quiet, it’s time to start expressing your voice. Speak for yourself, speak for us all.

Supportive Activism

Just as you, hopefully, have the freedom to advocate for the issues close to you, others should as well. Regardless of whether you disagree, as long as no harm comes to others, we all deserve to have an equal voice and platform.

Non-supportive activism isn’t really activism at all. The roots of advocacy sit within the freedom to do it at all. Furthermore, the channel one chooses in order to express themselves don’t dictate the validity of their efforts.

Many times I’ve seen those who choose marches and protests as their method of protest criticizing others for leaning more towards the removed forms such as writing or art. It’s important to realize that everyone is different both in the way they perform and receive activism.

Not everyone is going to be moved participating in or witnessing a mass-protest. Some people find it more effective when reached on a personal level such as through literature, paintings, or mere posts online.

These approaches don’t have to exist in separate spheres either. You can involve yourself in both in-person and virtual practices. It’s often the combination of everyone’s strengths that holds the most impact.

If you feel stagnant standing amongst a crowd or feel that your online efforts of spreading awareness are futile, try out another way to get your message across.


Finding Your Purpose

In order to be an activist at all, we first must channel our efforts into a handful of issues. Mass extinctions, war, and environmental degradation undoubtedly upsets everyone. However, there’s usually one issue that speaks to us stronger than others.

With the mass of oncoming tragedies we witness internationally each day, it feels as though we must tackle all of them or none at all. But this idea is what keeps us from making progress in the first place. Find the cause that resonates most with you, that you feel your avenue of activism suits best.

Just because we lean more toward one issues over another doesn’t mean that we’ve disregarded other matters. It just means we’re trying to make the largest impact possible through focusing our efforts on where we can have the most influence.

Ask yourself what really fires you up? What excites you, drives you to make a change? Now, chase that utilizing the skill set that only you possess.

Channelling Passion Effectively

Once you find a cause that speaks to you, it’s time to brainstorm how you will advocate for it. Ponder your skills, interests, and hobbies. Or maybe you’re someone who would rather keep their activism in its own section of their lives. Either way, there’s a path for you.

For instance, if you write, paint, or play music allow your passion for this issue to inspire your work. Find ways to reach people on a level that’s a bit more personal than mass protests.

On the other hand, if you lean towards the more analytical side of things, attend the marches and get in touch with your representatives.

Neither one of these practices of activism outdoes the other. They both have their place and both touch different groups of people in unique ways.

We all have the responsibility to do our part. The mistake we make in our mindset is when we view this opportunity as a burden. The beauty of activism is the ability to do it in a way that you love.

Find you cause, discover your method of activism, and get our there and make a difference.

Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Also published on Medium.