An activist is an individual who campaigns for social change.
When I first was introduced to this definition, I was taken off-guard by it. When we think of an activist, we tend to believe they are the ones on television. I have dreamed of being an inspiration in my community, but I felt like becoming an activist was an impossible goal to achieve. So, I did what anyone who wants to learn more nowadays would do. I went on the internet to do some research on what it means to be an activist. Despite what I previous thought, I discovered some major myths regarding activism.
1. Activists are elitists
We think of activism, and its influencers, as “The Greats.” From MLK and Rosa Parks to John Lennon and Neil Young, we see activists as people of great importance. Perhaps this notion of them being better than us can make us lose faith in becoming one of the inspirations of our time.
Here is the truth: Everyday ordinary people doing courageous acts is activism.
That is right, the actions made by “average” citizens make them activists. I believe a vital aspect of creating a movement is one individual knowing their capabilities. Imagine a world where everyone felt strongly about a cause and pursued it without the worries of failure. This would create activism as the norm.
2. Activists are violent
Although there are diverse viewpoints on the methods to create real change, activists are not violent people. Nor do activists willingly create it. Quite the contrary because these individuals work to prevent harm to society. In fact, one of the utmost tactic ways of making a statement is without violence. This strategy is probably best known from Martin Luther King Jr.
3. Activism is pointless
With opposition in society, it can feel like a futile effort to pursue a cause. This notion is especially not true. Throughout time, individuals have stood up to all the cruelness of the world to change the shape of our future, and it is only through these daring movements that can make us believe in our world. This myth leads to the last one I would like to debunk.
4. One person cannot make a difference
In fact, it is only one person that can and will make a difference. The initiation of one ordinary person who makes a stance creates followers. Not all movements have to be big. I believe in all battles that must be fought, both small and large.
Now you know that becoming an activist is easier than you thought. I encourage you to find your cause and make a change in our world because activism starts with you.
Written by Jacob Lundy