To Be an Activist

You don’t get up one morning and just think, man, how great it would be to protest for something!

You don’t just think, oh I would love to give all this that I have in order to pursue a thankless cause.

You don’t consider in the middle of the night, wouldn’t it just be great if I became hated by those around me in order to do what I believe is right.

Becoming an activist is tough.

An activist isn’t merely a choice, and it definitely is not something born out of a snap judgment. You don’t just see something happen on the news and think, I would really like to get behind that cause!

Perhaps some people would believe that rooting for the cause or becoming knowledgeable of the issues is equivalent to being an activist. I beg to differ. For me, you become an activist after being bred from injustice, either injustice that you have faced or injustice that you’ve experienced through a friend, or through an experience of others. Becoming an activist means that you have finally realized in your mind that there is something seriously wrong with the way that this issue is currently being handled. That you know that something must change in order to sleep soundly at night.

Becoming an activist is to become angry.

Lots of times, you don’t want to be an activist. You have a comfortable life, and a comfortable state of being. You could live off the fat of the land, and drink from rivers of milk and honey. Who in their right minds would abandon such a vision to descend into madness and chaos?

But you can’t help yourself. Just because of what you feel, and what your senses are perceiving, they do not have the power to override what you are feeling inside. There almost seems to be a greater calling for you to do something, to take an action, to fight for your beliefs.

The only problem is that there is just so much to be angry about.

There are so many problems, that essentially everywhere you turn, there are at least 10 different ranges of opinions on every small issue. And most likely, every single one of them would have a logical backing. There is injustice in every part that we turn towards.

With so many things wrong, how could we ever settle down and get one single thing done?

You don’t.

You work

You wait

Rinse and repeat.

Being patient is perhaps the worst part. Almost by definition of being an activist, you want to see something happen. You want to immediately perceive that change that you have been fighting for such a long time. You need to see a difference in the system.

But it ain’t that easy

As critical as being passionate about a subject is to becoming an activist, it is just as important to be able to accept compromise.

To know that perhaps you won’t be able to do everything, so you would be willing to wait for gradual change. Although it would be hard, you have to restrain yourself, to prevent yourself from lashing out, to know who the public is, and to speak to them slowly. It means that you have to accept compromise when it comes, because you are not fighting for your own victories, but for the improvement of what you believe in. It means that you have to sacrifice your own ego, your own pride, your attachments to the world, for the sake of the cause.

Just as important as believing in something, is to be able to have patience to see something pass by.

That’s what an activist is.

It’s a hard job.

It’s a thankless job.

It’s something that all of us need to take on. Without voices screaming out our needs, we would never be able to change, we would never be able to improve this world.

and that, really, is what we are looking forwards to.

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One thought on “To Be an Activist

  1. If Bruce Banner is always angry, does that mean he’s an activist?

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