How to Be an Activist Who Sets an Example

Sometimes activists can get a bad reputation. Stories about rioting and hurling red paint at fur-wearing celebrities speak louder than the good, behind-the-scenes work activists do every day. And since the violent, intense stories are the kind that are most likely picked up in the press, it’s easy for someone to mistake a violent, in-your-face, argumentative activist and lump them in with all activists. The reality is, however, that most activists are kind, patient and inclusive. It’s the ones who yell the loudest who get the most attention, and the most media.

Screaming at someone and telling them they’re wrong won’t help an activist’s cause. In fact, it will do the exact opposite. The best way to be a person who leads others to activism is to use actions instead of words. “Lead by example” is thrown around so often for a reason. It works. If people see passion, kindness and goodness in you, they will be more inspired to jump on board with your cause. Here are some examples of how you can better set an example for budding activists.

Listen and understand

Get to know the person you are connecting with and understand why they have the opinions and beliefs they have. You don’t have to like or believe in the things they do; you just need to hear their side of things. Being a person someone else can open up to builds trust, companionship and understanding.

Don’t judge

Understand that there is no high or low moral ground in your interactions. You are both humans who have taken different life paths. If you go into a relationship already thinking you are better than the other person, the relationship is failed. Every person has a different background that has led them to where they are today. That history and who a person is needs to be respected.

Educate, don’t argue

People are curious by nature. We like to learn. Instead of getting into a heated argument, provide a few helpful resources and let them speak for you. There is enough information out there for a person to make an informed decision. Be a guide. Instead of getting heated, offer up books, documentaries and people who helped you on your activism journey. Chances are that they will inspire someone else.

Be kind

You are a representative for your cause. Show kindness to everyone.

Be respectful

Nobody is born an activist. Being a passionate, involved activist takes time, research and major growth. Respect that not everyone is on the same level as you in terms of activism, or even education.

Be patient

Everyone chooses a different path toward activism. That path could seem as quick as overnight, while other people might take years to commit themselves to a cause. Activists are passionate, so when someone doesn’t share the same passion – or has opposite feelings toward a cause – emotions can take over and patience will be lost.

Show that every little bit helps

Sometimes the thing that keeps people from becoming activists is the thinking that they’re just one person. It’s easy to think “Well, how much can I really do to make a change?” The fact is that every person that puts in a little effort adds up. One person may not be able to make a huge change, but if you get thousands or millions of that “one person,” you’ll be surprised how much change can be made.

Photo Credit: fibonacciblue

102 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a year ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome Sabout a year ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing

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John B
John B1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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