Before I sound any other call, allow me to define something I believe to be crucial:
the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.
Activism is about more than who follows you on social media, it is beyond blue checkmarks which affirm and confirm whom people believe your public persona to be, and it more than retweeting a hashtag.
In the current national climate which runs the gamut of passionate apathy to robust slactivism, to the tireless nature and spirit of those whom do nothing else but give their lives towards the causes of others. In and among the gamut, and to all those whom are destined to read this, I ask you to practice this one piece of advice my late maternal grandmother gave me:
“Find something for your hands to do.”
You read that correctly. Find something for your hands to do. Loosely translated, if you see something that you can do, rather than ignore it or complain what other people are doing, why don’t you do something? This is at the core of activism in most cases: what are you seeing which needs to be address, but you either have no addressed or tried to do anything about?
What can you find yourself to do, dearest one?
I, being a woman of faith, remember this particular group of scripture from the Bible as it relates the causes I actively advocate for, and through my full weigh behind (for reference this is from 1 Samuel 17:28-30, King James Version):
And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner
Is there not a cause?
It is at this question of a 14-17 year-old boy by which inspires me to ‘find something for my hands to do.’ It is at this question which I allow myself to roll over and remind myself to do better.
I don’t always make a vocal mention of the causes I follow and support. Everything is not for a retweet, a Facebook share on an Instagram like. However, I am passionate about a great many things here are few:
- Black Lives Matter/Criminal Justice Reform
- Reproductive Rights
- Voting Rights/Preservation of the Voting Rights Act
- Clean Water for all (Flint, Puerto Rico, etc)
These are causes I have donated time, money and energy to on a consistent basis. These are causes which I will continue to speak about, will draw attention to, and will make sure I bring light to. Activism is more than what pictures and blog posts offer. It is more than wanting your name attached to a particular cause as well.
Find something for your hands to do.
There is a power that comes when your assemble forces with those of a like mind, experiences and resources with like-minded and motivated individuals. This may come initially from a hashtag, a blog post or a news story that moves you. But let that be a beginning. Find something for your hands to do!
The root word of activism is active! You must do something! It does not matter how it starts, or how sketchy the beginning–the world is in too great a peril to not do something.
You can be the something.
[images from Google]