I have a secret to tell all of you — I am what some people call a “filthy liberal.” I post about social movements on my Instagram, I talk about reallocating funds from militarized groups like the military and police to other governmental agencies like publicly funded social workers and schools, and I have all these other crazy “socialist” ideas in my head.
Despite all of that, there is one idea in my head that I know practically everybody, no matter what side of the political aisle you find yourself on, can find common ground in nowadays: our country is not what we want it to be.
For some people in my life, that means they are upset that abortion is legal and they want Roe V. Wade overturned.
For others, it means they are upset Black and Brown people are being disproportionately killed and attacked just because of the color of their skin.
For another few in my life, it means they are upset COVID-19 was not handled the best by our government, and now they are out of full-time work with the same number of bills to pay with no stimulus check coming anytime soon.
And for a handful, it means they think President Trump needs “charm school” and to not be so divisive in the words coming out of his mouth, even if they agree with the actions he takes.
No matter where you fall in this spectrum of the United States not being where it should be, it shows that there is something to be an activist or advocate for. Once the election is over, we all can’t just sit by and wait for change to happen. We all have to keep being advocates for our beliefs because electing a certain president, senator, representative or local official isn’t going to make everything perfect overnight.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Though it takes much more than just a single person to combat any huge issue that embeds itself in society, every little action that adds to collective action of a group takes another small stride forward in making the change you want to see. Here are just a few ways you can be an activist or advocate:
1. Donate money to organizations that work on behalf of a cause you believe in.
2. Have those tough conversations with family members, explaining your beliefs so they can try to understand where you’re coming from.
3. Volunteer with organizations that need people power to create meaningful change.
4. Offer emotional support for those constantly working for the cause you believe in.
5. Call or write your officials to do something to help your cause.
6. Sign petitions
7. Continuously research your beliefs to make sure what you believe still fits with your moral compass (It’s okay to realize what you once believed in hurts others and it’s not something you support anymore. We are all human. We just have to learn from our mistakes).
There are so many ways a person can be an advocate. No matter what walk of life all of us come from, it is imperative that we all continue to be activists and advocates for what each of us believes in, so we can work toward a better society. It is imperative we keep the conversations going on the biggest issues that face Americans, so we can find ways to fix them.
It is imperative there are organizations out there that collectively organize people and resources to work toward fixing these issues. It just is imperative that none of us just sit back and watch bad things happen to us, and those around us, when we can simply be doing something to change what is happening.