But I am not an activist

Activist

vocabulary.com has the following definition –

An activist is a person who campaigns for some kind of social change. When you participate in a march protesting the closing of a neighborhood library, you’re an activist.

Someone who’s actively involved in a protest or a political or social cause can be called an activist. Demonstrations, strikes, and sit-ins are all ways that an activist might work toward the change she believes in. The root word of activist is the Latin actus, “a doing, a driving force, or an impulse.” Someone who acts on what she believes is an activist.

I am not an activist, I think people are born to be an activist – and I was not one of them.  Or maybe there is an activist in all of us and we just need some persuasion to bring the activist out.  Whatever the reason to be or become an activist: I think we all can have a cause for something in each of our lives.  What is mine?

I live my life trying to be the best person I can be.  I make mistakes, but I continue on trying to live a good life.  I have given money to good causes, I have donated my time to help others and I have tried to be there for people when they needed me.  This is the activist in me.

I live my life trying to be an example for others.  I have not always told the truth, as sometimes the truth serves no good purpose.  I have been honest many times in my life to other people and I have always been honest with myself as this serves a good purpose to understand myself and to better myself.  This is the activist in me.

I have never participated in a social or economic movement that would consider me an activist.  That is just not me, I am not an activist for social change – I am not an activist for economic change.  I think others are born to be an activist for social and economic change.

A major social change last year was a result of years of activists for the right of all US citizens to be happy in marriage to the person they love.  I was not an activist for this social change.  It wasn’t that I did not support it, but honestly for me it was not as important as it was to others – the activists.  I accept law and I respect other’s opinions, believes and objectives.  I may not always agree, but I do respect others – this is the activist in me.

That social change last year; was not important to me personally; our thinking was to continue our lives as we had the previous 12 years.  Why change, when the change was not needed in our relationship?

Then came a time, an event, an occurrence where this social change would benefit us.  But I am not an activist – I live my life trying to be the best person I can be and to be an example for others.

37 thoughts on “But I am not an activist

  1. Nice post, my friend 🙂 And I suppose you would expect me to contradict you. I will not.
    But I leave you with a thought – what would have happened if everyone had thought the same? 🙂

    The French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille, The Renaissance and the Restoration, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, Lincoln, Gandhi – all of them were not born activists either 🙂 No one really is. But the milieu, the circumstances make you stand up. Those who stand up even without an environment that requires their activism are called a different thing – politicians,

    Sometimes standing up for something right may not be explicit activism. For example, if a friend came to your blog and engaged you with words that reeked of bigotry, you would passively switch off that person and not speak to him or her ever again. Even when it is passive, you have withdrawn a platform for that person’s bigotry.. so I would still call it activism. To stand up for what is right and equitable and just, is what I call activism – not necessarily fomenting a rebellion, not necessarily standing out on the streets and shouting slogans, maybe not even loudly letting your opinions be known either. The heart and the mind knows – activism within oneself is activism too 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • I can always look forward to an interesting comment from you my friend. So, really the point to this post is that I am really an activist, exactly as you have described it. I am not an activist in the definition of it – but me just publishing this post today and what it represents is a form of activism. Thank you for reading, I always look forward to your comments. Have a great day friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I may not always agree, but I do respect others,” In an era where people feel they can say or do whatever they please no matter how it makes another person feel we need more of this. We seem to have forgotten that we can disagree in a respectful manner that doesn’t tear down the other person.

    Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thought-provoking post!

    I think my natural instinct has been to hold back from activism, to live quietly and with as much kindness and dignity as I can. But every time I think it’s not that important, someone else will fight I’m reminded of Martin Niemoller’s words:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    However we chose to live, I believe that being the best person we can be includes understanding and living with the consequences of our choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally agree. At the end of the video is this quote ‘Stand up for something, even if it means standing alone. Because often times, the one who flys solo has the strongest wings.’ As Tejaswi indicated in his comment, we do not necessarily need to be out on the street shouting. Thanks Su for your comment, always appreciated. 🙂

      Like

      • Yes; everyone has to find their own way to do what feels right. It goes against my introvert tendencies to stand up and say what I think, but I’ve definitely found that easier (and more necessary) as I’ve got older. And actually, I think the more the prevailing neo-liberal systems try to make us into consumers, the more power we have by simply refusing to open our wallets for the things we don’t believe in. Many times that will be more effective than shouting on the street. Thanks again for the post and for getting my brain going this morning. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You might just be an activist but not in the traditional sense. You just spoke out and wrote a blog post that made us all think about how we are living our lives and are we being “active” in the things we believe in.Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I commented earlier and the system spat me out … a familiar feeling in life of me! I am not an activist. We can’t all and we should not all be activists. Some of us need to be the silent mass that agrees and occasionally shares. Yet others need to be the don’t care drones. It takes all sorts otherwise the imbalance that the activists point to just get more acute. I was on the phone to my husband earlier (he’s en route to Hawaii because his life is very tough) and I said ‘I’m a very tall person who has spent her life striving to curl into the tiniest possible ball so that I won’t affect others’ … then I read your post. Well that’s me and I make no apology. I agree that we need activists but only enough. we need enough of every ingredient and then we can bake the perfect pie so be careful who you strive to be … take note of what is needed and try to be that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your comment is prefect in we do need activists in the true definition. But I think there are different levels of activist, you and I are not in the streets, but maybe in our own little way are doing things for change, for a better world. Thanks Osyth for your comment – I am sorry to hear your husband is having a tough life, I wish mine was that tough. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a deeply shallow activist. If there’s a demonstration that I can attend purely for socializing. I’m there! Currently, I’m trying to be an activist against ageism–but there are no demonstrations. I need to be a subtle activist. Nice post Spear!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Being the best person that we can be is sometimes the best way. Thank you for highlighting the fact that we probably all have an activist in us, if we’re living our lives for the common good. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think that many bloggers are activists even in a passive way. With good writing we allow people to empathize with situations that they might previously been frightened off or uninformed. I would like to think I am a voice for mental illness but not in a strident, unpleasant way. Your blog is allowing us to see a complicated life and not judge you. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kerry – your comment has much meaning for me. I have several reasons for starting this blog with one of them being I wanted to come across as everyone else even though I may be different. I did not want one difference to be the one reason people would judge me – that is a very small part of who I am. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are the same as everyone else – a human who lives and loves in the same way as most of us do. I would hate to be made to feel different because I have a mental illness or a quirky personality. We should embrace each other’s differences positively. Mwah!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent post and so well put. I do not like the way we or others are treated but I am afraid to say that I would not put myself out and protest as I am just not made that way. I suppose I pick my battles but its good that there are others out there who take the extreme in order to raise the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

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