Everyone Can Be An Activist: Pairing Your Passion and Skills for a Better World

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Everyone Can Be An Activist: Pairing Your Passion and Skills for a Better World

[Ed. Note: Read other articles about How to Avoid ‘Burning Out’ as an Animal Rights Activist.]

If we realize that we have talents and experiences that we can bring to bear, and if we then witness the good that can come when our skills are appropriately focused, we also discover the joy that comes in solving entrenched problems.

By Zoe Weil, President, International Humane Education Society

For many of us, the image of an activist is an angry, sign-toting, slogan-chanting protester. Those are the activists the media often portrays. But there are many different ways to be an activist – that is, someone active on behalf of others, a changemaker. If the opposite of an activist is one who is passive, then all who endeavor to create a better world, rather than passively accepting the status quo, are activists.

When I expanded my own definition of activism, and discovered a way to mix my passions and talents in service to a greater good, I was able to give more than I’d imagined. Each of us can assess our talents and passions, and find the place where they meet.

Here are 4 questions that can help you direct your life toward choices that are not only deeply fulfilling to you but which will make a difference for others.

  1. What issues or problems most concern you? Beyond your family and friends, who and what do you care most about?
  2. What skills and talents do you have that could be combined with your concerns to enable you to make a difference?
  3. What specific steps could you take to bring your talents and concerns together to achieve your goals?
  4. If you are already an activist or changemaker, are you best using your time and talents to make sure that you are as effective as you can be? What might you be doing that would better utilize your skills and maximize your impact?

If we realize that we have talents and experiences that we can bring to bear, and if we then witness the good that can come when our skills are appropriately focused, we also discover the joy that comes in solving entrenched problems.

(This is excerpted from Zoe’s book, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life.)