Many people have the right intentions when it comes to promoting change. They just don’t know the best ways to go about doing it. So without further ado, here are the five best ways to start making a difference.
5) Spreading Awareness
Many people discount the importance of spreading awareness. But spreading awareness is actually one of the most important tools in an aspiring activist’s locker. In today’s digital age, we have the capacity to disseminate our ideas to countless numbers of people at the click of a button. We can influence, persuade and change the mindset of these people just by writing a well written post or article.
Through social media, it has become easier than it ever has been to spread awareness. So the next time you encounter injustice, gathering attention to the issue on social networks like Twitter or Facebook could prove to be a viable first step towards changing it.
4) Raising Money
Just as Lil’ Wayne is demonstrating for us, money can be a powerful tool for change if it’s in the right hands. In fact, raising money is surprisingly easier than you think. Consider the example of my friends and I just two weeks ago. By hosting a bake sale at our school’s open house we were able to raise over one hundred fifty dollars in two days, with all proceeds directly benefiting impoverished refugees in Syria. All we did was sell brownies for a couple of hours, but we were still able to make a measurable difference in people’s lives.
When raising money, it is important to remember that your campaign does not always have to be the next huge movement. Making a conscious effort to combat injustice while still working within your means is actually prefered, as it is much more likely that you will have a positive experience with it. So whether you choose to raise money by having a bake sale, by starting a donation drive, or even just by asking your friends to give to a good cause, you will have made a positive impact on the world we live in.
3) Getting Your Community Involved
Your community can be the best place to start when it comes to change. Many times, trying to fix a local problem or working to address an injustice within the community can end up being the most impactful. A community in solidarity is a powerful entity, and a grassroots movement from within often finishes with the desired result. By getting community leaders involved or better yet becoming a community leader yourself, the whole neighborhood could work together to make history.
Additionally, addressing an issue in the community can work to build an environment that embraces social change and inspires future young activists. Who wouldn’t want to be the person who started a grassroots movement and made their community a better place? Starting from the bottom has never been so important.
The act of protesting is one of mankind’s fundamental rights, but lately it has become one of the most undervalued methods in society today. Some deride protestors today as nothing more than disruptive attention seekers, and fail to recognize what an important staple of life protesting has always been. Would African-Americans be able to vote without fear of reprisal if the march on Selma had never occurred? Would anyone even care about the shooting of Michael Brown if Ferguson hadn’t risen up in arms about it? The answer is probably not.
Protesting has fought exploitation and injustice ever since there has been a government to protest to. It endures as the most powerful way that the people can rise up and demand their rights. When young people have assembled in peaceful demonstrations, they have been able to facilitate long-lasting change and break cycles of oppression. if there is a pressing issue that you know of and the government has not lived up to its expectations, consider exercising your natural right and protesting against it.
1) Most Importantly, Care About What You’re Advocating For
Acclaimed activist Anita Roddick once said that “To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.”
Some may be surprised that firmly believing in a cause is rated at number one, let alone in the top five. But the concept of deep personal investment remains a critical facet to taking action, almost to the point where it becomes difficult to embark on any of the others without fulfilling this one first. Finding that drive, that motivation, to make a difference is what truly allows the ordinary person to become a socially conscious activist.
In the modernized age we live in, the constant flood of emails, letters and petitions to support cause X,Y and Z can quickly become tedious , and subsequently desensitize us to the stark reality of their requests. But by discovering an issue you care about, either on a local or an international scale, it allows you to see it in a whole new light. With the deep belief that your cause is just, it can seem like nothing can stop you from the result you desire so badly and ways 1-4 just seem like the means to an end.
So there you have it, the five best ways to take action. Do you agree with the rankings? Let me know in the comments section below. This is not by any means a definitive list, but my hope is that it can lay the groundwork for teenagers and adults alike to realize that promoting change is not as difficult as you may have thought.
Written By: Sam Gorman, Founder of Youngchange-Bestchange
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