This month’s issue is focusing on action, activism. Each day each of us are faced with doing something or not — to take action on an injustice or not. Sometimes taking action is easy — certainly you’ll choose to recycle paper and soda cans — and other times it’s not so easy — why speak up against something you feel is wrong when everyone else is singing a different tune?
I often hear, “What’s the point? It’s not going to make a difference.” Sometimes, that is true. But I always remember the quote from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
That was the motto for the coalition I belonged to in college: Delta Force. While it is a military group, our group was made up of pacifists and activists and our tagline was “A force for change.” The coalition was our college’s “political parties” for Student Senate. I was elected to it my senior year of college. While the main purpose of the coalition was to populate Student Senate with like-minded people, we also worked to make things we felt passionately about happen. We also protested the start of the Iraq war, Walmart locating in our city, the expansion of a highway through the wetlands and more.
I learned about activism through my grandma, Marj Mackey, who told me — more than once — that you wouldn’t succeed if you didn’t have a lot of failures and she always stood up and spoke her mind, no matter if people agreed with her or not. Even when it seemed like she might be alone in her thoughts, others would stand up after someone took that risk. Even when we think we’re the only one that feels a certain way, most of the time that’s not true; they’re just waiting for someone else to go first.
It’s scary. Really scary. We all want to fit in and standing up against the majority — at least the vocal minority — is frightening. I have a difficult time with it myself. But I’ve been working at overcoming my fears. Even little things like singing in public and jumping off a large rock into the ocean help make me more confident and able to speak my mind.
What I love most about Information Press is the opportunity to write about important issues. Some of those are issues that few people know about, so it is satisfying being able to spread the word on such issues. I have cut my role back at Information Press because some exciting new work came my way, but I will remain involved writing stories and editing Information Press at a scaled back level. What Information Press does and shares are important and I am happy to be a part of it.
What do you feel passionately about? Do you speak out? Think about some small ways — at least to start — you can make a difference.