I’ve never really thought of myself as an Activist, active and sometime acting yes, but never an Activist.
The older I get, the more I want to shout at people when they aren’t indulging in their humanity, for whatever frivolous reason. Turning up their noses with their selfie sticks in an elevator and just being general dicks!
Now I’m not saying activism is all about a bunch of people going around and shouting at everybody else from their Trojan moral high horse, in fact as much as I want to punch people in the head (because that’s what most people understand, and it saves my voice) most of the times for being stupid on issues that affect the environment or the lives of other human beings. I realise that they form these opinions solely based on their own comforts and the limited information that they hold on to for dear life.
All I can do is inform them of different points of view, demonstrate another way of thinking and leave it to simmer in their subconscious. If I can get you to question the status quo, well for me, that’s a big start.
The state of the world is constantly being showcased, now more than ever because of the internet. With billions of people reporting worldwide, it’s easier to know what’s going on in the deepest parts of an African tungsten mine, an Australian archeological dig site and even in a whale’s stomach frozen in the Antarctic sea with just the tap of your finger.
But the information we consume daily through the most popular and convenient media is used to divide us every day along gender, race and class lines. All this division could be sorted with a couple of finger taps on a smart phone and reading with an open mind. One could say there’s no need for ignorance, but what do I know, after all this could all be” fake news” or “alternative facts”.
I’ve also noticed that I’m becoming more inclined to looking at a future for the younger generations and the betterment of all mankind, even though for me personally I’m comfortable with a lawn chair, some nice headphones, an iPad to write on that’s also full of music to listen to.
Through my day job, when I’m not daydreaming, recently I’ve been working on projects that’s either cancer related, about the environment or along the lines of the human rights fight, and it hits me how most of the time these projects are targeting the same set of people and using the same message tool…guilt.
“How would you feel if it was your sister?”
“What kinda person are you to stand by and allow this to happen?”
“You don’t know what they’re going through, it could be your brother!”
Personally I tend to get defensive when people ask me these questions over and over and I know I’m not the only one. It tends to lead me to either block out the full message and stare back at them trying to find their intent, which unless you have all the background information is difficult to find. So you tend to just make it up, you can say your brain does it automatically as a survival mechanism.
While you’re standing there trying to figure all this out, a wildebeest could be charging to bite your head off. Either way you end up missing the whole point.
Who would you consider to be in the wrong here?
The messenger, that feels in order to connect with people on a human level and fulfill a quota they have to appeal to a “bleeding heart” by laying it on thick, a thick dose of guilt for you being in a better situation, or so they think.
Or would you blame the audience that have been roped into so many of these “help the less fortunate” appeals that they just block out the next one to keep their hearts from bleeding frivolously and they end up dismissing every sob story that they are told after as a scam?
This opens up a whole can of questions that we won’t address here,
But for sure there are people that need help, there are people trying to help and there are others that are trying facilitate in some manner (mostly monetary) to fulfill that request.
There are a couple things that are missing though, the real intention, the update and the end result.
Now adding the “intent, update and result” formula isn’t practical for everyone of these interactions, but it’s useful to determine which ones you want to participate in. Imagine initiating an interactive story, getting everyone to pay to participate, then not caring about the ending, even thou you’ve gotten everyone’s money?
That’s why these Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowdfunding projects offer incentives to participants depending on how much money you contribute. This is kind of harder to do with someone’s life, what, do you get to borrow the kid for 2 days, if he’s feeling up to it, or you take selfies for your IG page? #hangingwiththecancerkidselfie
We really should just care and stop acting like we do (not you Bono, we all know you’re secretly a Care Bear). Give what you can when you can and expect nothing in return not even appreciation, it should be welcomed not demanded otherwise it defeats the whole purpose. It’s more about being righteous in your intentions and honest in your actions.
Which normally takes you being deeply emotionally involved and a having a passion to see things through to some sort of end result. Even if it means just listening, get a contact number, do some research on the illness and/or the charity then make a decision. Don’t let your decisions be driven by how blessed you felt that day or the guilt they made you felt for being healthy, able and willing.
Who knows maybe one day we’ll be so active in the betterment of Mankind, we might actually do it.