activist /ˈaktivəst/ (noun): a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.
campaign /kamˈpān/ (verb): work in an organized and active way toward a particular goal, typically a political or social one.
the question i’m asking myself then is am i a person who works in an organized and active way to bring about change? i guess the answer is yes.
i would never call myself a human rights activist. do i actively pursue the preservation of human rights? yes. but i always felt that the title “activist” was too powerful and esteemed for little old me to use. it should be reserved for people like emma gonzalez, who delivered an incredibly powerful speech to thousands of people on behalf of march for our lives. or marsha p. johnson, who piloted the legendary stonewall riots of 1969.
over the last little while, i’ve struggled with actively promoting what i believe in without arguing or fighting with the people i love. i’ve felt like a failure or a hypocrite when i sit silently instead of exposing and attempting to combat the ignorance of others.
but i’ve learnt that sometimes you can’t change minds. sometimes people will be stubborn and close-minded and apathetic and will refuse to see your perspective. that doesn’t mean you give up. it just means you keep fighting in smaller ways. you keep chipping away at the iceberg and one day, you might get somewhere.
i will continue to actively bring about change. i will not hesitate to correct you when you use words that should not be used. i will inform you of true facts when you believe in silly misconceptions. i will agree to disagree, but never for one second will i surrender my beliefs to please you.
maybe that’s the spirit that it is within all of the activists i look up to. and maybe, just maybe, if i keep fighting, someone else will be able to look up to me.