Act #50: Join the Movement.
The "movement". What a term. What exactly is the movement and what exactly are we trying to move? When I refer to "the movement", I am talking about the organized action of a group of people with a shared ideology - in this case, the ideology is to make the world less violent, less oppressive, and more cooperative for everyone. So often, activists of the movement seem unattainable. "Those" people that go to rallies or "those" people who are highly educated. The truth of the matter is that if you share the desire to better your community, you too can, and should, join this movement. In fact without everyday people making small differences, the movement will never happen. The following are some common misconceptions about my personal qualifications for being a bona fide ticket holder with a season pass to the movement.
I majored in Women and Gender Studies or Peace and Social Justice in college. I actually majored in one of the least profitable undergraduate majors - Psychology. And during my counseling internship, when I started creating life plans in my head about how people should fix their problems, I quickly learned that I would make a horrific therapist. Some of the world's most influential activists didn't even go to college.
I went to an ivy league school, am a researcher, and am an expert on all things social justice. I went to a small liberal arts college in the south whose mission is to provide education to those with high promise, but limited economic resources. I failed statistics the first time and got a C the second time. I struggle to keep up with the social injustices around the world, and only remotely am able to do this by reading the news each morning on the internet. Cnn.com is my best friend. I also follow all the "experts" on feminism, the middle east conflict, the Keystone Pipeline - you name it - on Twitter.
I am a feminist. I am. But I dare say, that you are too if you subscribe to the notion that women are human beings worthy of equal rights and treatment.
I dedicated my entire professional life to advocating for peace and justice. I wish. My first job out of college was actually at the front desk of a hotel. Prior to entering the non-profit world, I spent 9 years planning parties for my alma mater.
I watch Downton Abby and listen to NPR. I feel so left out on Sunday nights when Facebook and Twitter are exploding with Downton Abby critiques. I have no idea what folks are talking about. I think someone died this past Sunday. I do listen to NPR because I have a 45 mile commute and don't always make it to the library to get my weekly selection of books on tape.
I know all of the names of my congressmen and women. My best friends are: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Legislators.htm and http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/KY.
I have a thorough understanding of the most pressing social issues and all the world conflicts and have recommendations for solutions. See #2.
By the time you are done reading this, you will have figured out that you are WAY cooler than I am. That I am the most boring, the most ordinary person in the world, who just happens to believe that I can make a dent in this world. So can you. So here's your free admission ticket. You don't have to be a Dartmouth-educated scholar on peace and social justice who listens to public radio and knows your senator by first name. You just have to care about doing your part to make your community a little better, a little safer, for everyone.
Note: Today's blog was inspired by a Green Dot training that I attended yesterday. Talk about a movement. For more information, please visit: www.livethegreendot.com.