Everyone Can Be an Activist: Pairing Your Passion & Skills for a Better World

For many of us, the image of an activist is an angry, sign-toting, slogan-chanting protester. Those are the activists the media often portrays. But there are many different ways to be an activist – that is, someone active on behalf of others, a changemaker. If the opposite of an activist is one who is passive, then all who endeavor to create a better world, rather than passively accepting the status quo, are activists.

When I expanded my own definition of activism, and discovered a way to mix my passions and talents in service to a greater good, I was able to give more than I’d imagined. Each of us can assess our talents and passions, and find the place where they meet. Here are 4 questions that can help you direct your life toward choices that are not only deeply fulfilling to you but which will make a difference for others.

  1. What issues or problems most concern you? Beyond your family and friends, who and what do you care most about?
  2. What skills and talents do you have that could be combined with your concerns to enable you to make a difference?
  3. What specific steps could you take to bring your talents and concerns together to achieve your goals?
  4. If you are already an activist or changemaker, are you best using your time and talents to make sure that you are as effective as you can be? What might you be doing that would better utilize your skills and maximize your impact?

If we realize that we have talents and experiences that we can bring to bear, and if we then witness the good that can come when our skills are appropriately focused, we also discover the joy that comes in solving entrenched problems.

(This is excerpted from my book, Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life.)

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education

Author of Most Good, Least Harm, Above All, Be Kind, and The Power and Promise of Humane Education

My TEDx talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach"

Want support in pairing your passion and skills? Find the freedom, support, tools, and motivation you need to bring more joy, balance and satisfaction to your life and to make a positive difference in the world through IHE's month-long online course, A Better World, A Meaningful Life. Sessions start September 2, October 3 and November 4. Sign up now!

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