As we begin rounding the first quarter of the twenty-first century, it doesn’t hurt to look back on how we’ve gotten to where we are today. Yes, technological leaps have made life easier and more connected. Global events — some political and some natural — have shaped the geopolitical landscape into one of the most peaceful times in human history. But, perhaps most importantly, the world has seen a rise in social activism. People are standing up against oppression, against slavery, and against forces villainous to the ideas of personal freedom and social mobility.
So, in celebration, here’s a look at why activism is so important to society.
Activism is Beyond Politics
Activists can drive past the bounds of political systems and engage the core of a contentious issue. Activism isn’t usually bound by the kind of bureaucratic red tape that often plagues administrative and legislative systems. Democracy, as an example, tends to be particularly slow. Changes can take a long time to happen when decisions are made via legislation. Activism doesn’t need to wait for papers to find the right desk. When people take up an issue, they can hit the streets and speak their minds or send their money to where they want it to go.
It Gives Voice to the Voiceless
One person alone — or even a small group of people — might not be able to raise the volume of their voices very high on any given platform. That’s always been true. Nowadays, with an article or video or advertisement flying by us at light speed, the important things can get lost in the static. But activists tend to attract other activists. Where there is one there can be many. The Internet might have a lot of noise, but it can be very useful to find your tribe. Groups are forming now that never could before, and the digital age has given rise to marginalized voices having a loud say in the social goings-on of the day.
Activism is the reason any of what we’re doing today is possible. It is a vital part of society and it should be held up as powerful and life-changing.