The Self-Righteous Activist Antidote

I cracked a smile when reading the below two blog entries about self-righteous, forceful, extreme activists. I have come across plenty of these people too, some of which are my friends, and sometimes I feel that I am playing that role of the self-righteous activist myself. I sometimes catch myself angrily debating/judging people on their decisions, for example to eat meat mostly every day or contribute hugely to consumerism. 

 
Some may wonder why these activists are so angry, upset and fed up. I feel that it’s only because these activists care so strongly about making the world better, often to the point of losing sleep. It’s also very frustrating to be trying so hard and seeing people around you being apathetic, undoing your work or not opening their eyes and seeing the true realities. 

 
But this tactic of aggressive activism does tend to make people turn away instead of get them on board, and it’s not good for the people involved or the causes.
 
I have summarised two blog entries (http://thepeopleszero.com/beginners-guides/the-unbearable-self-righteousness-of-being/ and http://begirlmanifesta.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/6-things-i-need-activists-to-stop-doing-now/ ) on the topic of preferable activist behaviour:
 
  1. Stay self-depreciating and critical of oneself
  2. Don’t cross the line into arrogant, self-righteous, bullying territory
  3. Keep a sense of humour and be optimistic and positive (this will lead to change sooner)
  4. Have clear goals and focus to create global change (again leading to sooner change)
 
The fifth point is something I’ve questioned and realised myself, because I’ve noticed if you don’t keep the fifth point in mind it can sometimes harm instead of help your activism/projects:
 
  1. It’s not about you/your activist image/your purpose in life, it’s about the actual issues

 

I guess in conclusion it’s about sticking to your beliefs and trying your best to encourage positive evolution of societies and the way of life on the planet, without forcing your ways on others or being rude towards them. We’re all in it together…?

 
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