While showing up in person matters, you don’t need to be an activated activist to make a positive impact in your own community. All you need to do is voice yourself. Write an email. Attend a community or commission meeting. Subscribe to your local newspaper, then send a letter to the editor. Join a protest. (Well, maybe not in Florida.) Get familiar with your representatives: in your town, in your city, as well as your state senators. But most importantly, keep up with the issues, while remembering that you can’t fix the whole world.
Don’t have the time? Well, then, there’s this.
Limit the number of issues to, say, your favorite one, two, or three topics that concern you the most. Then keep on it. Learn them; master them. Then remember one thing: Effectuating change does not happen overnight and can take years, decades, or even millennia if you’re counting the sands falling in that proverbial hourglass. Fact: real change takes a long time. (Just ask Opal Lee, grandmother of Juneteenth.)
Below is a video of me, Darhlene, speaking to my local commissioners last September 10th. All it was … was an invocation, but it had an impact. It demonstrated to commissioners that people like me, atheists, exist in the community and, as the ole quip goes, we vote. And it was delivered on the day that a preacher named Jeremy Clark was sworn in as commissioner, so it was especially special.
It took less than two minutes to deliver the invocation. To make any dent in the opinion of my neighbors, though, of the leaders in my community towards atheism, it will likely take me two minutes every year until I can’t speak anymore. But for those minutes I struggle to put my best foot forward. I am an activist and, as such, can effectuate change no matter how minute my words may be.
I implore you, reader, to call yourself an activist today. Speak up. Write out. Use your voice. Effectuate the change that is yourself.