“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.”
– Blaise Pascal, Philosopher, 1623-1662
I launched this site one week after the 2012 national election and a few days after a 30-second elevator conversation with a stranger that went something like this:
Stranger: I’m so glad we’re not going to have much snow this winter. I like these warmer temperatures.
Me: Actually, it’s bad for the environment if we don’t have enough moisture accumulate during the winter.
Me: You know those forest fires that happened last summer? That was a result of lack of snow. And the droughts we’re beginning to see? These are the results of our global temperatures climbing to harmful levels, brought on human activity.”
Stranger: Oh, I guess I never looked at it that way before.
DING…She arrived at her floor and as the door closed, I realized that this type of interaction is commonplace for me, and most importantly, it is activism!
Our daily interactions are the pebbles that influence the ocean of human attitudes, opinions and behavior.
In launching Activist’s Diary, I acknowledge that:
- We are inspired by and learn from the words and actions of others and benefit from discussing our experiences.
- Transformational change of the collective is brought about by those who recognize their own power (or are practicing doing so).
- Action and sense of community are antidotes to apathy and feelings of futility.
- A space like Activist’s Diary – where we can post what we’ve done to help create change and be recognized for our work – encourages us to act more frequently.
Activist’s Diary is a safe, non-partisan community for progressives to share our experiences of being and becoming activists. Respectful discussion about issues, news, events and above all, personal actions and experiences is encouraged. Please share your activism in the comments section of any post to inspire others and be considered for inclusion in “Featured Activism.”
Actions that ultimately help to create a just, humane and sustainable world are often not dramatic, but as Pascal says, they are significant. My intention in creating a shared diary is that progressives consider every day an opportunity to create change and influence others to do the same….
What Have You Done Today to Create Change?
MY STREET CRED:
Exposure to feudalistic, inbred politics and corruption while growing up in a Chicago suburb and living in Chicago for my adult life except for briefly in D.C. and Denver is certainly backdrop enough for developing into an activist. As long as I can remember, I’ve recognized injustice – as most children do, I believe – and although shy as a child, was never shy about speaking up about it.
The rest of my tale/trail looks like this:
- High school student council leader and newspaper news editor.
- Left my first for-profit job out of college to take an unpaid internship
with National Audubon Society’s International Population program
in their D.C. Capitol Hill location.
- While working at League of Women Voters, served at their statewide Reproductive Choice Chair and was an officer on the statewide Pro-Choice Alliance. I organized hundreds of grassroots activists prior to email and social media, conducting letter-writing, phone calling campaigns, organized personal visits to legislators and state capitol lobbying.
- Volunteered on local and national election campaigns. Traveled to Cleveland in 2004 to be in the epicenter of Republicans’ election theft.
- Volunteered for local and national animal rights groups.
- Contacted appointed and elected officials by letter, email, phone, petition & in person hundreds of times.
- Published articles and letters to the editor.
- Participated in demonstrations and rallies on numerous issues, like the one you see here.
- And, last but not least, have written thousands of words on social media and other online discussions.
Although I spend a lot of time on FB & discussion boards, I feel it’s the least effective form of activism. It’s mostly futile to engage in discussion with people who are firmly wedded to their positions or to complain about them. I try to use my posts and comments to urge others to act and mobilize.