Activism is the heart of every social movement. It is essential to change the culture. When speaking of human rights injustices, especially something as grave as abortion, activism is the natural and appropriate response to a deeper understanding of injustice.
I never thought I would be anything close to an activist. The term often engenders thoughts of people unreasonably screaming at each other and I, like many others, always wanted to be far, far away from that sort of activity.
In fact, when I first started learning about the injustice that is abortion, I resisted the urge to act. Being right was enough for me. Doing right was difficult, uncomfortable and quite frankly foreign to me. I started out by learning and researching about abortion and other life issues. I was immersing myself in reading and listening to talks and watching presentations to fill my brain with knowledge.
I was satisfied with just talking about it with my pro-life friends and learning about it in the safety of my dorm room. Among other reasons, I was turned off by the ‘crazy people’ caricature of activists to really do much.
Fortunately, this caricature is not true activism. In fact, it is an unhelpful waste of time that most reasonable people don’t want to have anything to do with. Pretty much all pro-life activists that I’ve ever met don’t operate that way.
According to Webster’s, activism is “…taking positive, direct action to achieve an end, esp. a political or social end.” When we understand the injustice that is happening, if we are honest with ourselves, our hearts cry out for a more just society. If we take this reaction seriously, we must take positive, direct action. We must become activists.
Often activism is thought to be a big and very impersonal thing. We hold signs, we protest, we write letters, we march, we hand out literature and occasionally engage someone whom we have never met. All of these things are generally (but not always) quite impersonal. All of these things are examples of activism, but they are not the full picture.
Along with such means of impersonal activism I think we need to all cultivate a sense of “Personal Activism.” That is, we must take positive, direct action in our personal lives. This action can start very small as a conversation with a friend or family member. In fact, I think that’s where it must start.
Although signs and protests are scary to some, I think personal conversations with people close to you or with your peers can be much more scary. There you have to open yourself up in a more intimate way. Standing on the street, while requiring courage, is in many ways much easier than having a difficult but constructive conversation with someone who is close to you.
Today, I issue a challenge to myself and to all pro-life people: Become an activist. If you are truly pro-life then you understand the grave injustice happening over 3,500 times every single day. If you understand that, then let yourself be moved to positive, direct action on behalf of those who suffer at the hands of the abortionists.
How are you going to become more active in this crucial movement? Put your comments below.
Image by mlinksva