When I was young, I wasted a lot of time talking about my politics and trying to get people to believe what I believed. I went to meetings. I attended demonstrations. I donated money. I posted online. I talked about stuff with friends and family and anyone who would suffer me. What did it accomplish?
What a colossal waste of time. I didn’t change the world. I’m not sure I even changed any minds. At best I think I annoyed people. At worst, I made myself look like a self righteous condescending know-it-all.
Talking about your politics is easy. Being angry on social media is easy. Donating money is easy. And it all accomplishes next to nothing (except maybe making you feel part of something, smart, cool, or superior).
Making a real difference is hard. It takes effort. It takes sacrifice. It requires skin in the game.
If I could go back in time, I’d shut the hell up. Instead of talking about making the world a better place I would have spent more time volunteering and taking physical action to make it a better place. Want to improve public education? Volunteer in the schools. Concerned about the environment? Lower your carbon footprint and go pick up litter in your community. Concerned with animal rights? Help out at a nearby animal shelter. Want to help children? Become a foster parent or join a mentorship program.
Don’t talk about your politics. Live them. Don’t tell people how to act. Show them. Take real risks. Spend time. Make sacrifices. Be willing to pay a price. Go to the problem and get your hands dirty.
I’ll leave you with a quote from a person who lived what I’m talking about. Someone who MADE a difference.
“Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals” – Martin Luther King, Jr.