I have something to say about being a social activist. I just realized that I am one. Most people don’t go around telling everyone that they’re a social activist. Actually, it’s other people that mention it. My childhood neighborhood was in the Hyde Park section just south of Chicago and, looking back, it was full of activists and change agents and, ok I’ll say it, hippies. It was so incredibly diverse that I never realized there was a majority of any race or culture. (True story: When we moved to the south suburbs later on, I asked my parents, “Where did all these white people come from?”) We belonged to a co-op for our groceries, rode our bikes everywhere, and attended plays and concerts on the weekends. In short, we were hipsters before there were hipsters. The difference, I see, is that my parents didn’t do it to be cool or a part of something. They did it because of their beliefs and not to fit into a social construct. They were fighting for equality in their mixed marriage, a safe place to raise children, and allowing all of their daughters to have a good education. Much of that is pretty similar to what people are fighting for today.
Recently, someone interviewed me about my online blog and asked me what kinds of things I wanted to do with it. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You know, what do you want to get out of it? What stuff do you hope companies give you?”
It was quite a leap this interviewer took, but not one without any merit in looking at a lot of blogs out there today. I explained, albeit exasperatedly, that I don’t write to get stuff. I don’t need some fancy place to give me a pair of shoes and I don’t need “sponsorship” in order to get new clothes. If I want that stuff, I’ll go out and get it for myself. Now, would I like a book deal? Yeah. I’m not going to turn that down, but neither am I expecting it to drop out of the sky. I’m working toward that as a goal. Still, it was this idea that tangible items are the only thing that make people happy or that social service in our communities toward our fellow man have no place in the list of Wants that really struck me. So I took to social media, naturally, to ask people what it is they want and what they’re fighting for. Pondering these very things is what made me realize that I’m a social activist, that I want good things for people in my community as well as myself, and that I’m willing to fight for them in a variety of ways.
I, for one, am fighting for a lot of different things not the least of which are forgiveness, truth, redefining beauty standards, financial stability, healing for family members and friends with mental health issues, the educational rights of students, racial harmony, and for my own community. These are presents, yes, but not in the traditional sense. These are gifts to myself to shape my personhood into the kind of human I aim to be.
The answers I got were incredibly inspirational. I ask that you join in with these voices and add your own below.
I am fighting for my daughters to love themselves. – Kye
I’m fighting for my Mom to regain her confidence & independence after a severe brain injury. – Marsha Haneiph
I’m fighting to bring my students AWESOME books! (174 new books purchased for our library today!) – Amanda G
I am fighting for stability. – Ang
I am fighting for my sanity. – Nona Nelson
I am fighting for my kid. – Jennifer Vides
I am fighting for the right to accomplish my dream despite all the noise in my head about how it can’t be done. – Kecia Adams
I am fighting for equal rights for those of LGBT persuasion. – Joelle Blackstarr
I am fighting for our kids to be accepted and celebrated as they are, not judged by standardized testing and deemed “below average” – Lisa
Happiness. – Nicole P.
Bathroom time. – Tracy Beckerman
Babies and their right to be fed naturally – Mackey Roberson
I am fighting for an identity I can be proud of, confident in, and happy about. – Jenny
I’m also fighting for acceptance of sentences that end with prepositions. – Jenny
I’m fighting for the safety of children with food allergies. Even if I just raise awareness! – homa woodrum
We are not so different. I am fighting for better pizza. – cokeman
I am fighting for my body to stop using my adrenal glands to kill me – Eustice the Sheep
I’m fighting for education, financial literacy, a level playing field, safe food choices, justice, & everything you said.
I am fighting for my voice. I am fighting for trans visibility and inclusion and equality. I’m fighting for student assessment & instruction that cares about students, not about numbers.- Rafe
I’m fighting to be better. – Sweetney
I’m fighting for truth. (I’m sure I’m one of many who fight for that reason). – Katy T
I’m fighting for my own identity. – Jennifer Jaycox
I’m fighting for compassion, and those who are not heard. I’m fighting for faith and second chances. – Karla Porter Archer
I am fighting for respect for women no matter what they do with their time, how many kids they have, or who they love. – Amelia Sprout
I’m fighting to get back up when I fall down. – Alexis Hinde
What are YOU fighting for?
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