When I used to hear the word ‘activist’, it would conjure up in my mind, images of people hugging trees while someone is trying to cut them down. Or racing a rubber duck between harpoon and whale, or shouting and gesticulating at some protest march. But as time has passed, I’ve realised that an activist is just someone who refuses to be a part of the system, refuses to accept things the way they are. There are many ways an activist can be active, and some of them can be very subtle, as long as you are doing something.
I consider myself and activist for 3 reasons:
1) I inform myself about various issues.
2) I share that information by blogging and speaking to people.
3) I try and make choices that are ethically sound whenever I can.
These may not be world changing things, but if we all do something, it will make a difference.
In The Everyday Activist, Michael Norton gives many examples of what has been achieved by ‘normal’, ‘everyday’ people. These are very inspiring stories and the best aspect of the book. It is quite astounding what can be achieved when someone puts their mind to something.
The rest of the book looks at the process of becoming an activist, from finding the cause to raising money and getting exposure, etc. It’s a very practical guide. I found a lot of it to be common sense, but I suppose that comes from having some experience in business. For someone younger, or less experienced, it would be very useful information.
There are also a lot of links to websites in the book, some are websites of other activists which could inspire or motivate you and others are links to useful website which can assist you with your project. I found the book to be inspirational and even uplifting, reading about all those people making a difference in the world.
I guess the stories of these people are available online if you know where to look. The practical guide to starting and managing a project was not of great interest to me. It’s a quick read, so I wouldn’t call it a waste of time, but I don’t know if I would pay much for it.
Check it out on Kalahari.net here.