The rights and privileges that we have today come from a powerful origin that Activism allows humans the chance to band together and create immense change.
The activists of our world are the sole reason powerful movements and messages are heard – without them I fear that our world would be left destitute. Being an activist is not a reserved role, anyone can be an activist, whether that is on the world stage or locally, it all counts.
For millennia we haven’t been handed a free and fair world, we have had to fight for change. Alice Walker, a US activist for African American rights, famously said: “Activism is my rent for living on the planet”, suggesting that activism goes deeper than fighting for a cause. It’s about giving back to those who came before us and making the world a better place for those who will come after us. That includes you. Your fight for a better world may be the beginning of a chain reaction that encourages others to begin their own activism journey.
Silent activists can be just as powerful as those who speak out – whether you wear a top that supports a cause, paint a picture that symbolises a message or make a bold fashion statement. Art or fashion sends a clear message that can transcend a 20-minute speech as it can be more attention grabbing. It doesn’t matter how we act, as long as we act, activism is for everyone.
A young activist is not a new occurrence. In fact young people are often the catalyst for change, but why are young voices so powerful? It’s estimated that 40% of the world’s population are children and young people – that’s why we need to use our voices.
You don’t have to be of voting age to be able to implement change in the world. We as young people have new and innovative ideas on how change can be reached, and we understand that we don’t want to spend our adulthoods in a failing world. Ironically our lack of suffrage may be the very reason that encourages young people to support a cause – when the systems we rely on fail (whether that be in school, within the local community or on the world stage) we need to be able to combat this together. Being young should never be a reason for you to shy away from activism, it’s the very reason that you should get involved.
Activism is a personal journey, and it won’t look the same for everyone. You don’t have to be known world-wide to help be the force behind a better world. All that matters is that we act, and we do it now.
As Emma Watson famously said in her 2014 UN speech: “If not me, who? If not now, when?”