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Be Active!

Right now, there are people chopping down scarce mahogany trees to provide expensive furniture. Right now, scientists are forcing monkeys to smoke cigarettes tests the impact of smoking. Right now, there are people killing one another. Right now, somewhere in the world, a child fears going home because she deals with abuse from her parent. Right now, there are people oppressed by their government. Right now, the world needs to change.

Just because we’re not legal adults, and just because we’re only teens does not mean that we have to sit idly and watch the world pass by. Everyone has at least one problem with the today’s world that could be solved by getting out there and speaking your mind (in a non-violent way). Now this does not mean that everything you say will be heard right off, nor does it give you rights to abolish homework, or school altogether.

There are four steps to changing the world each is as important as the next and each a necessary action.

First, you must choose an issue or issues that you feel need to change. Maybe you think that pollution, child labour and animal abuse are the three most important issues facing today’s world. Now you have a starting point, a goal. You know what you want to achieve.

Second, find an organization that supports what you believe. There are heaps out there, if you are interested in animal rights, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is a well-known activist group to join. If you’re against Genetically Modified Organisms, joining the “Say ‘NO’ to GMO’s” movement could be for you If you can’t find an organization that shares your views, find people that do and start your own group. Some one had to start all the existing groups. Why can’t you start yours?

Now that you have your main issue, you destination; and your organization, your roadmap you can start, but no one can walk around the world in one step, you need to take small steps to get anything done. If the main issue is the environment, steps could be to write letters to the CEO of a company that is known to dump waste in a local river; or if your town doesn’t have a recycling centre near by, write a letter to the mayor. Tackle little steps first to lead to the major issue.

Finally, be active, write letters, hold protests, boycott companies who support what you think is wrong, write the editor of the local paper to address local issues, join an activist group, but be polite, don’t go around damaging property, don’t throw buckets of red paint on people who wear fur, all that achieves is making your cause a spectacle. Causes that know how to go about doing stuff get much more done than radicals who make the headlines for being arrested for disorderly conduct. Being a teen does not put you above the cause. Get off your high horse and speak up, you have a voice so use it. If you don’t do something, who will? Think to yourself, “If I don’t get out there and do something about it, if I don’t take the initiative to start something and see it through, there are things that might never get done. Right now there are animals, people, our earth that are dying, and being abused and unless I do something about it, unless I get in the cause, not above it, things might not change.” I ask you now, why surf when you can make waves?

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