When you are someone who wants to illicit change in others, you must hold yourself to a higher standard. Today, we will be discussing mistakes that you simply must avoid as an activist. The life of an activist can be quite challenging. In order to become someone who can be trusted enough to boost or push a cause, you must first get yourself in order. The last thing that any cause needs to have is a liability. There are already too many naysayers out there that already shoot down any form of reasoning that is presented to them.
The last thing that any cause needs is to give any sort of ammunition to the opposition. In order to avoid this, consider these as a guide of what you must avoid:
Not fact checking
If there were any two words that would perfectly illustrate the theme of 2017, it would be fake news. This is a common tag that is attached to any report that is contrary or not in line with a person believes. It does not actually help that there are actually false and misleading reports out there.
As an activist, it is important to be responsible about the information that you share. If you ever see any new development about a cause that you care about, take the time to study the source. Are there other ways to check if the information you have is credible? Do not just be another person who reads the headline and automatically presses the “share” button on social media.
There is enough noise out in the world. Any self-respecting activist will make time to ensure that they are not just adding more pointless noise into the already frayed narrative.
Not picking your battles
Not every argument is something that you need to be part of. There are instances where engaging a person whether online or offline does not yield anything positive. It is pretty much like when a person who likes to spew garbage is headed your way. Do you stand there and let the filth pile over you or do you sidestep and just keep going?
Always consider if the person you are engaging can eventually lead into a teachable encounter. Activists aim to empower and to educate not humiliate and badger. If you do not pick your battles, you will end up with a lot of pent-up frustration and aggression.
Not having any consistency
When you are representing a cause, it is important to be consistent with how you portray yourself and what you are fighting for. It will do nothing for your credibility as an activist to claim that you are vegan one moment then be spotted craving for hamburgers the next moment. It also damages the cause that you have declared to be supporting.
Avoiding mistakes is fine—what is better is making room for mistakes when they occur. Activism is an ever evolving process and being too rigid will mean that you will not grow. Look out for mistakes but do not be scared of making any yourself. Just be mindful of it all in the end.