What do you care about? Surely your family, your friends, your teachers, and your pets. But maybe you also care about a beautiful planet, keeping the earth clean, and treating everyone equally. Unfortunately, while you and I both know that these are all important, not everyone may care about them as much as we do. But that’s okay, because you can use your voice to share their importance to you and help make a difference. This is called activism, and while it may sound a bit scary or overwhelming, it essentially means standing up for what you believe in. Here are a few tips to help you advocate for what you believe in from any age:
1. Identify what you care about! Hopefully you started to think about this when you read the first paragraph, but now is the time to consider it further. Make a list or draw pictures of the way that you want the world to be. For example, I would write “clean air,” “lots of plants,” “thriving animals and wildlife,” and “no one is treated unequally,” among others. These all tie in with a green, beautiful planet and equality - those are two things that I care about.
2. Learn more! You can read books, watch movies, or talk to people who also care about the issue. Start by browsing the library for resources, or searching online for books that you may be interested in. This is a win-win: you get to relax and read or watch a movie, while you are also learning about something that you care about and how you can use your voice to protect it.
3. Listen to others! Yes, you heard that right. Activism is not only using your own voice to stand up for what you believe in, but it is also listening to other people’s voices. You can learn a lot from people who have been standing up for the planet or for change for a long time. Plus, you can even meet new people who want to change the world like you do!
4. Get involved! Is there a local group that is standing up for what you believe in? Ask if you can go to their next event! You can also stand up for what you believe in in other ways such as by talking to others about what you care about so that they learn about it too and by looking at your school or community and working to make a change (for example, maybe the school or library needs help with recycling - ask if you can get involved and help them!).
There are many ways that you can become an activist and use your voice to stand up for what you believe in and make a difference. The important thing to remember is that you are never alone in speaking up for change - there are activists all around the world who care as much as you do. I hope you’re excited to start creating change to make the world a better place!