Empowering Individuals

Most of us have an image in our minds regarding what social change looks like. We think it’s big and momentous: the stuff of television news and history books. Protests and hunger strikes: these things matter. The Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 “may be the largest movement in U.S. history.” A few years ago, parents in Chicago kept their kids' schools from being shuttered through a hunger strike. And god bless the Arizona students who are on hunger strike for democracy as we speak. But life is both big and small, and so is social change. We have more power to impact the world than we think.

Stretch.

Read.

Cook someone a meal.

Eat more plants, fewer animals.

Don’t post altered pictures on social media. Celebrate real bodies.

Don’t follow people who post altered pictures on social media. Celebrate real bodies.

Have uncomfortable conversations about racism.

Worry less about being nice and more about confronting inequality.

Take a nap.

Use mindfulness to learn how to hold your various and human emotions with care and to avoid acting out in problematic ways.

Vote.

Email your representatives about the things that matter to you.

Compost.

Divest from companies that don’t share your values.

Donate to organizations that do share your values.

Act out your core values every day.

Our individual, seemingly mundane actions accumulate to make up what we call social change, what we call history.

This morning I read a poem by Mary Oliver. She writes eloquently about how what is seemingly small, trivial, and unimportant is actually quite crucial:

http://www.wordslikethis.com.au/poem-of-the-one-world/

Each of those small, tiny, mundane moments we share are interconnected—everything you do matters. Treat your actions with the respect they deserve, and recognize your actions to be as powerful as they are.

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I am a Sociology teacher at a Community College, writing these posts for my students, for my sanity, for anyone willing to think towards something better.

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Monica Edwards, PhD

Monica Edwards, PhD

I am a Sociology teacher at a Community College, writing these posts for my students, for my sanity, for anyone willing to think towards something better.

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