What is Activism

     Upon hearing the word ‘activism’, images of lower to working class people picketing and rioting for a cause that they believe rush to my mind. Before learning about activism in GWST 200, I believed that all activists were angry people who wanted to force their opinions on others. I did not hold a positive outlook on activists, much less ever identify myself as one. After taking a closer, more open-minded look at what activism really is, I find myself surrounded by it, and by people who struggle and persevere everyday to make this world a better place for not just themselves, but for everyone in it and the future generations to come. From friends who have marched miles and miles in opposition to the wars in the Middle East, to family members who have created organizations to help women in underdeveloped countries gain access to medical care, helping hands and humble hearts have set incredible examples of humanitarianism for me that all began with the idea of a community that thrives on positivity and giving generously to others. These are the defining acts of my peers and loved ones that have taught me what activism truly is, and made way for me to take charge and do something that will benefit others. Through reading about how easy it is to donate books, non-perishable food, blankets, gently used clothes, and other easily accessible household items, I realized just how quickly I can become involved (and involve others) to lend a helping hand. I want to raise awareness about how simple it is to donate such items to those in need both locally and elsewhere in the United States and even overseas. I have always believed that it is harder to march and protest against wars overseas to push politicians into creating change, and much easier to get involved and change things with our own hands. I recall when my home country, Pakistan, was hit with an incredibly devastating earthquake. My middle school principal asked all students to assemble one care package per student, which contained a bar of soap, one toothbrush, one tube of toothpaste, and other small everyday inexpensive items that my principal herself took to Pakistan to distribute to families in need; she was able to distribute over 1000 care packages. This is what I believe activism is about, and how I feel that I can impact my community and involve our society in doing things for others. It was acts like these that have left a great impression on me of how if all of us did one thing to help someone else, the results can be astounding.

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