It’s a brand new year – one that promises to be a lot of work. If you are looking out your window and seeing a world that you’re not happy with, you might be looking to be a changemaker this year. That’s awesome news – change starts with you.
But maybe you’ve never staged a protest march and feel distinctly uncomfortable collecting petition signatures. Maybe the idea of confrontation makes you queasy, and maybe you’re not even sure about joining a boycott or canvassing for an election. Maybe you’re just really introverted. Take heart, because taking action isn’t just about political action. In fact, tiny changes can make a big difference. Here’s some suggestions about how to start making change – in a low key way.
Think about one small change you can make today (and do it).
Systems (especially unjust ones) hate change. Best way to destabilize them? Change. However, you don’t need to go full Che Guevara on your first day. Simply ask yourself the following two questions:
What is the thing that is making me angry/sad/afraid?
What is one thing I can do right now to help change that thing?
For example, if you’re scared about the destruction of our environment, can you switch to a reusable coffee cup? Can you arrange a carpool with your coolest coworker? Start composting? Take one doable thing and make it a habit this January. It’s clichéd to say that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, but it’s also kind of true.
Update your reading list and Netflix queue.
When it seems like the world is ending, it’s super-comforting to hygge (look it up, it’s Danish, we swear it’s a thing) and watch the latest superhero-fest with loud explosions. To be clear, we totally support you doing this – everyone needs to recharge in the way that suits them best. (We’re not here to break you up with your favourite thing.)
That said, giving your brain a workout can give you a superpower all your own. It can help you empathize and appreciate the voices of people who are not like you. Whether it’s tuning into Ava DuVernay’s 13TH, picking up a book on queer history or simply catching up on your favourite independent media site, broadening your mind can broaden your horizons. (Do you have a favourite? Let us know!)
Learn from what makes you uncomfortable.
Change and growth can induce anxiety and fear. Part of engaging in change is learning about what assumptions, beliefs and practices you participate in that make life harder for others. This can be sickening (sometimes literally). It’s natural to want to back away from things that make you uncomfortable, or be aggressive towards those who are sharing their experiences with us. Resist those urges; instead, listen, be patient and observe. When you’re uncomfortable, it’s a sign that the world is growing and changing around you. Figure out what that situation is telling you.
There is a lot to love about the internet; it allows many of us to connect with people across the world and expose ourselves to all kinds of new ideas. However, sometimes it is just a huge outrage perpetuating machine. If you’re trying to move beyond righteously retweeting, turning your phone off might be a good first step. While you’re off Facebook, you can use this time for quiet reflection on your goals and purpose, or attending events that help you learn more and meet like-minded people in your area. If nothing else, you’ll get a break from constant messaging about what you SHOULD be doing, and figure out what is right for you.
Be yourself, and know your worth.
Listen up and take this to heart: your voice is worth the same as everyone else’s. Just because someone is shouting loudly from a bully pulpit, it doesn’t mean what they are saying is true. Don’t apologize for yourself, your thoughts or feelings. The flipside of this statement is that you shouldn’t use your voice to beat up on others or minimize their experiences. We should know – we’ve made that mistake before.
Here at Lunapads, we’re passionate advocates for loving yourself just the way you are. Ultimately, the most provocative way to be a changemaker is to be radically yourself and don’t worry if other people don’t like it. It’s your body, your life and your world. Take control.
TELL US WHAT YOU’RE DOING TO MAKE YOUR WORLD A BETTER PLACE IN 2017
Comment below or share on social media with the hashtag #NewYearsRevolution.
Use our contest entry form to rack up points while spreading good cheer, and we’ll reward 3 awesome changemakers with $75 Lunapads.com gift cards. Good luck, everyone! Contest ends January 22nd.