Life is short, but as humans, we fill it with as many meaningful experiences as we can. If you asked most people, they would say they want to live a purposeful life.
Our beliefs are an area where meaning and purpose grow. Having a viewpoint is only part of the process, though, and you can take it another step further through activism.
Activism is not a bad thing or an extremist thing. It is how ordinary human beings change the world and make it better. It is your opportunity to make your belief matter.
The meaning of activism itself is, “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.” There are several reasons you should fight for the causes you believe in; they benefit not only you but also others.
Arguing can be a good thing
“If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” ― Abraham Lincoln
This statement might sound a little counter-intuitive, but there are positive results from arguing. According to Jennifer A. Samp, Ph.D., “research suggests that the process of conflict and arguing facilitates talk and awareness of another’s perspective.”
Facilitating talks and understanding someone else’s perspectives is an essential reason for fighting for something that matters.
You might find that people are not as far apart on the issues that matter as it seems. The more we can have thought-provoking and intelligent conversations with each other, the closer to compromise we will get.
Coming to a compromise can mean a faster resolution to the problem, a temporary solution while you work on a better answer, and can ease the stress associated with conflict.
You bring something unique to the table
“Causes do matter. And the world is changed by people who care deeply about causes—about things that matter. We don’t have to be particularly smart or talented. We don’t need a lot of money or education. All we really need is to be passionate about something important; something bigger than ourselves. And it’s that commitment to a worthwhile cause that changes the world.” ― Steve Goodier
Each person has a unique set of gifts and talents, and the cause close to your heart might just require yours. Do you have excellent organizational skills? You can volunteer to do admin work at an organization that fights for your cause.
Are you great at motivating others and inspiring people to follow you? You might team up with a group of people that have everything planned out but need a “face.”
Whatever your skill set is, you will add value to other like-minded people and help influence change. That kind of impact and use of your skills feeds the soul and makes life feel like there is something more than the daily grind.
Your self-confidence will grow
“You may not know my reasons, but you can assume I have them and be kind.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
Flexing the muscles of those skills and seeing your impact on something that matters to you will help build your self-confidence. You will learn to put more faith in your instincts and listen to your gut. This sense of confidence will bleed over into other areas of your life and set you on a path of self-expression.
Sometimes the cause that matters to you differs from what your close friends or family believe in. Being strong enough to have your individual beliefs and fight for them in the face of opposition can also boost your self-confidence.
Cultivating the ability to form your own opinions and fight things that matter to you also increases your self-awareness.
You will learn more about who you are and respect yourself more
“If you want to discover the true character of a person, you have only to observe what they are passionate about.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Whenever you stand up for something that you feel is important, you increase your sense of self. Your ability to set healthy boundaries increases the more you realize how you think about things. Figure out who you are and how you want the world to see you, and you will become who you were meant to be.
Boundary setting and developing and increasing your sense of self are excellent ways to grow your self-respect. When people learn to respect themselves more, they can also show integrity and become more independent.
Fighting for what you believe in can have a real impact
“The whole point is to join together in this cause and not be against each other. Only then we will find justice.” ― Cecibel Contreras
When you battle for a noble cause and witness people’s lives changing for the better, it can profoundly affect how you see the world. Change doesn’t happen overnight, it can take a lot of work. Doing that work and being in the trenches and seeing what looks like incremental improvements to you might be life changing for someone else.
Sometimes, people fight for causes and never see their impact because it happens years after they pass away. However, you never know what your result will be, or who you might inspire, and how far that person can champion the cause.
Life is short so make it count
“Our thoughts are causes. You sow a thought, you reap an action. You sow an action, you reap a habit. You sow a habit, you reap a character. You sow a character, you reap a destiny. It all starts with a thought.” ― Shiv Khera
No one is guaranteed a certain amount of time on this earth. Do what you can while you are here because the things that matter… matter. They matter to you, and they matter to someone else.
Fighting for what you believe in can help you be better and feel more fulfilled. It can also have a ripple effect on the lives of others. You never know what you will contribute, or the impact that your self-development will have.
So, fight like you are fighting for a better world, a better life, and a better you because, in the end, that is precisely what you are doing.