Jess Parsons

Jess Parsons

Posted May 9, 2011

Published in Lifestyle

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Positively activist

Read More: action, activism, animal suffering, attitude, collective power, local, New Zealand, news, positive

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                                     Protesting at the WTO 

How do we remain positive and remain effective activists?

The world has far more things that need fixing that we could ever address, and news sources revel in the awful.  Good news is hard to find and is rarely covered in loving detail.

Many minimalists recommend a media diet - I don't watch TV news but this is because I can absorb so many more provoking stories per minute from the Internet than from TV.  

When I am feeling less than cheerful, it is too easy to slam the rapid-fire outrage from the automated bad news server out to all available targets.

For my own sanity as well as maintaining social connections, I need to foster a sense of hope as well as a sense of righteous justice.

Positive Activism Plan

  • Seek out great news and share it.
  • Share bad news only along with ways to help
  • Work locally
  • Take positive action

This worthy discussion includes a positive activist’s manifesto and goals.

Check out these courageous Kiwis!

In deep water

A Greenpeace activist blocks deep sea oil exploration



For the birds

A New Zealander lived in a cage for 31 days to highlight the plight of caged hens.


He's now fundraising for SAFE's NoCages campaign -  don't be shy, donate today!

And more...

VegSource itself provides a healthy mix of activist story angles.  I felt uplifted when I heard about Dr. McDougall's success with his nutrition education bill.

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.

– Ross H. Perot

My favourite free eCard site, care2, has a fascinating business model where free participation raises real money for real causes.  It also has an uplifting blog by its founder Randy Paynter.

Attitudes, Positively Critically

On the other hand, it was well worth 10 minutes to listen to lifetime activist Barbara Ehrenreich on why having a positive attitude is overrated.  It is a more balanced piece than I expected.

I especially enjoyed the grand finale:

"...we do have power - we have collective power that we can use to end a great deal of unnecessary suffering in the world."

I'm positive that's true!

How do you balance the fire of motivation with the strength of community?