How must we be catalysts for change?

I often speak out about issues. I share my opinion on the smallest and biggest things, especially when I get the impression that those around me are not informed about them. I stick to my values, but am also willing to learn from others if they have insights/perspectives I am unfamiliar with or have not considered.

I believe that as members of society it is our duty to look out for others, as well as ourselves. There is a balance that must be maintained, and sometimes shifted, between individual rights and the collective. More than anything I think people simply need to share their opinions and not allow themselves to be silenced. My position in society allows me significant power in certain circumstances, and it is my duty at those times to use my power to assist others to make a shift.

I often share with my friends (i.e. on Facebook and Twitter) news updates, articles and research, as well as events planned in efforts to effect change around issues that I feel passionately about. These issues are far-reaching, as my ultimate vision is that of a society/world where communities are sustainable, power and wealth are distributed such that no one suffers, and that everyone has a voice.

A friend once complained to me about the items that I post. I responded that he didn’t have to read them. They are posted on my own profile/wall/feed, I wasn’t singling him out and posting them on his wall. He didn’t have to follow me. At some point he “de-friended” me. This is okay. I don’t wish to be a burden to him, and I believe that the friends that I have real connections with aren’t troubled by my passion for social justice.

As I see it if I’m not speaking out about the things that I care about/value, then why would anyone listen to my suggestion that they should?

What ways can we as individuals in society be catalysts for change? How do you get involved in your community? Do you write letters to the editor? Or government representatives? Speak out to your friends? Neighbors? Support your local representative, or candidate in the next election? Attend rallies?

What issues are you passionate about? Are your passionate about domestic violence? Early childhood education? Environmental issues? Homelessness? Copyright? Political reform? Women’s equality? Racism?

I’d love to hear examples of how you are acting to effect change in society.