Most people want to do more to change the world!
Unfortunately, most have no idea of what they can do, or have much time to do anything. So, here are 20 fast, easy and non-violent ways to stand up for your beliefs, and they only involve you as much as you want to be involved.
They require very little time, money or effort, and while individually your effort to change the world may seem to have little impact, collectively it will be part of an incredibly important and powerful tool for change.
Okay, now onto some things that you can do to change the world:
1. Attend Town Hall Meetings/ Public Consultations
If marching through streets chanting and waving signs isn’t your cup of tea, you may find that participating in polls, local town hall meetings and public consultations suits you better than attending rallies. These types of events provide a more formal and structured format that allows you to have your voice heard without interruption. Monitor social media for upcoming opportunities, and check your local government’s website to find out what meetings are being held, where and when, and what’s required to attend and speak.
2. Engage Politically
Have your voice heard by your MLA and MP: There’s an old saying that ‘squeaky wheels get the grease’. If you’re comfortable doing so, make an appointment to meet with them, as face-to-face conversations are the most effective way to ensure you’re being listened to. Calling and/or emailing are also great ways to have your voice heard if you prefer a less direct approach, with phone calls statistically more effective than emails (though emails can be effective when done right). We’ve included few good call suggestions at the end of this list.
3. Engage Religiously
There are many types of religions, and almost all have some form of prayer. So stage ‘pray-ins’ about the environment and human unity, and encourage religious leaders to speak about the issue as well in order to help change the world. Remember, religions influence billions of people worldwide.
4. Start And Sign Petitions
If you don’t like interacting with folks with clipboards and a cause on the streets, there’s plenty of other ways to get involved online. One of the most popular is Change.org, where you can start your own petition, or browse currently running petitions available to sign.
5. Vote on Election Day
One of the most powerful tools to change the world available to all of us is the ability to vote. So on election day get the heck off the couch and down to a polling station to vote. It’s not only your right, it’s your responsibility. And now there are several ways to vote in order to accommodate almost everyone, so make NO more excuses. Vote!
6. Donate Money
If you have ‘extra funds’, please send them us! Just kidding. Another great way to help support the cause you’re passionate about is to make a donation. To raise even more money, consider throwing a fundraising house party. There’s all kinds of awesome free party planning toolkits available on the internet to get you started. Parties get people talking, and help to build a sense of pride and community.
7. Make Posters
We’re very visual creatures who lead very busy lives. Graphic imagery and short memorable sayings can have enormous impact on us in subtle, almost unconscious ways. Advertisers knew this a long time ago, and have used it with great success. Posters are ideal method to quickly and anonymously communicate ideas, and can be put all over town at any time of day, allowing you to talk to thousands of people without ever seeing them or saying a word.
Design simple messages that can be clearly and inexpensively photocopied, then put them up on bulletin boards, at bus stops, in colleges and universities, and tape to poles in high traffic areas. The more you posters you put out, the farther your message will go to help change the world. Don’t cover other people’s messages, it makes people angry.
8. Use Traditional Media
Media is a powerful medium for public communication, and can be an effective engine to stimulate discussion. Most types of media provide some way to contribute your thoughts and feedback, such as by accepting press releases about upcoming events, allowing people to post their comments about online articles, publishing letters to editors, and using local media’s community billboards to advertise upcoming events. Some university and community radio stations have talk shows, and may be happy to invite you as a guest. Almost all will at least mention an event or cause.
9. Support Those On The Ground
Do you have friends or loved ones heading out to rallies and protests? Help them by collecting supplies and items necessary for on-the-ground work, like mobile chargers, water, pre-packaged non-perishable snacks, and first aid supplies. Help to make signs and banners, and create, donate, and distribute posters. Send encouragement through social media, and be sure to honk and wave in support of rallies you happen to pass.
10. Educate Yourself
Never take anyone else’s ‘word for it’. Arming yourself with facts is the best defense against false information. Find out what’s really going on, and what can be done about it for yourself. Keep an open mind and stay cautiously optimistic.
11. Unite Causes
Encourage similar causes to work together for greater effect. Combining causes increases the number of people involved, which increases political power and media attention.
12. Exploit Real Estate Opportunities
If you live along a major traffic artery, consider using lawn signs in your yard, or display large banners from your apartment balcony railing. If they’re not permitted permanently, simply display them for short periods of time – such as only on certain days at certain times – to maximize effect.
13. Be Respectful Of People and Property
No matter what you do to support a cause, always respect other people and their property. Remember that you want people to like you, and what you’re doing. If you want to put up a poster, sign or petition in a retail establishment, always ask permission. And beware of professional trouble makers. Government and industrial subversive operatives have been proven to deliberately infiltrate groups to cause division, cast doubt, incite hate, encourage violence, and endorse the destruction of property. They do this to demonize the image of those fighting for causes and to turn the public against them.
14. Acknowledge Your Power
You have the power to start dialogue, therefore you have the responsibility to start dialogue. The most sweeping political change throughout history started with one person talking to another. Never allow yourself to be bullied into silence. You have just as much right as anyone else to heard. And, standing up to bullies seriously shakes their confidence and makes them doubt themselves. Remember that words have laid to waste far more than cannon balls have, and the pen’s forever mightier than the sword. Be a mighty warrior for what you believe, and never doubt that you are enough.
15. Use Social Media
Social media is a very powerful tool anyone can use. Creating social media accounts is fast and easy, and provides an excellent way to make sure that your thoughts and opinions are heard by many.
16. Identify Chat Trolls
All causes are under constant attack by professionals who troll social media just to discredit, spread false news, and ignorantly anger the people who’re doing good. They post imbecilic, moronic, and intentionally aggravating nonsense intended to cast doubt, devalue worth, and demonize patriots. When you spot one, let them know that you’re wise to them, and share their user name with others.
You can also lower trolls’ popularity by being aware that social media’s algorithms automatically bring comments with most engagements (likes and comments) to the top of the comment thread. That means the more you respond to a troll, the more it boosts their visibility. Instead of providing them opportunity, report them and reply only to positive comments in conversation threads in order to keep them at the top.
17. Be A Positive Breath Of Fresh AirNo one wants to feel bad, so gloom and doom approaches about the environment are almost always subconsciously shunned. The best way to be listened to, is by offering hope and extolling the positive efforts being made. Instead of going on about problems, suggest solutions for a better world.
18. Support Marginalized/Sympathetic Owned Businesses
Be aware of who and what businesses support. Boycott those businesses who support what you oppose, and support businesses owned and operated by the people whose values align with yours. Not only will it increase their revenue, you’ll increase their confidence and reinforce their pride about their beliefs. Always keep in mind that in the world of retail, profit, or a lack thereof, is a tremendous influential tool for change.
19. Encourage Like Minded People
We all need to be encouraged, so be sure to ‘like’ and ‘share’ comments made by like minded folks. Your acknowledgement boosts their self-esteem, and letting them know that you feel the same way helps them not to feel alone. So, take just a second to show them that you’re grateful for them speaking out.
20. Use Humor
Never underestimate the power and lasting impact of humor to change the world. It’s been used to topple kingdoms, and is responsible for a great number of political character assassinations. Make up new jokes, and/or revive old jokes by modernizing them using current people and places. Make funny memes and post them all over social media. You’ll be amazed at how many shares and lies you’ll get! Make humorous politically tongue-in-cheek videos and upload them to YouTube, then share the links to them far and wide throughout the digital domain.
This concludes our list of suggestions. We applaud responsible and respectful non-violent activism in all its different forms. The goal is for you to find what method works for you – and most importantly – for you to take action.
In A Nutshell:
- Pick an issue you care about. Write down your main message to stay focused.
- Know that words are powerful, and therefore so are you. Let yourself be heard. Every voice that changed the world did so against opposition. You may not think that one voice matters, but think about this; every choir in the world is made up of individual voices, which when combined with others, creates an auditory force that’s nothing short of beautiful, powerful, and moving.
- Don’t worry about being persuasive, or ‘selling’ your thoughts. Just make your main points clearly, with conviction and passion, void of judgement.
- Make eye contact and be aware of your body language. Words are only one part of our complex communication.
- When contacting politicians and/or public figures by phone or email, you’ll most likely get a staff person. They’re the gateway to the person you want to contact, so be polite, understanding, and grateful for their help. Remember that people find sugar much sweeter than salt.
- Then, after you’ve done ‘something’ about an issue you care about, do some self-care and congratulate the heck out of yourself for being part of the change that you want to see in the world!
- For a more exhaustive list of non-violent ways to patriotically protect your nation, check out 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.
Now, as promised, here’s a few good suggestions for contacting public representatives.
- Whether in person, on the phone or through email, know that you you’ll need to contact their office to communicate with them, so prepare yourself. Creating a script to use is 100% the best way to keep you on track. Use point form and provide only facts, not opinions. List what you’re comfortable talking about, and remember that you’re just contacting them to be heard, not to berate their performance or tell them what they ‘have to do’.
- Before making contact, whether walking through an office door, or by picking up a phone, take a deep breath and rid yourself of doubt and fear.
- Start with a simple introduction such as: Hi my name is _____, and I’m a constituent of ____. State that you’d like the opportunity to speak to your representative about a concern you have. (Have a short precise answer prepared for when they ask what the issue is, and your address info handy to verify that you’re contacting the right person, in the right constituency).
- Expect not to succeed. Most of the time a receptionist will have a ‘canned’ response, such as stating that the person is unavailable, but they’ll be happy to ‘pass on your concern’ (likely right to the garbage can). Decline politely, and ask when the person will be available (NOT if!), and try to make an appointment. If that’s not possible, respectfully state that you’ll be in touch using other means of communication. NEVER lie or impersonate someone in order to get through! If you’re lucky enough to actually be put through to see or speak to them, be polite and respectful of time and person, saying want you want to say in the fewest possible words, ultimately asking them to champion your cause.
- If they don’t respond in the way you wanted them to, don’t get flustered. Respectfully thank them for the opportunity to be heard, and for listening to your concern. Politely say goodbye and then begin planning your next contact with them.
- When done, take another deep breath and congratulate yourself. Whether you accomplished what you wanted to or not, you most certainly did do something, and deserve applause for doing so!!!