I’ve just finished watching the last episode of Mrs. America. It’s about the women’s liberation movement of the 70’s and the fight to pass the Equal Rights Amendment across the USA. (This weekend I’m following it up with Brazen Hussies, about the Australian women’s movement of the same era.)
What I loved most about Mrs. America was the passion and commitment of the feminists behind the movement. Despite political blockades at every corner, misogynistic politicians and the STOP ERA movement, they kept going and they kept fighting for their own rights and the rights of women everywhere. Their activism infused their lives and informed their daily actions. They were fuelled by their mission and they were fuelled by each other. They stood for something. And they were prepared to fall for it.
Because of them, we are here now, and we are still fighting for equal rights.
Although I’m a staunch feminist, this post is not about feminism. It’s more about activism. An activist is defined as someone who campaigns to bring about political or social change. To me, it also means that we actively shift towards a way of living that is in accordance with our desire for that political or social change. For example, the feminists in Mrs. America didn’t just campaign for equal rights, they lived in a way that assumed and demonstrated equal rights in their homes and at work.
Another example is climate-change. We can march and campaign for climate-change action, but we must also refuse to buy water in plastic bottles, buy fast fashion, use coal-generated electricity or drive the car when we could walk. We join a community of others who are on the same mission, yet we individually make conscious choices to change our small daily actions in alignment with our big planetary vision.
This is the also the very thing that challenges me most about being an activist. When I realise at times, that I have acted out of alignment with my mission, I can feel like a hypocrite. I put myself under constant scrutiny and it opens me up to criticism from others who witness me not always ‘doing the right thing’. This is the very real human dilemma of being, and declaring oneself, an activist. I believe however, that we have no choice but to own our activism, to be like the feminists in Mrs. America. It’s essential if we are going to make real change in the world.
After completing the Building a Wellbeing Economy course this week, I can think of more than 10 big ideas that have piqued my activist nature. I know I can’t possibly become an activist for them all so I’m going to have to be selective and devote myself to one or two causes. There are two specific causes making a home for themselves inside my heart and mind right now. Perhaps they’ll infuse my life and daily actions just like the women in Mrs. America?
This is my final post for the year. Sorry, if you were expecting the usual end-of-year “Happy Festive Season”. I do wish you and your loved ones a joyous time of rest and rejuvenation after the weird old year of 2020. I’ll leave you with this old saying. “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” What do you stand for? How will you own your activism in 2021? I’d love to know.
Thank you for joining me and reading my stories throughout 2020. I don’t take your support for granted and I hope you glean a little pearl of wisdom from my musings. If you know of anyone that might need to read my words, please suggest they subscribe.
As a thank you for following me this year, I’m offering The Purpose Project Course for just $97 (RRP $297) today. Use the coupon code ‘Purpose2020’. It’s the perfect time to reflect on your purpose at the end of 2020 and as we head into 2021.
As always, if I can be of service reach out. I’m here. I care.
About me: I’m a Purpose Educator and author of The Purpose Project. I help leaders attract and retain the best people by harnessing the power of deep purpose and storytelling. I do this through keynote speaking, a customised consultative process for co-creating a new purpose statement, the purpose storytelling course and The Purpose Project Course, a 7-step online course to help employees bring their own why to work.