So you’re an introvert in Trumplandia. You cry on your morning drive to work. You lash out at your boyfriend for not having a vagina. You research New Zealand and plot ways to leave the country.
On a random Tuesday night, you sit at a brewery with your activist friends discussing your preference for Belgium Wits and your fear of an impending apocalypse. You say things like “fuck hope,” and, after your third pint, drunkenly site George Carlin as a hero for not voting in any election. You don’t mean any of it. You’re an angry, nasty woman who also happens to be an introvert when sober. You feel, in the pit of your beer-filled gut, that you have no outlet. And because the word “activist” makes you think of people marching down crowded streets (with, you know, other people), you begin to feel isolated. You don’t own a megaphone, or the courage to join the battlefield. True, it may take you a minute longer than most to crawl out from inside your cave. But you’re here now. That’s what matters.
If you’re an introvert and want to help make a change, read on.
Here are 5 ways to be an activist in (near) solitude:
Write. Your pen is your weapon. You don’t need a megaphone to have your voice heard; the written word has long been a vehicle for activists to inspire change. Summon your inner Jose Martí and put that pen to good use.
Get Informed. We live in the digital age. You don’t have to attend government meetings to understand where elected representatives stand on issues that matter to you. You have Google. Research the fuck out of your state representatives. Subscribe to sites like BillTrack50 and never miss a bill or regulation. Research what's happening in Congress and in your state’s legislature, set up alerts to be notified when new bills are introduced and regulations are proposed. Know what’s happening and how you can affect it. Then do your part. There’s no excuse for not participating when you can do so from your living room, er, cave.
Support Organizations that matter to you. Whether it’s the UCLA, Planned Parenthood, The Sierra Club, or whatever organization aligns with your ideals—reach out, volunteer, donate, participate. These folks are on the front lines and need our support. It takes dedication to serve our community. Make a commitment to give in whatever way you can.
Create. It may seem like an indirect form of activism, but art, in all forms, is a powerful way to reflect upon injustice while helping to create much needed dialogue. Art has the power to bring people together.
Grab a Drink with someone. Don’t shut people out just because they don’t share your views. We all get excited when we feel passionately about something. But it's important to find common ground where possible. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you engage with people who speak offensively or derogatory towards you. Some people are assholes. But most are not. And taking the time to listen and engage in meaningful dialogue is something we could all practice more. We need to find ways to come together.
Introverts unite (separately)!