On Earth Day, I volunteered at a booth at Santa Monica College. Our booth's mission was and is to save America's wolves. We were collecting signatures to send to the Federal Government in an effort to keep our grey wolves on the Endangered Species List.
Someone, who I told about Earth Day efforts, joked that I was now an "activist." I laughed at first, because I have an image of what "activists"are: People in the ocean crippling whaling boats or chaining themselves to trees. That was not me. Not by a long shot.
But I thought more on the word "activist" as I am wont to do on many words these days.
The definition of activist is "a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change."
But who defines political or social change? Is the older man, with a hurt back ,who bends over to pick up garbage off the street an activist? I think so. Is he any more or less of an activist then someone who pickets in the street for a cause? I don't know. I don't think I get to decide that.
In a world of "Ubiquitous Relativity" each of us gets to decide if we are "activists" and, if we are, what we are "actively" trying to change.
I do not believe one person's definition of activism is any more wrong or right then the way the other 7.5 Billion people on the planet define it.
Most importantly, if I lie in front of traffic for a cause, I don't get to claim to be more of an activist than the person who sorts their recycling at home. If I do believe that, then that comparison only applies in "my" universe and not "the" universe.