Image for Gentle activism: five small but radical ways to improve the world now

Gentle activism: five small but radical ways to improve the world now

Activism doesn’t always require placards and megaphones. Here are five small but significant things you can do in your community

Activism doesn’t always require placards and megaphones. Here are five small but significant things you can do in your community

1. Find the joy

Simply put, joy is a radical act because it creates unity between people. “Recognise that pleasure is a measure of freedom,” writes Adrienne Maree Brown in her bestselling book Pleasure Activism. Brown argues that what all activists are striving for – freedom, equality and justice – are in fact joyful states, and so pleasure is a powerful tool in helping us achieve them. 

Image: Ivana Cajina

2. Fix something

A needle and thread are all you need to take a stand against throwaway culture. Upcycle your ripped jeans with some beautifully imperfect stitches. Use some Sugru mouldable glue to repair a broken USB charger or a hole in your wellies. Or take your broken toaster to a Repair Cafe. You’ll meet a neighbour and get expert help to fix anything from bicycles to electrical appliances, for free. 

Image: John Anvik

3. Switch off

The digital world is engineered to keep us glued to the bad news cycle. Living well is not achieved by scrolling. Here’s how to curb your phone use: declare a screen-free bedroom. Detox your devices and turn off notifications across all apps. Get a real alarm clock, watch, calendar and notebook. And make a list of all the things you’d rather be doing (ours includes growing tomatoes and finally finishing reading that book). 

Image: Tina Dawson

4. Take a nap

The growing ‘rest is resistance’ movement, spearheaded by Tricia Hersey of the Nap Ministry, invites you to slow down this summer, to de-programme yourself from the belief that you should be doing more, that we have to be productive every single moment of our lives. Connect with the beauty of being human. Lie down in the sunshine. See your friends. Care for yourself and others, and rest.


Image: Tania Mousinho

5. Become a RAKtivist

Short for ‘Random Acts of Kindness activist’, this global kindness community is on a mission to make the world a nicer place with spontaneous ‘acts of senseless beauty’. There are currently 43,209 signed up RAKtivists in 89 countries. Join them in reminding people how much love there is in the world and inspiring others to pay it forward.

Image: AA
Main image: Filip Urban

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