Monday, December 01, 2008


I'm an activist. I don't mean that I attend rallies or ask people to sign petitions, I mean that I work constantly to bring about positive change and to educate others with improved ways of seeing things. I'm a cultural change agent.

I come from a long line of activists. My great-grandfather, for instance, was a missionary to China. My father is one of the founders of the sustainability movement. I'm a homeschooler, vegetarian, Mac user, etc. During the 80s I participated in citizen diplomacy with our then enemies the Soviet Union. Nowadays I live in a new urbanist neighborhood, ride the bus (when most of my country still drives), and work for Live Labs, one of the freaky activist wings of Microsoft. Activism is such a part of my life I often don't even recognize it. Still, I've been thinking about it lately and what it means.

People frequently react badly to activists -- like we are trying to destroy their world -- yet we play an important role in society's immune system. We see a big change coming down the line that most people aren't tuned into yet, and we become voices for the change. In that way we're like a vaccine, like a little dose of something that might otherwise kill you at full strength. It's only natural that people would react badly to this shock to the system, but they should be glad we're giving them this chance to build up their immunity, to adjust to the change, before the big one comes rolling through.



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