Looking for a New Years resolution?


Looking for a New years resolution?

What does it mean to be an activist? I know that if you are passionate about something, you’re most likely already looked upon with some sort of predistortion or judgment that, well, kind of makes you feel bad for doing it.

Why is that the case? Let’s break it down.

Activism, or the act of acting passionately toward an idea or concept or even objects, has been around for quite some time. The mere fact we have a term for this passionate emotive conviction is a testament to the fact there seems to be some sort of under-current of normality in society we must all bow down to. This isn’t inherently a bad thing. Societies are built on the backbone of consistency, tradition and solidarity, but combine the act of acting passionately with a topic of contention in a society that is taught what to believe, and you are breeding this sort of indulgent cloud of self-aware anxiety.

I started writing this with the intent of resonation within the scientific community but then realised, this stems much farther than just the environmental sciences. It takes a better mind than mine to articulate such intricacies and rebuke such biases to judge which activists are more important than others but for now I want to just relish in my marine biological bias.

Our ocean. Put simply: ineffable. Put technically: Important. So. God. Damn. Important.

And for the life of me I’ll never be able to understand why some people choose to ignore this, but I was taught to accept that. I never understood how some people choose to ignore a lot of things, but I accepted those too. It is all too often that I have run into brick walls in the environmental industry with the attitude of, “our hands are tied, we can’t do anything about it”. You’re right buddy, we can’t do anything about it.. at least NOT WITH THAT ATTITUDE!

You accept and accept and accept until, you find yourself making excuses for the repugnant behaviour of others because, “that’s just him” or “she was born in a different time”.

But how tolerant must I be of this intolerance? If you’re an activist, probably not much but If you’ve delved into philosophy at all you’ll know this as the tolerance paradox that has a plethora of answers, but my answer: not at all. Does that mean I’m an activist? I hope so.

It’s once you start accepting the reasons people do stupid things in today’s era that you start building this tolerance to ignorance that should not go undetected. Whether you want to say anything or not is up to you but damn, let it fuel your passion to want to change it. Just remember- it is NOT that particular individuals’ fault. This may sound contradictory to what I’ve been saying, yes, but once you realise that most of us are just 98% manifestations of our influences and 2% pure creative magic, you can understand why people do what they do. You can understand nearly everyone can have those ratios shifted with the right support but you can also realise that 2% simply just doesn’t exist in some people. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum you can see that some people have been beautifully influenced into dedicating 100% of themselves to the creative magic they know is inside them.

Lead by example, create a life worth living in an ethical way that people admire and realise the necessities that aren’t actually necessary. Point out ideas, words or actions that hurt, offend or kill your fellow living friends on this planet. You’re allowed to not like things, you’re allowed to not be accepting. Be an activist for yourself.

By changing YOUR world, you can change THE world.

Written by Justin Tierney

Marine scientist and adventure junkie