Save Darfur. Live Green. Go Vegetarian. No More Sweatshops.
These sentiments advising us on how to live our lives are everywhere – on bumper stickers, billboards, T-shirts. I cannot understand it. I would much prefer a bumper sticker proclaiming a different statement – Actions Speak Louder Than Words.
I used to think that awareness was the most important step I could take. Alerting people to the issues that concern us all is a valiant goal, but knowledge without action is worthless. I feel like every time I log into Facebook, I have an invitation to a group entitled “Stop Global Warming”, as though my clicking “join group” will abruptly halt the greenhouse effect. If only life were that easy. No matter how many “Save the Whales” bracelets I buy, the whales are still going to be endangered. Joining a “Stop the War in Iraq” webgroup is not going to solve the political unrest the country is facing.
Believing in a cause is simply not enough. Supporting peace and prosperity without working for it will not accomplish anything. One of my strongest beliefs is that action is much more important and necessary than just showing support for an issue Changing the world for the better is going to take more than a keychain or a magnet proclaiming the need for aid to Tibet. It is going to take time, effort, and money – things that many people are not willing to sacrifice. However, revolution is not about complaining. It is about action, not words. It is about sacrifice. Not much sacrifice is involved in, say, holding a candlelight vigil for the victims of the recent earthquake in China. Once the participants have gone home and the candles have been extinguished, the haze of violence and injustice will still linger. Sacrifice and action, as well as belief, is what it is going to take to bring this world into the light.