Dictionary.com states: “verb to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly. Noun a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc; a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor”.
Initially I thought that labeling myself as an advocate created too much pressure. This pressure didn’t stem from other people, but pressure from myself. Within this pressure, I was not sure if I was willing to withstand the backlash for standing up for the rights of others. I was not sure if I was willing to be consistent when I didn’t “feel” like it due to my own life stressors or the inherent stress that comes with advocacy. I was not sure if I wanted the daunting task of heartache and heart break that arises after fighting against systems.
See, I do not want to just advocate for a particular person or one situation. My call is to advocate for change for criminal justice system. There’s implicit fear that surges through ones body when advocating for themselves, imagine the anxiety provoking thoughts, when one has a desire to speak out on causes bigger than themselves.
I have watched vloggers/bloggers, social media influencers, politicians, activist, and others discuss their frustrations and pain when advocating for their own particular causes. I was not sure if I wanted to take on the weight of any particular cause, especially the cause that makes my heart ache.
I ask myself a series of questions all the time: Can you influence any real change? Will anyone listen? Will your age get in the way?
Then I was reminded by a dear friend that most of social movements in our countys history were driven by young adults. The civil rights movement. The womens suffrage movement. The LGBT movement. There are so many people who have already paved the way. My goals are to continue the work they have started and build upon it.
So, I guess I am an advocate and I am ok with the title. Although, titles do not mean much to me, but I’m willing to stand up for others. I’m willing to be exhausted, passionate, and energized by this work.
Do you consider yourself an advocate? Why or why not? Also, what cause is important to you? Comment below.
Call to Action:
Do something this week that helps the cause you believe. (Donating, volunteering, letter writing, social media posting, etc.)