Audience Participation

Demonstration against education cuts by Jan Slangen (CC BY-NC-SA)

Demonstration against education cuts by Jan Slangen (CC BY-NC-SA)

Do more than belong: participate.
―William Arthur Ward
We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate. ―Thomas Jefferson
Participation―that’s what’s gonna save the human race. ―Pete Seeger
We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts . . . can transform the world. ―Howard Zinn

Help create the world in which you want to live. Start anytime, anywhere. Add something small to start―you don’t need a lot of time, energy, or money to make this a better place. The world eagerly awaits your participation.



Sure, everyone uses wikipedia, but did you know it’s a collaborative project? Write or edit an entry for one of your areas of expertise. Personal grooming in the 16th century? The future of AI pets? How to prepare an artichoke? Everyday slang? Share your unique knowledge. Whatever it is, Wikipedia has or needs an entry about it. Don’t forget about local adult education courses, which are always looking for people to share their passions with others.



Make room for breathing, thinking, and dancing—clean out your closets and drawers, removing everything you don’t love, use, or need. If it’s broken, fix or replace it. If it’s not exactly what you want, change or replace it. Donate usable items to your favorite local cause or charity thrift store.



Your life is a story. Share it with friends, neighbors, or interested strangers by talking, writing, crafting, performing, cooking, teaching, playing, building . . . any way you wish! Your unique experience can change others’ lives in unexpected ways and no one but you can tell your story.



Absorb the diverse life and stimuli around you. What connections do you notice? How can you integrate two or more things that seem totally unrelated?



Whether or not it takes a village to raise a child, every community influences its most impressionable members for better or worse. Positively influence someone by deliberately modeling behavior you feel good about. Engaging a person in thoughtful conversation can change the trajectory of their entire life.



Which is up to you and different in every situation, of course. Still, the next time you see or hear something you think is harmful or could be improved—prejudicial joke, indication of abuse, neighborhood watch, lack of high school art classes, poorly equipped dog park—speak up. Act up. Be the change you wish to see in the world.


How do you participate?


What do you think?