This past weekend, something happened on American soil that (rightfully) caused an uproar throughout the nation: hundreds of white supremacists descended on the University of Virginia, hoisting torches and yelling slogans such as “white lives matter.”
Because of this, many Americans – from celebrities to young kids – took to social media to condemn the act. Now, I’m not here to tell you who said what, or even give you more details as to what happened in Charlottesville. If you watched any of the news, or scrolled through any social media in the last few days (which is essentially all of us), you should already know more or less of what happened. Instead, I’m here to challenge you. In this national crisis as well as smaller, and even your personal crises, I’m challenging you to do the following:
Don’t just talk about it. Do something.
We live in the age of social media, and with that, everybody has the ability to speak their mind and broadcast their opinions. There’s nothing wrong with this (as a matter of fact, it’s a wonderful thing), but there is something wrong when all we do is talk. For example, the actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville were and are flat out wrong, racist, and even pure evil. If Twitter is any indication, I am not the only one who believes this. In fact, millions of users worldwide voiced their raw opinions about the situation, even condemning it, on Twitter and other social platforms. But what did this really accomplish?
In my opinion, it did nothing. It brought more attention to the vile situation, but it did nothing to disseminate it. In all actuality, it just showed that the actions of the white supremacists are looked down upon, and even condemned by many/most Americans, and our nation as a whole. But didn’t we already know that? Sure, reminders are always great, but did millions of people talking about the situation do anything to stop it?
If you ask me, the answer is no. Now those who went out and marched, protesting against the white supremacists, they did something. A white woman – Heather Heyer – even died because she did something. But these counter-protestors, though violence broke out, are the ones who truly stood up for what they believed in, despite the physical and mental opposition. The people who only tweeted about the situation did almost nothing.
Words are of vital importance, and people should use theirs wisely. But what’s even more important than words is action. We need to be doers, not simply talkers and listeners.
And I’m not just talking about in Charlottesville.
With our own personal goals and dreams, when striving to achieve a company goal, and with most everything else, simply talking (and listening) isn’t going to do anything. For it is only through action that goals can become achievements.
To check yourself and verify that you’re truly acting positively, and not just speaking about it, ask yourself this: if everyone else in my nation/workplace/school/etc. worked as hard towards _____ as I do, would we be better or worse off?
If the answer is “yes,” then great! Keep doing what you’re doing. But if your answer is anything else…it’s time to do more than talking. It’s time to start doing.
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