What motivates you? Is it a goal you set yourself and refuse to give up on? Is it the feeling you get when you accomplish something? Or maybe it’s the people you surround yourself with. Whatever it is that keeps you going, motivation is an integral part of being an activist.
Whether you are new or a seasoned pro at fighting plastics or climate change, you probably know how mentally exhausting it can be to keep that fight going. Current events and the grind of making a positive change can weigh heavily on you and make it hard to keep going. So what keeps you fighting?
On our social media, I asked this very question to my followers. This is what you said:
- “Kids keep me motivated. We have to fix this for our future generations.” ~@sustainablehaus
- “Jane Fonda and others have said ACTION is the antidote to despair so I act - protest, read, find good trouble, LTE, donate, build art, vote, learn, teach, get arrested if it doesn’t endanger you. AND you absolutely must find your community!” ~ @ChristinaFetch
- “That’s easy… Many times over the past 5 years there have been many times I have felt like my efforts were futile. I get inspiration in many ways that helps me to focus on the greater cause… I find great inspiration from my fellow environmental stewards, seeing their efforts amazes me and gives me hope. Then there’s the wildlife. I think how much our efforts make a difference in their lives… And lastly, and most importantly, I think about the future for my granddaughter…” ~@rlmatsch59
- “I’m not actually sure what I do to keep motivated but I do know it’s a calling and I have a burning passion inside to #bethechange. I’m inspired by all the other #litterheroes especially people like Jason at @rubbishwalks.” ~ @litterpickingvegan
- “My son! I always taught him to clean up at the parks we visit. Now he cleans up more than me and makes me feel like I am not doing enough. And just like that he pushes me to be better. #SonShine.” @paddleforthelow
- “We just can’t not pick up trash if that makes sense. I can’t walk by and leave it there so I pick it up. It’s ingrained in us now after almost 4 years of working together every week. Nature is our happy place and we always feel great after a morning of clean up & nature play. We’ve also learned that tomorrow’s another day and not to stress if we can’t get to it all. We have a fantastic litter picking community here who focus on our forest & river and we are constantly inspired by their posts & join their cleanups as often as we can. It takes a village and we’re proud to be a little part of it here in AZ.” ~ @littercrittersaz
- “I look to others who are doing good for our planet! If they can do it so can I!” ~ @traashboyyy
- “Motivation to help fight the #climatecrisis is abundant with the world being hit by one climate catastrophe after another. Frustration is equally abundant. When stymied by climate inaction, I go for a #TrashWalk, picking up litter in GG Park & the neighborhood.” ~ @DaveRhody
Well, if you ask me, those are some damn good motivators! For me, I find motivation in knowing my son will grow up in this world and be affected by its climate and litter crisis more than I will. All of you also motivate me! Through social media we have such an amazing community of activists that uplift each other every single day. And when I’m really burnt out, I pick a new documentary to squash inaction and ignite meaningful action!
Thank you to everyone who reached out and helped answer our motivation question! If you haven’t done so already, tell us in the comments below - What keeps you motivated?