How Do Activists Describe the Cause Closest to Their Heart?

Activists need to focus their passion to be effective. So, when I’m talking with someone about social change, I often ask them about the cause closest to their heart.

I can hear the devotion in their voice when they describe their cause. Sometimes I dig a little deeper and get to listen to their stories. This conversation is enlightening; these activists share their hearts and educate me about something that needs to be changed and how they make the world a better place.

Why You Should on the Cause Closest to Your Heart

Being an activist means you are one part of an overall movement. When you accept that you cannot change everything, you better understand that the success of a movement is made up of many people using many skills in many different ways.

People who care tend to care about many issues. If they’re concerned about one issue, they probably care about homelessness, feminism, addiction, racism, the environment…and well, there may not be a period at the end of that list.

There are many opportunities to serve and ways that bring you joy. But the downside of caring is that you can get pulled in too many directions. Before you start in activism, take time to find a clear focus. Focusing on your passion has many advantages.

  1. Better impact for your loved ones and community. Activists who specialize tend to be more effective.
  2. Live your values. With reflection before action, you’ll likely find the place in activism that best fits your values.
  3. Joyful activism. Activism can be challenging, but it should still be motivating. And joyful.
  4. Deep engagement. Avoid being an activist dropout.
  5. Depth rather than breadth. With focus, you can become more of an expert. Activism becomes a manageable part of your life. For busy people, that means activism while still being a partner, parent, and employee.

What is the Cause Closest To Your Heart?

Perhaps you are about to take your first step on the Activism Path, a path that will lead you to your perfect activism opportunity. How do you find the cause closest to your heart?

First, explore how to create a vision of your ideal life that will guide you toward your deepest passions. Then, learn more about causes and find what resonates with you.

Check out my page How To Find The Cause Closest to Your Heart for details.

For example, you may wish to eradicate mental health stigma. That’s a worthy goal. But it’s also immensely challenging for one person, especially one that’s not a full-time activist. So instead, focus on your community. Where is stigma the worst? Who do you want to protect? A more focused goal might be to eradicate stigma in your place of business.

How Do Activists Describe the Cause Closest to Their Heart?

Here are real-life examples of mental health activists describing the cause closest to their hearts.

Focus on Issues

In the first group, the activists focused on a particular mental health issue, such as stigma or lack of resources.

Understanding and respect for mental illness in rural communities is very poor. I hope one day to help advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves.

Mental health is just not taken seriously in all places; this leads to people being under-represented, under-realized, and unseen.

There is still a lot of stigma in the community, so that is something I am passionate about breaking!

Until every member of our society understands mental health, I have work to do! I want a community where mental health issues are understood, and those struggling with mental health concerns are cared for with empathy instead of being stigmatized. I believe this will afford opportunities for health, both physical and mental, for all society members.

Focus on People

The second group chose mental health as their passion and focused on groups impacted by mental illness. For example, that may be children, women, or veterans.

Being part of something, recognizing that you matter, and can positively impact others is essential to good mental health. I did not realize that small positive acts could potentially impact so many lives; this is an important realization and is a direct illustration of how crucial everyone’s role is concerning social change.

I focus specifically on housing supports and housing stability. I run a program that is specific to adults with mental illness.

Today, the law enforcement community faces significant challenges in dealing with mentally ill individuals. Several highly publicized police shootings have involved individuals who have a mental illness. Police officers are not trained to recognize individuals who have a mental illness. There is a need for more training and policies related to these types of police and citizen interactions.

I have worked with active duty and veterans and their families and this group has a unique set of challenges and needs that currently are underserved and often misunderstood. Working with civilian providers and the larger civilian mental health community to close the gap between the civilian and military populations is incredibly important to me.

Provide resources for homeless women suffering from economic challenges and drug addiction and domestic abuse survivors.

The cause that is closest to my heart would be supporting trans-inclusive organizations/businesses/movements. My child is a transgender woman. Therefore, it is important for me to support platforms and movements that ensure/promote transgender rights and inclusion, such as with physical and mental healthcare.

When I see someone begin to heal, it energizes me and creates even more motivation. When one person experiences a shift in their perspective on mental health, it is a small but positive achievement. To see a paradigm shift in a major corporation is like witnessing a miracle.

Your Passion

I hope these activist reflections inspired you.

What is the cause closest to your heart? I’d love to hear from you.

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Terri Lyon

Terri Lyon

The Activist For Activists. Author. Teacher. Psychologist. Animal Lover.