It is easy to care in our society. As a matter of fact, I think it is too easy to care. We have even come up with a term that describes how easy it is to care. Slacktivism. What exactly does slacktivism look like? Here are some examples:
Text "Help" to 55555 to donate $10 to the Red Cross to help victims of the flooding. Buy a pair of shoes and we will send a pair of shoes to a third world country! Like our Facebook page and help us save animals from being euthanized!
Slacktivism is the combination of two words, "slacker" and "activism". It is the idea that you can support an organization, be a voice for a cause, or help people without ever getting off of your couch. Please don't misunderstand me. I think giving shoes to kids who desperately need them, giving money to charities, or supporting organizations through social media are good things. I just think that, sometimes, this type of activism is detrimental to us (or your student) and the organizations we are "helping".
How can we combat slacktivism in ourselves and in the lives of our students?
DO SOMETHING Going beyond slacktivism means sacrificing time and putting forth effort to make an impact. You cannot provide meals for every one of the estimated 600,000 homeless in the United States, but you can provide one. If there is a cause you are already passionate about, figure out a way you can practically help. If you're not passionate about something, pray that God would lead you and develop that desire in you.
TRY TO CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE It is easy to donate some money or like a page and never give that cause a second thought. Going beyond slacktivism means trying to empathize and understand what needs to be done. It also means taking a long-term approach towards the solution.
We want to help your family go beyond slacktivism. Our church partners with two local organizations, Rose of Sharon and the Victor Valley Rescue Mission. Maybe you could get involved there. This summer, HDC Student Ministries is taking a mission trip to San Francisco to work with the poor and marginalized. We will be working with a local organization to reach out to people that are often ignored and unloved. We will be there from July 14 to July 19. Perhaps your student could go on that trip. There are plenty of ways to be an activist and not be a slacker. It just means you have to get off the couch.