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A Second Wind of Activism: Will You Rise to Change the Course of History?

A Second Wind of Activism: Will You Rise to Change the Course of History?

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By Dr. Marie Gould Harper
Program Director, Management at American Public University

During the last quarter of 2017, former Vice President Joe Biden was a guest on the Stephen Colbert Show. One of the purposes was to promote his book, Promise Me, Dad, which touches on his relationship with his deceased son Beau. One of the promises he wants to keep is “to keep on living” and actively engage in new pursuits.

Their conversation later turned to whether Biden would run for president in 2020. He did not respond in the definitive; instead, he spoke of another possibility he’d like to see.

He called on those who are not satisfied with the status quo to “rise and make a difference.” Biden said that he could see promising individuals being riled up who will hopefully become the future leaders in government.

I get what Biden was saying. There are instances when we cling to what we know. We expect past successes to launch us into a brighter future. However, there comes a time when we must allow those who have led us to go off in new directions. When that occurs, a new generation needs to rise and take their place.

Younger Generations: Now Is Your Time to Become Activists and Make a Difference

I’m making an open appeal to the younger generations: It’s your time. If you are unhappy with the way things are happening in this country and believe there are things we didn’t get right, this is your season. Rise and take your rightful place! Utilize your time by making a difference in your community or at your work.

Life can be a maze at times. There will be seasons when we are content with what is occurring in our lives. However, every so often, a disruptor – perhaps in the guise of a disgruntled employee who turns a gun on his colleagues or an ISIS terrorist who drives his van into a crowd of people – comes along and knocks the wind out of us. Instead of staying down, we must get up, dust ourselves off and figure out how we can change the tides.

What Does Activism and ‘Changing The Tides’ Mean to You?

Merriam-Webster defines activism as “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct, vigorous action primarily in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.” We saw that last August when a planned neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia, was met by protesters rallying against that racist ideology. If we want to change our lives and make a difference, we have to be willing to get involved by taking a stand with others of similar viewpoints.

Collectively, our activism efforts can influence what happens in our personal and professional lives. We cannot afford to wait (and stand on the sidelines) for someone else to take up our causes. If you want something different, you have to do things differently.

Start a management degree at American Public University.

About the Author

Dr. Marie Gould Harper is the Program Director of Management at American Public University. She holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Wellesley College, a master’s degree in instructional systems from Pennsylvania State University and a doctorate in business from Capella University. She is a progressive coach, facilitator, writer, strategist and human resources/organizational development professional with more than 30 years of leadership, project management, and administrative experience. Dr. Gould Harper has worked in both corporate and academic environments.

Dr. Gould Harper is an innovative thinker and strong leader, manifesting people skills, a methodical approach to problems, organizational vision and ability to inspire followers. She is committed to continuous improvement in organizational effectiveness and human capital development, customer service and the development of future leaders.

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