The rewards of being an engaged citizen are great. You make friends. You meet people who share your values. You get to feel you are doing something about what you are worried about in the world. Here are some tips on how to become an engaged citizen, whatever your area of concern, from my coming book How to Be Alive:
There are so many ways to be an engaged citizen, and like so much else in this book, doing so is a process. Let yourself make mistakes. Let yourself feel like you don’t know what you are doing. The feeling of mastery will come. Here are some questions you might ask yourself in order to find your own path to engaged citizenship:
What is the gift that you want to give your community, town, state, or country? How can you make people happy the way you are or want to be happy? How can you help them avoid sadness the way you avoid or want to avoid sadness?
What is the path you can follow to give that gift? Is there a volunteer opportunity? Is there an organization you can find on Google that works in the area you are passionate about? Are there mailing lists you can join that will tell you when people are organizing actions?
Who else cares about what you care about? If you can’t find an organization working on your issue or you don’t know how to find one, bring together a small group of friends who you think will share your concern. Tell them: I want to fix this problem in our local/national/world community. Ask them: Please, will you help me figure out how?