You do not have to be a professional organizer to help mobilize your community. You do not have to be a politician to help design the future. You do not have to be an anarchist to shake things up. You do not have to be a social worker to lend a hand.
Everyone has a role in the struggle.
Contemporary movements want to tell us that we need to change what we are doing. Go canvass for a politician, go speak at a city council meeting, go write a letter to your senator. Not only does this reinforce the myth that changing society is achieved by petitioning traditional power structures, it separates the behaviors that change society from our regular activities.
Being naturally inclined toward community organizing, I initially did not stop to question this mentality. I assumed this was the way of things so automatically I did not realize I was making an assumption, for I could not conceive that social change would be effected by anything other than a change in our behaviors. But then I asked myself, what role is there for people who possess a different skill set? What of the accountant, the bus driver, the baker? Must they develop a new skill set to be welcome among progressives and dissidents? Must their contribution to a better society be completely disconnected from the focus of their day-to-day energy?
It became clear to me that this is an incredibly elitist mindset. Social change must not be predicated on changing other people. If we Circumvent traditional power structures and create local structures that directly connect resources with needs, then we are focusing not so much on what we are doing, but on how we are doing it. This emphasis allows people to pursue their own goals, aided by their unique natural talents, while still renegotiating power and improving society. This is an inclusive strategy that helps us avoid sabotaging our own struggle with elitism and exclusivity.