Social change needs to be fun

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Walking to a cafe the other day, I saw a poster for a community budget hearing, and thought to myself, That is exactly the kind of thing I should be excited about! But I really wasn’t excited. When I think about sitting through a meeting like that, I imagine being very bored and having very few opportunities to speak up.

Maybe this is my problem. Maybe changing the world requires adapting to lengthy, boring meetings where people tip-toe around the issues. Maybe progress is mostly a product of patience.

But I don’t think so. I don’t think changing society requires us to change people. People are working just fine: they’re responding to the costs and benefits in their environment. A community budget hearing costs hours of a person’s life and offers no tangible, observable benefit. The average person walking past the same poster I saw is going to quickly decide it’s a waste of time.

And it’s precisely average people that are going to propel any durable social change. The task ahead of us is not to figure out how to push everyone we know into what we consider to be the best tactics, it’s to create tactics that have natural appeal to everyone we know. In other words: social change needs to be fun.

Can you imagine if activism didn’t feel like a chore?

SorenSocial change needs to be fun

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