STEP 2: EDUCATE YOURSELF

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Regardless of the passion that you choose, educating yourself about that passion has to be your next step. This is an imperative step in the process. Educating yourself about an issue has many benefits. For one, educating yourself makes you able to see more and more ways in which to help the issue you are focusing on. Additionally, educating yourself will make other people take you seriously and you will have more of a platform on which to raise awareness, funds, etc. Lastly, educating yourself will make you take positive action. Positive action is action that does what you want it to do. The opposite, negative action, makes the issue you are focusing on not change at all or change for the worst.

A woman participating in Amnesty’s Write for Rights Event

Amnesty International is one of the largest human rights organizations on the planet. One of the largest things that they do is mobilize tens of thousands of people to write letters to officials on behalf of victims of human rights abuses. However, they do not encourage individuals to write except when asked to and in a very specific time frame. This is not because they are power-hungry or want to keep people from expressing their views, it is because they have thorough knowledge of each case its members write about. If the letter-writers do not have knowledge about a specific case and Amnesty does not direct them to write, the case may have changed and a letter to an official will either not do anything or do something that hurts the victims of the human rights abuse. This illustrates how important it is to be educated in order to facilitate positive action.

Educating yourself about your passion will only increase your passion. When I found out that slavery still exists, I was horrified. But, when I did research and found out that 13 billion dollars is being pocketed by slave owners, traffickers, and other people facilitating the slave trade, I was livid. The same goes for Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity: Water. He left for a trip on Mercy Ships knowing he wanted to do something, he had no idea that he would focus on water. When he encountered the need, however, it increased his passion and he was able to acquire more knowledge to facilitate his action.

You also need to know about the issue you are focusing on in order to speak to other people about it. As you will see in the

A Campaign tool used by Scott Harrison and Charity: Water

next step, you can’t do it alone. Educating yourself about an issue will mean that you can raise awareness about that issue, and when others see how passionate you are about something and how much you know, that passion becomes contagious.

There are many ways to educate yourself about your passion. To begin, find biblical references that imply that what you are fighting for goes along with God’s will. This will not only confirm in your heart and mind that this is the right thing to do, but it will show the Christian community that as well.

Next, do research on Charity Navigator, look for statistics, reputable websites, books, and whatever you can find about your passion. The more that you know, the more you can change

Harrison educated himself through first-hand experience. After research and reading, this is a great way to find out more about an issue. With a reputable organization, try to volunteer a couple of days or go on a mission trip just to get an idea about certain work. Obviously, this will not always be practical. However, if you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend it.

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