- Being compassionate is a skill. In leadership, try not to get stuck on any one style of leadership but rely on integrity and compassion – for yourself, as well as others, and lead without being controlling.
- Having the strength to ask, "Why not?" when confronted with people's hopes for a better life. Democracy and freedom applies to everyone, so ask, "Why not me?" and then have the strength to do something about it.
- Creating a place for stepping out into action. Knowing you can walk along the edge that separates various difficult choices and consequences, then find new ideas or strategies for social change. Listening for other people to say, "Oh, I never thought of that!"
Find something that you're passionate about and start there, something that resonates about justice or fairness or equality.
Being a social activist is a way of living every day, not something you do on the weekend. Social activism is a sense of knowing that every human being on the face of this earth has value and is equal and has a purpose in life. This is why when I hear people talking against abortions and gay rights, I think, "Who gives you the right to decide that you have any more knowledge or you're better or any more equal than those people who are living their lives the way they want to live them?"—the same thing applies to those who live in poverty or are subject to racism or sexism or ageism.
I've always been for the underdog anyway, so that's just a natural thing for me. If people don't have that sense of urgency, then they may as well just write papers about it.