Changing the world in small steps

Amid constant chatter across plethora of media platforms about a gazillion worldly issues, there are some voices that stand out. One of them was Hasan Minhaj. I feel that his show, Patriot Act had a large influence particularly on the urban, progressive-leaning youth like me. While I read about sweat shops and labor exploitation in fast fashion industry as part of my formal education, it was Patriot Act that made me realize how I have unknowingly contributed to the consumer-driven pressures in the market. The show also created awareness on topics that had not even crossed my mind earlier (cruise ships!). I feel that a large majority of my readers must have already seen the show. If not, I will highly recommend it!

Unfortunately, Patriot Act was cancelled abruptly (if anyone knows the real reason why, please share in the comments). However, I am always on the lookout for enlightening content such as that which will help me make positive changes in my life.

One of the things they say about millennials is that we are much more socially sensitive than any prior generations. I agree with that mostly based on the noise we make (social media stories, hashtags and the like) but I am not always sure about how much of that translates into something tangible. In my own case, I feel strongly about issues but may not necessarily have acted on it. Not that I didn’t do anything at all, but definitely could do much more given the intensity of emotions I feel towards some causes.

I thought The Soapbox Project could help channel my passion. I ran into this novel concept while reading an article on minimalism, It’s Not That Hard To Buy Nothing, on New York Times. In a prior post, I shared that I am drawn towards minimalism and have been trying to build it in my lifestyle. So, as I read the NYTimes article for ideas and learnings of other people, I found Nivi Achanta’s story to be inspiring. I could highly relate to her motivations described in the NYTimes excerpt below and I think many of you will too.

Nivi Achanta, who lives in Seattle, became especially curious about being a better consumer. In August, she had to re-examine her spending habits when she lost her job at a tech consulting agency she had been with since 2017; it was her first job out of college and the money was good. But Ms. Achanta, 25, said she was often frustrated by a disconnect between the company’s stated values and what they actually prioritized. They would talk about elevating social issues, but when it came down to it, profit always came first. “And I was just making rich people richer,” she said. Ms. Achanta figured she’d make money first and focus on making a difference later. But losing her job forced that change much sooner. In September, she began working full-time on The Soapbox Project, a platform for informing and guiding action on a range of social justice issues.

This got me curious about Nivi’s venture. I subscribed to her newsletter and it looks quite interesting. The below snips are from the introductory email and gives an idea about what it is.

I am often a skeptic, especially when it comes to online content. But as of now this concept seems promising to me (not sure about the business model but looks appealing from a social impact perspective). What I like about The Soapbox Project is that it makes social change digestible (read my experience with information overload here) and actionable for regular folks like me. Will assess the quality and accuracy of content over time. As of now, giving it a thumbs up by sharing in my network 🙂 Hope you try out the Change Newsletter too!

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