Off the Shelf, Preclinical
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Passive Activism

We strive to identify as a generation of idealists.

We are politically aware, socially conscious young adults.

We place our collective purchasing power behind products with a social mission.

We talk about the issues, frequently and openly.

We value individualism.

We value equality.

We value progress.




We love to discuss the issues, but balk at times of action.

We love to rant on Facebook, preach our thoughts on our blogs.

We love to talk about our problems and devise theoretical solutions, but far too often these ideas are not put into action.

We attain a sense of fulfillment with a click.

Buying a t-shirt is not the same as taking a stand.

Wearing a sticker is not equivalent to lending a hand.

Clicking the “Like” button is not a means to create change.

This slight fleeting satisfaction is adequate for far too many of us.

To feel in the know, to feel hip, to feel aware is more important than making a direct impact.

This plague of passive activism has led to cyclic inaction.

A “Share” or “Repost” has the same emphasis as proactive service.

The great leaders of social justice did not initiate the most monumental cultural shifts in the history of our nation without stepping out of their comfort zones.

We have become complacent.

Our clicks and our “Likes” have become the status quo for our social inaction.

Some pursuits of social action have become selfish.

It is no longer about the cause but about the fashion of the mission.

It is stylish to care— or at least to look like you care through your wardrobe and social media presence.


Change begins within, but occurs without.

Our concept of change must be liberated from fear, free of hesitation, released from the manacles of inaction

Selflessness is the underlying virtue that has fallen out of style in our generation.

We must return to the roots of the great models of social change.

We must invest in our communities, not just with our dollars but also with our hours.

We must champion with our neighbors the causes that ignite our passions.

We must reach out instead of reaching for the mouse.

We must reinvent activism for our generation.

We must begin at home.

We can make a difference.

We will make a difference.

In ourselves. In our communities. In our country. In our world.

Joe Burns Joe Burns (4 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University

Joseph Burns is a member of the Class of 2019 at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University in Miami, FL. He is a native of Orlando, FL and is an alumnus of Stetson University. He is passionate about the arts and community engagement, having served as the Art Director of the Mammography Art Initiative and the Community Service Chair for the Panther Learning Communities. His interests include congenital heart disease and American Indian Health. He hopes to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology.