I went and did something I never thought I would ever do in this lifetime: become a political activist.
I signed up about a week ago with the youth network of one of the local political parties. Not going to say which one though. The things I do to protect my anonymity.
Despite joining the group, I do not think I am going to turn into a raging reactionary overnight. After all, I had spent most of my 30-odd years nurturing my apathy, and it is going to take more than a few days of active political thoughts to undo that. J
My reasons for joining:
1) I am going into this with an open mind to find out about the situations and challenges facing Singapore, and what the ruling party is thinking and planning. I am sick of unsubstantiated arguments and attacks on the government. Criticise, sure, but do it with some thinking and substantiation. I figured I should practice what I preach, and find out more for myself. It may turn out that I will be totally disillusioned by what I discover, but I would have at least made the effort.
2) I want to find a cause to champion. Other groups I was considering joining were the union and Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO). Ultimately, I will probably end up in one of these, but I think having an understanding of the political and governmental background will help me in my work in these other organizations in future. Just treat it like a homework assignment before the exam.
3) Networking. As an introvert, I have a lot of problems with this, but I do understand the worth being well-connected. It benefits not only me, but also whomever I choose to help in future. Frankly, I would never have been able to do this if networking had been the sole aim, but as a side benefit to participation, it is not as bad.
I am looking forward to what unfolds. The people whose opinions I care about have indicated nothing but support. This is my first step in participating more in society and hopefully ends in me giving back as much as I have received from it.