Get a Life? Activists Have a Good One, Thanks

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Why do we chronic malcontents do what we do, and keep on keeping on, even when it seems like no one is listening, and our protests appear to be falling on deaf ears, or no ears?

Why don’t we listen to the naysayers who urge us to get a life — or get a job? (Heard that lately when you’re out on the corner?)

This certainly isn’t the last word on the subject, but here’s one suggestion: Activism is it’s own reward. Whether you succeed in achieving your goals or not, you’ll enjoy life more because you tried. Skeptical? Here’s what the Boston Post reports:

Activists are dissatisfied with the drift of the times and outraged at the misdeeds of their ideological enemies. But they are also, it turns out, enjoying their lives more than the rest of us. At least if recent research is to be believed, political activism, no matter the cause, seems to make people happy – even if they don’€™t win an election or triumph in a ballot initiative. Psychologists curious about what fuels human happiness have looked at political engagement and political activism, and they’€™ve found that it provides people with a sense of empowerment, of community, of freedom, and of transcendence. Political activists, in other words, are all happy warriors.

The paper suggests that’s true whether you’re a liberal or conservative, whether you’re screaming at a tea party protest or marching to end the wars.

On its face, that seems dubious. Maybe it’s just how it looks on television, but I’d say a lot of tea party types are hyperventilating and raising their blood pressure. But who’s to say what makes people enjoy life?

Read the article here.

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