The past few years have been a show of many progressive changes in the world. From the engagement in topics such as gender wage gap, climate change, affordable education, and body acceptance, it seems like society is stepping in the right direction. There is a distinct popularity among campaigns going on which address these important issues. People of all ages are seeking information, debating, and acting in favor of the causes they believe in. It’s no longer optional to care or remain ignorant about these issues because they affect all of us on a holistic level.

It’s an incredibly positive movement that is happening here. Especially since young people are involving themselves in these national, even global issues. However, the way that people are approaching these problems could use some work.

When it comes to gender wage gap, we could make do without spurring off into a rant about feminism or men being sexist pigs. Whether or not there is merit in making such comments, it just seems counterproductive to add on to the problem instead of proposing, enforcing, or demanding a solution. Personally, I want to see less male versus female rants and more dialogue on how to fix this injustice.

Whether or not you choose to believe in climate change, I believe there should be less outrage towards those who don’t and more productive research and actions among those who do. This, however, is understandably made unnecessarily difficult when members of Congress or other influential leaders with the power to spark necessary changes are among the nonbelievers. Even so, there is not much to gain from bashing nonbelievers as “uneducated” or “bigots”.

You can insult someone all day and maybe even convince others to join you but you’re definitely not likely to ever change anyone’s mind with that approach. You might actually discredit a worthy cause with violent displays because of too much bad publicity. In contrast, persuasion tactics have the power to go a long way, much beyond that of any insult.

Beyond the issues of promoting body acceptance or climate change, there seems to be a petty trend on social media to use the concept of self-love as an excuse for insulting or bashing others. Self love is when you are taking care of yourself, your needs, and making sure you aren’t neglecting yourself or spreading yourself too thin.

It’s realizing when you are taking on too many projects or unnecessarily causing yourself extra stress and deciding to give yourself a break. It’s when you’re having a bad day and you give yourself a pep talk about how great you are. It’s when you buy yourself flowers at the end of a long week or get rid of a toxic relationship because you know you deserve better.

It is not about inflating your ego by talking badly about people you don’t like, it’s not controlling who your friends hang out with because you don’t want certain people around you, and it’s definitely not carelessly using social media as an emotional outlet for your inner demons.

You should use your voice and your individual powers for any cause, reason, or idea that motivates or inspires you. If there is anything you wish to say or anything you disagree with and want to change, you have a special power as an individual to do something about it. There is no cause too small, from what affects the world’s environment to what affects your own.

Just remember to do all things with love.