Speaking up for the people is not about making defamatory statements and riling people up with anger and hatred. It’s also not about being so blinded by protest and perceived politicization to the extent that we forget how to be thoughtful and caring human beings.

1. Don’t be a public nuisance to society. Respect people, respect the surroundings.

2. Be reasonable in speech and thought. It’s not a dog and pony show. When you discuss policy, there are people’s lives involved.

3. Be genuine in seeking out the best interests of the people. By that, I mean not focusing on a particular ideological slant just because it is fashionable to do so. This applies regardless of party affiliation.

We’ve been going through a lot of change as a nation in the past decade, and clearly things have started becoming a lot more polarized and tense especially in the past couple of years. Instances such as this may sometimes leave us disheartened that the country is going down the wrong track in terms of political maturity.

That said, debate is still healthy, and the ability to speak up is still necessary. There are several reasonable and moderate voices out there, perhaps less vocal but nevertheless important. I also believe that there are plenty of people out there doing a lot of great work and who want to make change in their own simple, smaller ways. Those are infinitely more powerful and we can choose to give our focus and attention to such initiatives instead of feeding the trolls.

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