Just do something

Most students, especially freshmen, will be implored to get involved this year.
The idea of getting involved is a good thing.
Humans are social creatures, no matter what individualistic propagandizing you may read.
We do better in groups than by ourselves.
So to the extent that it is good for our psychological well-being, getting involved is important.  What is not said is how you should do this.
If any statement is made it is usually along the lines of doing something physically active or purely social. Again, this is all well and good, but healthfulness aside, I personally don’t consider this as really getting involved.
I have an interest in anarchist politics for personal and academic reasons. In the anarchist movement, uninvolved anarchists are called dropouts.  The most famous dropouts are the punks.
They were not uninvolved in the sense that they sat in their apartments, houses, or parents’ basements and didn’t interact with others.  They went to punk shows, hung out with friends, went dumpster diving together, etc.  They lived out their anarchist politics by living below the “System’s” radar, which should be acknowledged.
But they were also nihilists, believing movement-building was not worthwhile because the masses could not be saved. They believed only in saving themselves and their little tribes.
The point of this tangent is that these punks did not really get involved.
For all of their posturing, they ducked their responsibility to the wider anarchist movement and, more broadly, to humanity.
This dropout mentality is something that is pervasive outside of the anarchist movement, of course.  In fact, it could be the very basis of our culture.
We go to class, go home, watch TV and wait for the degree that will get us the job that will earn the money to buy the house to raise the family. This is all we think we have to do before we die.  Not that that list is inherently bad, but they just aren’t enough.
Our generation avoids responsibility like rich kids in the 1960s avoided the draft.
We think because everything is easy and accessible it will last forever and, because it is easy and accessible, those providing our stuff actually care about us.      Heads up. McDonald’s does not love you.  Walmart could not care less what happens to you.
So there goes the second half of the aforementioned belief system.  The first half is similarly flimsy.
Basically, we live on a finite planet and one day, maybe sooner, maybe later, it will be totally depleted of resources to sustain human life.
This is a fact.  The planet is not Gaia, the earth mother, and no god is going to save us.  We are the ticks and the earth is the dog.
And it will eventually get rid of us.  The times may be easy now, but they will not be forever.
This is depressing, isn’t it? You may ask what does this have to do with getting involved?  It sounds like the nihilistic punks were right, doesn’t it?
They weren’t, though.  See, eventually, all of this will come to pass. But do not worry. We can prolong our existence.
All it requires is, you guessed it: getting involved.
Not all anarchists, see, were/are punks. Many, myself included, ascribe to more involved, more communal, forms of anarchism. These kinds of anarchism, like syndicalism, communism, or eco-anarchy are far more prevalent and more applicable to assuaging the dog and prolonging human existence.
Recycle, ride a bike instead of drive, buy local so products are not shipped as far and support causes that do not just save whales, or spotted owls or baby chickens but also do substantive good for the planet. Then take this new attitude toward the earth and apply it to your fellow humans.
This not only means charity, but empowerment and the diffusion of power to people rather than institutions or governments or states. This kind of getting involved will be gritty and uncomfortable.  It will leave less time for your Xbox.  But it is essential.
So, get involved.