I believe two qualities are necessary for engaging in tikkun olam [repairing the world]: one, that you have the ability to see the other, to see a problem, to see pain, to see injustice -- not the theory of it, but the actual face of it, to see the face of the other.
And secondly, that you are able to see yourself as a person capable of creating change: that you see yourself as intelligent enough to think about a problem, that you have the courage to ask even what seem like stupid questions, to keep at those questions over and over until the answers make some minimal sense to you; to see yourself as a person of fundamental worth whose ideas have some merit and who therefore deserves to be heard. Another way to put that: find your voice, then practice speaking up. If you develop these two qualities -- seeing the other and respecting yourself -- then you will deepen your heart and become a powerful force in the world. There are other important aspects, too -- find yourself mentors, become a mentor, build a community with whom you can work -- but the first two qualities I mention come before all else.
How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography:
Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Merle Feld on ADVICE FOR ACTIVISTS." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.
For a footnote:
Jewish Women's Archive, "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Merle Feld on ADVICE FOR ACTIVISTS," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.