Merriam Webster defines Activism as, “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.”
Pete Seeger has been an Activist for longer than many of us have been alive. From environmental issues to unions, Seeger has been singing support for the “cause” or condition since the 1940’s.
Rallying protestors locally in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York
The Wisconsin protests have caught the attention of Pete Seeger and just this past week Seeger was singing to a crowd of union workers just miles from our home. If you want to hear the Union Song he sang, click here.
The protestors were orderly and 90-something-year-old Seeger addressed the crowd on Stone Castle Road in Rock Tavern and told them, “It shows the whole country how much we need unions. We may end up thanking him.”
Seeger has been an activist, environmentalist and a folk singer for longer than many of us have been alive and he’s still plugging along. I began thinking about some of the more famous Activists and the longevity that they have enjoyed.
Dictionary.com defines activism as “vigorous advocate of a cause.” I believe this activity may very well be what is keeping Seeger going all of these years. In 1966, Seeger became overwhelmed at the amount of pollution in his beloved Hudson River. I was concerned about it, too, and he formed the Clearwater Sloop project to clean up raw sewage, toxic chemicals and oil pollution from the Hudson. 15,000 students annually board the Clearwater Sloop to take advantage of the legacy. The Hudson River is substantially cleaner because of the attentions that Seeger brought to the River.
I wrote about the Clearwater Sloop festival last year and you can read it here.
I think we could agree that believing in something and becoming an activist for the cause just may be the secret to longevity. People who tend to go with the flow are oftentimes overwhelmed with the feeling that doing nothing is easier than making an effort to change the situation. When we feel defeated we are more apt to be stressed and succumb to serious health effects. Even the slightest bit of activism or reaction to events can get our blood flowing again and that may be the key to long life. It appears to be working for Pete Seeger who will turn 92 years old on May 3rd of this year.
Love him or hate him, Pete Seeger is one of the oldest activists alive in our world today. He has been at Ground Zero for the political energy to spark revolutions for a long, long time.