Pick a Cause and Get Involved in Person

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Last night opponents of the proposed toll on the new Mobile River Bridge and expanded Bayway met to find ways to voice their opinions.

Tomorrow, a group of moms will gather in Fairhope to rally in favor of public safety measures they believe will protect people from gun violence.

These two groups may appear to have absolutely nothing in common.

In fact, they have everything in common.

Both have taken the time and made the effort to exercise a precious American freedom (just ask the residents of Hong Kong)– the right to protest peacefully and become part of the greater discussion, and maybe, part of the solution.

If you log on to some social media sites you may find yourself surrounded by opinions, unsubstantiated claims and downright lies. They sometimes spread like wildfire among the crowd.

But groups like the opponents of the toll and the mom’s march work instead to effect change with facts and well thought out discussions. They exist not online but in the offices of Congressmen, in letters to the editor and in public meetings. They ask questions, they research, they seek clarification and explanation. They offer suggestions.

Often the mantles they pick up from those who rallied before them are heavy. This type of volunteerism is not for the weak of heart or the easily distracted. Rallying behind a cause larger than themselves, sometimes larger than their immediate community, requires hours upon hours of work, research and dedication. They spend time away from their families, their friends and even their jobs to commit to a cause they believe in.

We salute every individual who dedicates their time and talent to rallying behind a cause they believe in, a cause that they feel truly will make the world a better place. We urge you to get involved and use reasoned facts to back your opinions of causes that matter to you.

This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Gulf Coast Media Editorial Board, composed of editors and staff of the Gulf Coast Media family of newspapers.