Are You An Advocate, Practitioner or Supporter?

By Mommy Donna and Kib - October 10, 2019

All of us believe in something and we sometimes shout it out loud to social media.  We even encourage others to also join us in our cause to further spread awareness and to change their lifestyle.

Most of the time, we label ourselves as advocates because we believe in the cause and we practice what the cause is all about.  But......ARE YOU REALLY AN ADVOCATE?

We oftentimes confuse ourselves by labelling ourselves as advocates of something just because we believe in the cause.  Apart from that, we call ourselves advocates because we do what the cause is all about.  But are these two characteristics enough to call yourself an advocate?

Call yourself an advocate if...
  • You are TRULY KNOWLEDGEABLE about the cause that you are believing in.  It means you really studied the science behind it, took the necessary examinations or revalida, and got certified.  Attending a seminar or lecture about the cause without the necessary certification doesn't still make you a full-fledged advocate.
  • You teach people about the cause.  Having knowledge about the cause is not enough.  If you truly embrace the cause and you want people to also have the same passion in the cause, then teach.  Writing articles, conducting seminars, and doing outreach are some of the things that you can do to spread awareness about the cause.
  • You stick to your belief, no matter what.  Sometimes, in fighting for your cause, we encounter people who are trying to discredit you.  To be called an advocate, you are not easily shaken up when faced with criticisms of all sorts.  Instead, you continue to fight for your cause and never compromise your beliefs.
  • You are a member of an organization that is aligned to your cause.  Being active in an organization is also one way to establish your advocacy.  Surrounding yourself with like-minded people makes your belief stronger.  You continue to support each other and equip yourself with the tools and knowledge in spreading awareness for the cause.
  • You do what the cause is doing.  Above all, this is a basic requirement to be called an advocate.

If you do not possess any of these qualities, then maybe, you're not an advocate, but a PRACTITIONER.

A practitioner is someone who also believes in the cause and applies what he/she has learned in real life.  A practitioner is an individual who just does things on his/her own without teaching others.  

There is nothing wrong if you call yourself a practitioner and not an advocate because an advocate has a social responsibility to teach others about the cause and a practitioner doesn't. 

But, what about you don't practice at all and you believe in the cause?  Then you're a SUPPORTER.

A supporter is someone who feels that he/she does not have the capability of doing what the cause is doing but believes in it.  A supporter is someone who does not argue with the cause and takes admiration to those people who are into it but cannot commit to doing what the cause is all about.  For example, a person who believes in the benefits of homeschooling and feels that he/she cannot homeschool his/her child, he/she is a supporter.

In my case, I'm a homeschooling advocate, a zero-waste practitioner (I cannot call myself a zero-waste advocate yet because I am not 100% practicing it although I am sharing tips on how to live a zero-waste lifestyle I believe it is not enough), and a breastfeeding supporter (I do not breastfeed anymore, Kib is already a teenager).

Let us not confuse others on using the word 'advocate'.  Advocates are looked upon by people and if you do not have the right knowledge to spread awareness about the cause, then call yourself either a practitioner or a supporter.  I guess there is nothing wrong about that, it's also to avoid confusion to others too.

So what about you, are you an advocate, a practitioner, or a supporter?

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