ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The joys of being a community organizer

Updated on January 10, 2010

As a Trainer of potential community organizers, I am often asked by college students the question: “Why did you stay too long in a job that does not classify you among the so-called successful people of society?”

My reply with a wink: “Who says I am not successful?”

Of course, community organizing is not a walk in the park, to use a cliché. But who defines the indicators of success of one’s life? When society isn’t what it should be and we complain, who do we think should be making society livable for young and old women and men, gay and straight, other-abled or not, etc.? Are there people tasked to make society livable for you and me while we live frivolous lives with a life-long propensity for leisure and cynicism at the way society moves along?

When I am in a discussion with students on exposure to poor communities and the topic of joining a mass action comes up,  I toss the question “Why is it that in our streets,  most of the time the people who make up mass actions are from the low income sector?” Uncertain of their responses , some students on exposure visits  reply with: “But the poor  need to learn to  be contented with what they have!”

“Bull’s eye!” I say to myself. Indeed, there should be many community organizers to help in freeing the mind of the young. This is not a kind of “holier than thou” judgment but an observation that most of today’s young people are more concerned about  defining their career  often as just a source of income with the fate of society being assumed to be relegated to some children of lesser gods.

Being able to dream with people who tell you that they have stopped dreaming until their first organizational victory - this makes a community organizer’s space for faith in the future widen. This sense of being connected to a community’s story of being able to reclaim their capacity for victory is the stuff that makes up an organizer’s joy.  Poor communities , if their efforts to change their situation are unorganized, tend to believe that another world is not possible at all. But talk to communities who have stopped a forcible eviction or who have stopped the construction of a highway that would harm a mountain – you cannot find words to define the gleam in their eyes. The gleam comes from a collective sense of self-esteem affirmed by an experience  of success. Victory of poor communities from the rut of powerlessness makes a community organizer put up with late lunches, late night sleep, postponed holidays or even dates without any sign of tantrum.

We want to sleep at night free from the terror of crazed drug addicts, robbers or any other form of sociopathy or psychopathy? The answer is organized vigilance…organized accountability to society…organized visioning…organized social transformation work. Not a walk in the park but with many people dreaming of a better society and doing something about that dream, our world will not be hopeless.  To help communities make things happen so all of us can sleep the sleep of the just – we should organize. Seeing people getting things done – what else in this world is sweeter than this?

photo by Cris A from:
photo by Cris A from:
photo taken in Laguna by Jonathan Chua
photo taken in Laguna by Jonathan Chua


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      8 years ago from Philippines

      The returns you are reaping in your work as a community organizer are priceless. I agree with how you feel at every slightest "gleam in the eye" when you had done your mission to help the underprivileged. Keep up the good work.

    • franciaonline profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Cris,

      Thanks for leaving a supportive comment.

      I must also take this time to thank you again and again for your amazing photos/ works of art (masterpieces in their own right!) In my own way, through my hubs and links, I will continue to tell the world (both virtual and real - that the photo of lady justice that is now in my homepage is the handiwork of your gifted hands. And yes, the full red mouth that speaks of freedom and peace are symbols I will keep linking with in my web writing. I will be eternally grateful for your lady justice (which you gave me through one of your hubs) and for your photo of the full red mouth speaking of freedom and peace.They are in the website that I am gradually constructing as my individual effort to advocate for social transformation. If you have time, please visit my website so you'd see your wonderful lady justice photo capturing the theme of my website: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for those two extremely wonderful works of art! Thank you, my friend.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      There are no parameters to success only what your heart's heart tells you. Or I might just be sourgraping because I'm as poor as a house rat with no possessions to vouch for a "success" story. But when I get 'glowing' responses to my hub, it's a different story - probably just like your seeing the gleam in the eyes of the people you help. :D


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)