I’m passionate about a whole lot of things: protecting water and all natural resources, human rights & dignity, and the fair provision of basic utilities – for starters. So why can’t I get as riled up as you to fight for these things? Why am I not an Activist?
In a nutshell, in my weird sense of things, activism is broken. The fighting against mentality only serves to keep the “problem” in place. How is this possible? Don’t you have to show the government (or whatever you’re fighting) that what they’re doing is wrong or they won’t know it’s unacceptable? Ummmm..sure and how well is that working for us?
I know why it’s not working. Actually, Newton’s Third Law tells us why:
“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. The size of the forces on the first object equals the size of the force on the second object. The direction of the force on the first object is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object. Forces always come in pairs – equal and opposite action-reaction force pairs.”
What does this have to do with activism as it appears to be done these days? Well, if you keep trying to prove someone wrong, they have to keep arguing to prove they’re right in equal measure. It’s science! It’s probably the reason even peaceful protests often fall short of real success; if you protest peacefully you may receive a small concession in return (equal force).
The good news is that there is another way AND there are many people speaking to it more often: to be conscious of when it’s best to speak up and when it’s best to act.
But didn’t I just say that speaking up wasn’t working? Yes, I did. There’s more than one way to speak up. Speaking up in resistance or fighting mode is the one that isn’t working like it may have in the past. Speaking up in a way that speaks forward, to solutions and greater possibilities is the one that truly ignites people to make change.
When it’s best to act, act the way you desire YOUR world to be.
- Be aware of where you money goes, (you’ve hear the saying “vote with your pocketbook”)
- Be conscious of the resources you use – the usual things you think of with the word resources as well as your time, energy, money
- Be aware of how you treat others – animal, vegetable or mineral
- Choose kindness over anger, resentment and fear.
None of this is soft, mushy, passive or passive aggressive; this is active, conscious choice. There is no allowing people to walk all over you and certainly no blind acceptance of government or corporate dictates; this is active, conscious choice. This is not being contrary or defiant (still resistance!); this is active, conscious choice.
The more of us who make active, conscious choices will create the conditions ripe for the simple dissipation of whatever that was we were resisting. For example: if more people choose to purchase their food from local farmers, there will be no need for conglomerate ownership of our food supply, and no need for our farmers to be owned by those conglomerates.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if active, conscious choices made each day by each of us actually ended up creating what the “Activists” have been fighting for decades to achieve: peace, community, fairness and consideration for all.
Maybe I am an Activist – well, at least I’m working on it.