Acceptance and activism

slavery
For many years I had questioned whether or not someone can live in acceptance while at the same time be an activist.
The answer became clear as I sat with this over a long period of time. I came to understand that it is our compassion that will always move us toward action, once we open our hearts and minds.

In the time of slavery, most accepted this because it was the norm in our society. In American hindsight, I think all of us can see that this should never have been acceptable. But the fact is, that it was for far too many years. And even today, we still have repercussions to face and repair.

Throughout the ages there have been so many behaviors and attitudes that we now can see were beyond reprehensible. And the only way that any of these changed was because some people, if only a few at the beginning, became a voice for the injustice and cruelty. And certainly there is no amount of silent acceptance that would have ever made a difference. Race, gender, socioeconomic, sexual orientation etc., would all be exactly the same as they were fifty or even one hundred years ago were it not for activism. Activism that was founded and fueled by compassion. Individuals who would not remain silent and were compelled to be a voice for those who had none.

Today we still face a multitude of prejudices and inequality towards other living beings. And we each have the choice to remain silent or speak up from a place of love. We make this choice every single day, and it’s a very powerful one indeed!
The challenge is to grow in awareness and understanding. And to see beyond our own privileged bubble of reality. People are suffering, animals are suffering, and each of us has the power to ease the suffering. And while we can not help every one, we can help so many. To help none is an excuse based in delusion and detachment. We are all connected and we all make a difference. Never ever have any doubt about this. It’s simply our choice whether or not to heal or harm.

2 comments for “Acceptance and activism

  1. Jason Carpenter
    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Good post. Though I respectfully disagree. Throughout history, activists have been successful by their ability to assimilate and hide in plain site, gathering intelligence, meeting surreptitiously–and plotting their big moves. The concepts of “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” and “Revenge is a dish best served cold” are not new; and have proven to be effective throughout the history of people. Many times activists will need to surrender (or abstain from) certain battles now to win the war later. I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game of doing harm vs. offering help. It’s far more complicated, and therefore more difficult to navigate. But thanks for getting people thinking!

    • Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts Jason. For me, the intention is to be as mindful as possible moment by moment. Returning to a place of loving kindness and compassion and allowing those to fuel my thoughts and actions. While failing often, I take comfort in the path of doing no harm. At least as little as I can, with as much awareness as I comprehend at the time.

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