by Kayla Moon | firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop going to meetings that have no concrete strategies; it’s not working. Stop marching on the street corners, put the signs down, politicians aren’t listening. Go home and start doing the work that matters. Invest in your families, your circles, and your places of influence.
Dear activists, stop killing yourselves for the revolution. If you haven’t slept in three days because of all the latest news, policies, protests, rallies and meetings and you’re beginning to see grey hairs sprout faster than the weeds in your backyard, stop. Also, stop with the pessimism and the doom. If activists and revolutionaries spent half the time building and creating what they wished to see, rather than talking about how corrupt and broken the system is, our problems would gradually dwindle.
Power grows when collective actions start breaking old habits and move away from the status-quo. Creating trendy signs is not going to solve our national and global problems. Activism and humanity as a whole must reach deeper levels of how we view and interact with our current reality. It appears to be a fundamental understanding that city halls are broken; state capitals are broken, America is broken. So, what’s our strategy to fix it?
The time has come to grasp these realities, start building and move on. Let our radical collective actions set the example of what we expect from both community and government. When you resist the structural oppression placed on society, we lose valuable energy in that fight. But if you turn your back and begin creating something new or hack into the system itself, a much more beneficial effect is gained over merely opposing the corruption.
Investing in local social support, innovation, productivity, and functionality is the only valuable solution. It appears, due to conveniently placed media coverage that the whole nation could crumble at any moment. We all watched as armed protestors with shields and masks swarmed to fight other protesters in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017. We witnessed the Woman’s March that gathered more than 2 million women nationally on January 21, 2017. The end conclusion of the Woman’s March was simply to send postcards to their representatives as the ‘call-to-action.’ Both of these protests (one peaceful and the other with the intent to cause harm) provided no tangible results.
In our present time, this may be an opportune moment to take a step back and ask: what does the progression of humanity even look like? Do images rise vividly in your imagination filled with feelings of comfort or does it include violence against someone whose beliefs or appearance differs from your own? Does it include the beauty of change, with empowered people coming together and building resources which meet the needs of their community? Or is the information era fueled by ignorance, confusion, and hate? Within the revolution that YOU envision, how are people treated? Are they treated with kindness and respect? Do you practice nurturing others in your daily life? When you imagine the evolution of a nation, what are the moral structures which allow harmony to exist? More importantly, do you practice harmonious methods of kindness and respect with your spouse, your partner, your children, your family, and your friends? Or is the drive for success and making a name for yourself in this lifetime so overpowering that you neglect your obligations to yourself and those around you? In being an American does your thirst for triumph drive you to oppress another or do you participate in this society with the intent to change the world for the better? Do you put in just enough effort to get what you need to survive or to contribute enough for the benefit of the collective?
I write with the intention to tell Americans that it’s ok to slow down, take a deep breath, self-inventory. As Luisah Teish would say “you gotta be willing to LIVE for the revolution, not die for it, honey.” Check-in, ask yourself why it is we can not manifest the society we wish to see? Could it be that we’ve invested our time, energy, and finances in all the wrong areas?
Here are a few examples locally and throughout the US of people who are creatively manifesting change either locally or globally on a daily basis.
Luke Rudowski – A Multi-Media Journalist and founder of Change Media University. Change Media University is a program that teaches people how to cover important events in their community adequately. Being a member allows access to the We Are Change network and introduces members to people around the world who find value in non-corporate media narratives and agendas.
Micah White – Co-founder of Occupy Wall Street and author of The End of Protest. Micah ran for Mayor in Nehalem, Oregon to experiment with rural politics. One of his views that have been highly influential is that activists need to start winning elections to change politics at its core.
Reverend Floyd Harris- Founder of The Freedom School, where students learn various subjects including automotive maintenance, culture, science, culinary arts, farming, journalism, personal development and more. One of Floyd’s influential factors pulls from the roots of the Black Panther Party. The Black Panther Party saw their children going to school hungry as a crisis. With a sense of urgency, the organization started a meal program that would later become implemented into the national public education system. It’s the simple concept that if your needs are not being met by the political structures that be, then create microsystems of functioning ones to tighten the degree of functionality in that region. Reverend Floyd is continuing this tradition in his community.
Desiree Martinez – Founder of the We Are Not Invisible Foundation, which serves the homeless community in Fresno, CA. Desiree’s organization advocates for the homeless via social media, local government, and California’s state capital. Desiree’s foundation also supplies Fresno’s homeless community with food, hygiene products, blankets, clothing and water year round.
There are millions of people around the world working for social and structural justice. Many may be in your community, and you just don’t know it yet. These are just four people who carry originality, creativity, and imagination as a driving factor in their lives. No longer can we continue to hold rallies for and with people who already agree with our message, or hold monthly meetings that go nowhere. And please leave the street corners alone and stop yelling at people who already agree with you about the broken system.
So where do we go from here? I encourage every reader to take into consideration that no matter who you are, whether you are a janitor, doctor, teacher, line clerk, chef, etc. to critically analyze what it looks like to be a facilitator of justice in your field. It may be as seemingly small as setting your phone down and having a conversation with the person in front of you. It may look like a weekly meetup group that plans monthly activities and workshops in your area or building an after-school program or writing a new curriculum in your place of work. It may look like community fundraisers, or help to create new bus routes. And if the city doesn’t comply with bus routes, maybe it sounds like setting up a volunteer system to get people to where they need to be. Only you know what you do best, so go out there and build something, be fearless in your inventions and solutions, our future depends on it.
Every role is vital, from the front line store clerks, teachers, the politicians who fight against corruption. Every part is necessary, but in the current political state, we profoundly and radically need to reassess what’s working and what’s broken. What can we build and what must be left in the past, what is genuine change and what is resistance? For the future of humanity depends on all of us being revolutionaries.