Sunday, August 1, 2010
Is Civil Disobedience Compassion in Action?
What are your responsibilities as an "awake and aware" social activist?
For a while now, I've been impatient with, and frustrated by, what I see as wishy-washy responses to what's going on in the world by people who claim to be compassionate social activists...
These people criticise my perspectives and actions, saying there's no place for anger in creating a peaceful future. They suggest that giving energy to the negative will increase it and that focusing on the positive will undo all that is so damaging in our world.
I can't buy into that attitude/belief system.
I think there's a place for righteous anger and action to call attention to the things that are hurtful in our society. Jesus got pretty angry with the merchants in the temple and with those who wanted to stone the adulterous woman. Gandhi wasn't shy in expressing his anger at the British ruling India. Martin Luther King was pretty vocal - blunt in fact - in demanding equal rights for African Americans. Mother Teresa didn't soft-pedal on the poverty and disease killing women and children in India...
In my opinion, those who say we should concentrate on the positive are in denial about what is really going on; they're overwhelmed by the imbalance in the world and are too scared to confront it. If they did really face it, what would that require them to DO? Would they be required to put it all on the line, risk losing their place on the ladder if they really named what is going on? If we name it and label it as unjust, don't we then have to own our complicity in the status quo, stop enabling, stop participating in the system that's creating and continuing this imbalance?
So how far should we go, then, in confronting injustice in our society?
See here and decide for yourself...