We need to keep protesting against the cruelty, corruption, injustice and violence that continually assault us. But if we spend most of our time and efforts fighting the bad stuff, the oppressors will continue to have the upper hand because they can keep throwing bad stuff at us and we will always be on the defensive.
We need to spend most of our time and efforts taking the initiative to organize for the positive goals that we want instead. We need to be proactive, envision the future we want instead of the current mess, and organize to achieve the positive goals.
Thousands of years ago, it was written: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
This is true today too. If we preoccupy ourselves fighting the bad stuff, we bog down and perish for lack of a positive vision – a positive agenda of goals we want instead.
A basic human need is for our lives to be meaningful. Being always on the defensive is not nearly as meaningful as organizing for positive alternatives. Working for humane, peaceful, just, sustainable goals can give meaning to our lives and help us through these current hard times. It can also turn history around and accomplish positive goals for a better society and a better world.
So even while we protest against what we oppose, let’s invest much more of our time and energy working to build the society and world that we want instead.
In the U.S., liberals timidly ask what is “politically feasible” and ask for small changes that the political parties and giant corporations could be persuaded to grant us. In Latin America, people demand bold reforms and agitate actively. In the U.S., our modest reforms are watered down and deferred. If we want real progress, we must be more like the Latin Americans.
On my blog, www.parallaxperspectives.org, and see the postings about “Nonviolence” and “Organizing & Activism.”