Sunday, August 11, 2013
"A thimble of urine can seem like an oasis to a man dying of dehydration in the desert." I heard this metaphor at a recent discussion on anarchism to describe the way recent activism can feel after the march, rally and debate is finished. The unknown author of this quote used it as a way to describe how we are so starved for positive and meaningful activism. The minute anything comes along no matter how good or bad we have the tendency to fetishize the movement, act, or simple gathering.
Many persons I have chatted with felt like the dehydrated man after partaking in the thimble at the conclusion of the movements we have tried to be a part of. I do not mean to denigrate the people or spirit of the groups I have shared experiences with. Social change takes time and I'd be just another impatient American if I believed that the end of all that was unjust would change after a few years of ramped up organizing.
Hunter S. Thompson once wrote "You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning..." Thompson of course was talking about his experience during the 1960's. "We are all wired into a survival trip now. No more of the speed that fueled the Sixties." I cannot relate to this this sentiment. At no time in my life have I known that feeling. Even during the long debates I had with occupy detractors I never had a feeling that I was completely right. Of course I had years of research, factual analysis and the basic tenets of the simple conviction one needs to have a belief system, but never that feeling of absolute correctness.
I have come to believe that reason I have not recently felt that kind of confident conviction is because I have come to know that the old answers, and ways of doing things do not bring change. Changing the faces in our state and federal governments has provided paltry results for nearly fifty years now. The inability to feel confident conviction in me is based upon an internal struggle. If I and we continue to seek the same actions we will not get the "change we hoped for" we need to change ourselves first.
Before I start quoting Gandhi here. I need to say other than the three solutions I have waxed about previously in this blog, I have no solutions beyond those.Our systems and infrastructure are failing because they are arcane and antiquated. We need to begin changing ourselves by upgrading our wants, needs, desires, dreams and most of all our day to day ways of living. Before we can changes those things we have to adjust the way we look and feel about those things. Perhaps it is time to leave our comfort levels for a little bit and see if what we have to fear is so bad. If it is not so bad, can we adjust for the better, and maybe start receiving the things we are not getting in this distopian consumer nation? We cannot knock it until we try it. Is just an hour a week outside of the box too much to try for?
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