On Being a Gentle Revolutionary
The benefits of enriching the world for everyone!
“We can never know what can or can’t be done; only what must be done.” Andrew Boyd
I call myself a Gentle Revolutionary. And sometimes it’s a struggle. Work as social activist mostly doesn’t pay. It’s against the mainstream of society. Many of you might think I’m, at the least a bit, mad. You may wonder what’s the real thing this is for. I understand desiring cars, houses, family, career is all very concrete. ‘A better world for everyone’ might feel vague and unreal to you. You may fear to express deeply held convictions could cost friends, jobs or image. Yet having chosen this path I find it very enriching too.
Check out here: the USA veteran who went to help the protests at Standing Rock, and asked forgiveness from the Native Americans for the history of Genocide against their people. Weak? No, best drug there is: fulfilment and meaning!
So, let’s dive into the benefits I feel showered upon me:
Meaning. I found that being depressed is much about, am I good enough? What is my meaning? I found trying to be happy hard work, and the feeling of happiness an evasive emotion. It was when I went for what had meaning for me, I became so much happier and had way less (mental) worries. Note, see quote above: it’s not about the size of impact or outcomes. It’ about going for it. You may find lack meaning it your job and feel it wears you out. A pain I haven’t felt in a long time. I do have an impact, often without knowing how and why, with stuff that matters. Which brings me to gratitude.
Gratitude. Yes! I am being very thankful to people telling me I changed their life or helped them. Because I give, without knowing what the impact will be. To be real, you never know. People choose how what you do impacts them. So perhaps I never did much. Yet recently I was taken twice in a week for dinner as a gift. That is so beautiful to receive. (remember not being rich, doesn’t mean being poor in experiences). These people make me feel I matter, that it is totally okay to be me, as I am. Wow, I so long longed for that. Thus I am more open to receiving as well. Being thankful, and working for what matters, also leads to meeting a lot of openhearted people. Which brings me to Shiny Eyes.
Shiny Eyes. I meet a lot of people with shiny eyes. They follow their passion, dreams and do what matters to them. Their presence is a gift or beacon to be around. I seem to have shiny eyes a lot too. Which is something most children have, and most adults much less. Yet, when you’re fully into something you’ll start to shine. And people, who love that, mostly very open-hearted, will be attracted to you. It makes me feel I am surrounded by a lot of beautiful people, who love what they do and shine light into this world. And being part of the light (whether you see that in a religious or psychological way) brings me to a bigger sense of community.
“I only want to be part of this revolution (or religion) if I can dance in it.” Isabella Duncan.
Community. We all live in bubbles of culture and beliefs. Some people live in damaged bubbles, filled with a grudge to whom they feel is to blame. Some live in bubbles filled with hard work and making sure to look good in order to stay successful. I live in a bubble too, full of people who shine, belief, seek to give and work for this bigger whole. My bubbles dances, shows trust, shows kindness and solidarity. They proof the world is so much more than competition and fight for survival. I feel aligned with social startups, peacemakers, permaculture, hippies, artists, social workers, educators, civil servants with heart and many more. Which brings me to connectedness.
Connectedness. Being lonely, being disconnected, feeling you have to hide your true self is all part of modern culture. Schools train disconnectedness. Yet, once you seek to be part of the bigger whole, just trust it’s there, and take steps you feel help, or present what you have to offer, something happens. Suddenly loneliness is gone. And the deeper you go, the more layers of connectedness there are. I, at times (no, not all the time, but enough to trust it in the moments I don’t feel it) can feel so alive, being part of all there is. Can feel millions trying to make things better. Can feel being part of nature. Can feel guarded by something bigger. Which brings me to wealth.
Wealth. As said in the beginning I don’t earn much. Doing many things that don’t pay, yet feel very rich. I get paid to be me. I have time and space to consider things and the freedom to speak out. I have friends and connections all over the world. Found roofs when I didn’t have a house. Found a house because I did have friends who liked me. Have the time and space to work on what I love to work on, and get, at times, even paid well for it. Other friends of mine add to it travelling the world, with hardly any money. It’s possible. Which brings me to play.
Play. When I was young my father pushed me to become an engineer. My friends laughed at me seeking to want to play more and work less. How could I ever get a career out of play? Yet, I found in play lies one of my gifts. When I play I discover new things, on the fly. It seems miraculous, but I discovered that playing is the root of all learning. It is through playing that I involve my whole being into my innovations. And this capacity gives me the ability to innovate in almost all fields. I’ve invented things for games, music, sports, educations, theatre, television, processes, festivals, businesses and more. Which could bring you back to meaning or onwards to income. :) Though I bet there’s more when I think about it. :)
Income. Most people think adjusting, fitting in, makes you keep your job or clients. Mmm. I mostly forget to do sales, as I get by with income from training I sell, from helping people out, leading processes or doing lectures and talks. Income that helps me take time out to write on topics like this. With my being outspoken I attract clients that fit me: people who want to have shiny eyes, read aliveness within themselves or their workers fired up, people who want to play more, feel more, think more, be more creative. It’s clear what you get. Thus I found more freedom too, to do what I love by being free and open about what I love. In a way, that’s sales too. :)
To be honest, is it all easy or fun? No. There are wages being a revolutionary too. It will be difficult. Watch here the other side of my call, Chris Hedges telling how difficult it can be, yet important it is. There are troubles, conflicts of interest, misunderstandings, disagreements. But it’s like relationship therapy. The first question the therapist will ask, not if you love each other, but “Are you willing to make it work?” Most people I work with, are willing. And that is a gift too. That’s where hope and change begins.
If you feel you want to be one too, you can:
Join this group on facebook, or any group with a higher purpose. Here are a few other Change Tribes around the world. And here’s more to get started: https://medium.com/the-gentle-revolution/gentlyrevolt/home
Questions can be posted in the comments. :)