Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Loving-Kindness and Social Change

I want to begin with kindness and love. With loving-kindness, compassion, and caring. Also healing, patience, forgiveness, and generosity. This is where social alchemy starts. As we learn to care about the world and to care for each other, we begin to realize how much needs to be changed to create a world that works for everyone.

And it's love that keeps us going. When things get rough, we need to remember why we want to do all this change stuff.

Unfortunately, contrary to the Beatles song, love isn't all you need. Especially when you want to change the world. Changing society isn't easy and that's not an accident. The institutions that oppress us have been around for a long time and are structured to resist change. Changing anything is going to take a lot of work.

Freud claimed that "Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness." I'd also say that love and work are the basis of what we need to change this society. You start with love, but you also need to do the work.

So what is the work? You'll have to decide that. I'm simply offering 'some tools' here. (If you're not sure what you need to do, email me. As I said in an earlier post, I'll be glad to think with you. But I'm not going to decide for you.)

My hope is that if you have love and a willingness to work, this blog will give you some stuff to get you going. Feel free to use whatever you think is useful and feel free to discard what you don't need. And keep love in your heart. It's the compass that will show you where to go and the power that will sustain you when the going gets rough.

Quote of the day: "Love, the strongest and deepest element in all life, the harbinger of hope, of joy, of ecstasy; love, the defier of all laws, of all conventions; love, the freest, the most powerful moulder of human destiny; ... Free love? As if love is anything but free!" - Emma Goldman
Word (or phrase) of the day: The Silo Effect
Hero(es) of the day: Malcolm X and Martin Luther King

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