Love

Love

Hello Friends,

In my haste to explain and define what I wanted to do with this blog, and how I want to change the world, I neglected the most important aspect of the Living Revolution. I don’t want this to sound cheesy or cliché, but I don’t think we can go much further if we don’t talk about Love. Notice, I did not say anything about defining Love. There are to many abstract variables in human nature to pin down one or even a simple few definitions of Love. For our purposes though, I would like to think of Love as having utmost respect for the wellbeing of those around you, recognizing the goodness and usefulness in everything and everyone. I know that still sounds a little vague, and a bit hippy-dippy, but we can start with that for now and see what we come up with later.

I have written previously about Motivation and the importance of pro-social behavior, but I never really arrived at the heart of what is the driving force of the change that is coming. I think many people hear the word “revolution” and immediately create this image of firebombs, street kids with bandanas over their faces and chaos in the streets. (hopefully these will all be there too, but that isn’t what we are talking about right now :) ).

Generally, when we talk about “revolution” people create a stereotype in their mind of some anarchist punk destroying public property and disrupting the general peace and quiet of Amerikan life. Generally, we don’t consider the root problems that inspire people to behave in such a fashion. We don’t consider what might be so important that a person would willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect a set of beliefs or a specific, tangible object. Few people think through the process enough to make any valid assumptions about the beliefs and values that might motivate a person to riot in the streets, and fight against the constraints of the dominant paradigm.

I am here to say that our motivation is Love. There is nothing more important to a successful, effective Living Revolution than Love. Our desire to create a world where the well-being of each member of our Community is valued and respected is the foundation for any action we undertake or belief we hold. Our desire to put the needs of the greater whole above the needs of the individual, and at the same time value the contributions of each individual,  are both paramount to any ideology or direct action we may engage in. If our actions are not directed by our desire to make Love a verb, and put our beliefs into action, then we will fail. That is unacceptable.

For too long, those who desire change have dutifully held their picket signs and sent their letters of protest, but the message is not being received by those in control. Now is the time for our actions to make the message so overt, so obvious, so unmistakable, that no one can ignore us. The change we desire will benefit even those whose beliefs contradict our own, and in this way, the Love I am talking about is extended even to those who do not believe it exists.

We get to spread this Love with every direct action we engage in; with every sweatshop that closes because of our protests against exploitative capitalism; with every river that is freed by the destruction of a dam; with every women who can walk the night fearlessly because we have dismantled Western rape culture; with every car that is recycled and rebuilt into bicycles; with every backyard garden, with every potluck, withevery block party, with every intentional community, with every personal conversation in which two people share their dreams and desires and begin planning to see those dreams become reality.

I hope each of you is aware of how blessed and fortunate you are, and I hope you are thankful for all you have. I hope you are also aware of the vast multitude of the world’s inhabitants, both human and not, who don’t have the extravagances you have, and live lives much harder than you will ever know. Tell someone thank you today, and mean it. Spread the Love! Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.

On Ideology

Hello Friends,

Recently, I read  some interesting literature from the Crimethinc Collective. If you aren’t familiar with their work, you can check them out here.   If you like what you see on the website, I recommend purchasing “Days of War, Nights of Love” and the sticker pack. They also distribute some of the hardest, nastiest hardcore punk I have ever heard, so if you get down like that, check out these bands. Okay, enough shameless promotion, let’s get on with todays post…

If the Living Revolution is going to be successful, (however we choose to define success), there must be a few general principles that guide our behavior and action. These beliefs will be an amalgamation of little pieces of every book you have ever read, every movie you have ever watched, every class you have ever taken, every conversation you have ever had. Many of the individual ideas we each bring together will be shared by the larger group, but some will not. What I’m getting at here is that in every interaction we have, we are influenced by the stimulation we receive during that interaction, and in turn, that influence affects how we think about the world.  These new thoughts then determine our goals, expectations, and actions. The system of belief that develops from the interactions we experience becomes our Ideology of Life.

Being confident in what you believe about the world, and possessing a willingness to make sacrifices to defend what you believe, will be an important part of the Living Revolution. Possessing similar ideologies and sharing experiences will allow us to build trust and confidence in our relationships and in our Community. We have to know and understand why we do what we do, and it is imperative that we believe strongly in what we are doing. I’m not advocating for some kind of “mind control” or passive conformity to some innane set of rules. On the contrary, the parts of our individual ideologies that don’t mix with the rest are as important as the values and principles we share. The beliefs we share can be defined in such broad terms that there are a veritable plethora of reasons to hold a certain belief.

For example, you can be in favor of backyard gardening because it saves you money, or because it allows you some measure of control over what you eat. You can hate capitalism for how destructive it is to the Earth’s environment, or because of the economic disparity that is inherent in that kind of economic system. You can love riding your bike because it keeps you healthy, or because you don’t want to support the Oil Wars in the Middle East. You can fear the government of the United States because of how they treat their prisoners of war, or you can fear them for how they treat the soldiers who fought to defend the “freedoms” this country supposedly stands for. Your reason for believing what you believe about the world isn’t necessarily important, as long as that reason compels you to ACT on your beliefs.

Let’s start talking about our shared beliefs. Let’s start building some discourse on why we hold certain beliefs, and discuss what we do to ensure our beliefs can be seen in the world around us. Let’s start thinking of ways to share what we believe with the rest of the world, and convince them the way we live is a better way to do things. We can talk about politics or music, we can talk about food production or outdoor sports. Drop a comment and tell me something you believe and why. Who knows what we might have in common…

Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.