In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a character said “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
I actually feel strongly that most of us protest far too little.
I think we are entirely too polite (especially we Canadians!!).
We let this sick culture of ours chain us to meaningless treadmills, &, as Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
The treadmills keep us all inside boxes…& who really wants to live in a box??
Well. We can change that.
In his wonderful book Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia, Rob Brezsny offers these 2 gems:
“Healing Protest – A study by psychologists at the University of Sussex in Great Britain has found that taking part in campaigns, demonstrations, strikes, and protests is good for you. Interviews with activists revealed that participants experienced a deep sense of happiness and even euphoria in being involved in protest events.” (pg. 173) &
“The Psychotherapeutic Value of Activism – Psychologist James Hillman says that taking action to correct social and economic injustice in the world can serve as a powerful psychotherapy. In some cases, it may even be a more effective way to transmute one’s personal pain than talking about the pain with a therapist.” (pg. 174)
** Sussex study
So there is no need to take my word on this!
But I can attest, if you do protest, it will energize & even free you.
Protesting is not about negativity.
It’s about telling the truth.
I recently came across this little gem under the heading “4 Rules for Life
- Show up
- Pay attention
- Tell the truth
- Don’t be attached to the results.” – Angeles Arrien, U.S. teacher, author (1940 – )
Quite a brilliant little summary, I’d say.
Now me, I protest quite a lot. It makes me feel GREAT – & I meet & hang out with the most awesome people you could possibly imagine.
I believe protest is actually a form of celebration, as I wrote in the posting ‘Protesting…Celebrating…whatever!’
It’s a celebration of what human beings could be, what life could be, & the kind of world we could have – if we always directed our energy & efforts into putting people ahead of profits.
And listen…if the world should somehow come to an end next week – or if a nuclear accident should take place in the area I’ve lived in for most of my adult life (Durham Region, east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada – home to 2 gigantic nuclear plants I devoutly hope to help shut down), I will still feel GOOD about the way I’ve lived my life. (Filipino proverb: “A clear conscience is more valuable than wealth.”)
Protesting is not about violence, & it isn’t radical, either – it’s actually terribly conservative – as in conserving life & human values & the planet.
So, please – join in. Raise your voice!
Come protest with us!
“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy, it is absolutely essential to it.” – Dr. Howard Zinn