Quit Bitching. Start a Revolution!

I saw these words on a T-shirt when I was in Washington, D.C. earlier this year for the conference of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. (Fabulous conference, awesome group of people!)

Then, I saw it again a few weeks later in Toronto at the G20 gatherings of activists.

I love it! I’d love to have one myself. Or 20. If I had one, I’d wear it often. If I had 20, I’d hand them out to the folks I encounter who are armchair quarterbacks about the state of the world, always sitting in their comfy chairs pronouncing on what a godawful mess everything is – yet never doing a bloody thing beyond flapping their lips about it.

Get off your butt!” I want to say to such people.

If the world is ever going to change, it won’t be the result of people sitting in their comfortable living rooms, bitching & bellyaching & moaning about the state of the world. Will it? I ask you…

Martin Luther King said, “Change is never inevitable, change is always carried in on the shoulders of those who bring change with them.”

Harold Zindler said, “The optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought.”

A button I’m wearing on my coat these days says, “If the people lead, eventually, the leaders will follow.”

For sure, I can’t guarantee that getting off your butt will “save” the world, although it is liable to change it. (Martin Luther King also said “Non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as cooperation with good.” An important thing to consider at this time on Planet Earth, I’d say. At this time in Canada, for sure…)

When we change our minds, i.e., change ourselves, from the in-side out, we do change the world.

Edward Everett Hale said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Activism is fun. It’s challenging & rewarding & time-consuming & fun.

Alice Walker says, “Activism is the rent I pay for living on this planet.”

I suspect my life is a lot fun-er than lots of people’s. I don’t live like a rodent on a treadmill, running around & around, inside the bars of a cage, unaware all the while that the cage door is actually open, & that all one really has to do is climb off the treadmill, & walk out. (Life is a heck of a lot more fun, outside the cage!)

2 more things:

1. John Adorney sings a very beautiful song (en français) on his lovely CD The Fountain.” The words go “If you know the truth, you’ll find freedom. And you’ll be free like the wind, tous le temps (all the time).” It sounds so much better in French!! You can listen to it here

Beautiful song, truthful lyrics. Truth is hard sometimes, but it is liberating. There’s only one way to find out for yourself. Start seeking out, & telling – & living – the truth!

2. The latest (Nov/Dec. 2010) issue of Tikkun Magazine is a page-turner! Check it out, man! And woman! Some very hard truths in it about how & why John F. Kennedy & Robert Kennedy & Martin Luther King were killed. And why Obama is not able to be the President millions voted for. And the realities of the military-industrial complex (heaven help us all…).

It isn’t fun, exactly, learning this stuff, but it’s…bracing. It’s a kick in the pants, & there are times for all of us, I suspect, when the very thing we need is a good swift kick in the pants.

Do seek out this issue of Tikkun. Learn some truth!

This world of ours – so badly damaged & depleted it makes a person heartsick – is still a very beautiful one. It’s worth fighting for (working for)…don’t you think?


p.s. Apparently, there was a song from the 60’s or 70’s, in which some guy named Gil Scott Heron said, “The revolution will not be televised.” Now, ain’t that the truth?? You will not learn about – & contribute to – changing the world, sitting in that comfy chair in your comfy living room. Nossiree…

p.p.s. Having a hard time picking a ‘Quote for the day’ to go with this post. Here are a few that are in the running:

“I can’t understand why people are afraid of new ideas, I’m afraid of the old ones.” – John Cage

“Saving our civilization is not a spectator sport.” – Lester Brown (Earth Policy Institute)

“Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“If your house is on fire, the most urgent thing to do is to go back and try to put out the fire, not to run after the person you believe to be the arsonist.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman

“What’s important is not what’s gone, but what remains.” ~ from the film ‘Home: A Hymn for the Planet

“The message, so firmly, is – don’t give up. Don’t hang with the cynics, the angry-hearted, the whiners, the blamers, the negative minded. Hang with those who believe in love, hope, and beauty – and then work with them to make this a reality. This is our planet. This is our time. This is our call to action.” ~ Guy Dauncey, author of The Climate Challenge: 101 Solutions to Global Warming

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something.” – Carl Sagan, astronomer (1934 – 1996).

“Once you know the difference between right and wrong, you have lots fewer decisions to make.” – Joseph Campbell, quoted in the biography A Fire in the Mind – The Life of Joseph Campbell by Stephen and Robin Larsen

“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” – Mohandas Gandhi

“We are now at the stage when the Easter Islanders could still have halted the senseless cutting and carving, could have gathered the last trees’ seeds to plant out of reach of the rats. We have the tools and the means to share resources, clean up pollution, dispense basic health care and birth control, set economic limits in line with natural ones. If we don’t do these things now, while we prosper, we will never be able to do them when times get hard. Our fate will twist out of our hands. And this new century will not grow very old before we enter an age of chaos and collapse that will dwarf all the dark ages in our past. Now is the time to get the future right.” – Ronald Wright in A Short History of Progress

“A lot of people say, ‘What’s the point?’ That’s an excuse for inaction. I’d rather put a drop in the bucket than nothing at all, and every drop adds up.” ~ Jonathan Brock, on his work for Doctors Without Borders

  • “We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” – Thomas Berry in The Great Work – Our Way into the Future, page 175

“The future is ours to write.” – Dr. Rosalie Bertell in Sweeping the Earth – Women Taking Action for a Healthy Planet

(I could go on…)