Protest!

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.

Let’s protest!

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!

Janet

p.s. I think it would be truthful to say that this entire blog is dedicated to simply telling the truth – but it is also the case that there are several postings with the word ‘truth’ in them (& others in the list that kinda focus pretty directly on the truth):

 

p.p.s. & plenty of quotations about truth here.  & quotations about civil disobedience here

Quote of the day: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel

Runners-up: “We don’t have to engage in grand heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change the world.” – Howard Zinn 

“Protest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy, it is absolutely essential to it.” – Dr. Howard Zinn 

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards out of men.” – Abraham Lincoln

“The saving of the world from impending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of the non-conforming minority.” – Martin Luther King (more MLK quotes)

WHOSE JOB IS IT?

This is a story about four people named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY and NOBODY. There was an important job to be done and EVERYBODY was asked to do it.  EVERYBODY was sure SOMEBODY would do it, but NOBODY did it. SOMEBODY got angry about that because it was EVERYBODY’s job. EVERYBODY thought ANYBODY could do it but NOBODY realized that EVERYBODY wouldn’t do it. It ended up that EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done.

“Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world.” – Joanna Macy & Molly Young Brown in Coming Back to Life – Practices to Reconnect Our Lives, Our World (New Society Publishers, 1998).

“Today no task is more pressing and noble, not only for a scientist, but also for any sober-minded individual, than to prevent nuclear insanity.” – Valery Legasov, head of the former Soviet delegation to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). He was upset over both the Chernobyl disaster & its handling at the IAEA & UN, & later took his life over it. (tons of great nuke-related quotations here.)

“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, not despair convincing.” – Raymond Williams

“Radical simply means grasping things at the roots.” – Angela Davis

“As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the one thing that is left to us in a bad time.” – E.B. White

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

Hieroglyphic Stairway

it’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?

surely you did something when the seasons started failing?
as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
what did you do
once
you
knew?...

drew dellinger
©2003