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  • Edición impresa de Febrero 7, 2017.

During the current times a lot of people feel overwhelmed by the avalanche of news that badly affects individuals and families. In reality it affects most of us who have relatives, friends or neighbors impacted with the change in laws, immigration regulations, financial hardship and a lot more. There is no clear way of organizing or even having some sort of consensus about what to do or how to do it.

I think part of the problem is that we are part of the problem. We have become used to responding according to a given script. We are dancing to the same rhythm and we are dancing just that song only. If we continue to dance according to the same music, is because we have been conditioned to think and act according to the cues learned in school and through other means of socialization.

We would act differently if we came from another culture, but we have been taught the same rules almost everywhere. That is also the reason why we talk and mix with people who are ‘like us’, and we cannot understand ‘the others’.

It is difficult to have some sort of activism if we cannot see that the most effective activism is based in love. Love for myself, love for my community, love for the marginalized and the oppressed, but also love for those who marginalize and oppress others. And to what extent by having been silent, or conforming with the rules, I have also been part of the oppression.

Activism is linked to spirituality. Is not about religion, dogma or doctrine, but an activism that comes from the heart and makes us want to be part of change, creating change starting by ourselves. It comes from the realization that there is an interconnection with everyone and with the land that has to guide us in how we relate with each other.

The development of the world so far has been rooted in the exploitation of people and the earth, benefitting a few and hurting entire populations in this country and abroad.

Activism must be engrained in an action that benefits, not that works against something.

It will take a continuous and great amount of determination to change.

It may imply leaving our comfort zones and begin working with people different from us. The first step is listening and trying to understand without having a smart answer to what they are saying. But how to begin that if we move in very definite circles of friends, church, work, hobbies and many times those circles do not intersect at all.

Change begins with me. It begins when I acknowledge that there is a lot that I don’t know, and many people that I disregard because I don’t have the time or interest to spend time with them. In doing so, I assume that everyone must think and act like me.

We may have great dreams about the changes that must take place, but there is always this great pressure to react to what is happening, without investing time and effort in why we think and act in a determined way.

The current time is bringing us a wonderful opportunity of seeking a real change that begins with us and extends in love to any action we undertake.

 

 


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