“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
As a social activist I used to believe that I needed to name and confront the wrongs in the world. That if I did not agitate against wrongdoing, I was being complicit with power structures that oppressed and suppressed people. This belief was fueled by a strong dose of anger, outrage, and fear. And it often put me on the opposite side of the fence to many people I perceived as doing wrong. But I was comfortable there as I felt I had the moral high ground.
Current change movements tend to pit one side against another, heightening hyperbole with exaggerated claims to put one’s cause forward. The world does not need more of this. The willingness to stop taking sides is heroic.
Having found meditation with the Brahma Kumaris, my approach to changing the world has been transformed. I am no longer dependent on rumbling and agitating. Getting angry and outraged, opinionated, and polarized are no longer fuel for me. My focus has shifted to the human spirit with an understanding that a person’s state of consciousness and the behaviour it produces is at the root of the world’s problems.
Now, I consider meditation a form of inner activism. It is the single-minded focus to activate the qualities inside of me that are needed for a better world. True activism begins when I understand that the change we wish to create in our world must first begin inside human consciousness.
The inner activist has a benevolent and powerful desire for an outcome that benefits everyone. This prevents falling into the rhetoric of the polarizing energies of right and wrong. I am aware that we are all tied in the bonds of lower conscious energies such as greed, fear, and anger. What binds me also binds you.
Bringing God’s peaceful loving energy to co-create a community of cooperation, harmony and mutual respect is what the world needs now. The world needs us to sit together and look at the big picture view of our situation so we can see how each one’s liberation is intricately intertwined with another’s. With meditation, spiritual study and a connection to the Divine, the inner activist makes the valiant effort to be the kind of person who can sit next to anyone on a bench, and genuinely feel from the heart, this is my brother, no matter what they have done.
In a world of increasing diversity of ideas and opinions, inner activism is a way to create unity at the deepest level, a unity of intention. The energy of this unity will uplift humankind.
Together, side by side, we can envision a beautiful world that works for everyone and do the personal work to activate the inner qualities that befit a better world.
Let us move from protest to providing good wishes. And from the compulsion to comment on every wrong to offering a measure of calm, and caring cooperation.
When I change, the world changes.
Judy Johnson coordinates the activities of the Brahma Kumaris in Atlantic Canada.