“Environmental activists may be a nuisance and a pain in the ass to the established authorities of the present. However, to the establishment of the future, we will be honored ancestors”.
~ Captain Paul Watson
I wasn’t that knowledgeable about activism in the past.
It’s not that I didn’t care about injustice. I always did and injustice is what often propels me to speak up and say what many others are thinking, but for some reason or another, do not feel they can say.
However seeing angry protesters on the television when I was young, left an impression in my mind that activists are people who are angry and rebellious and I didn’t really make any connection other than that.
Then by chance a year ago, I went to hear a man called Andrew Harvey speak about “Sacred Activism” and that really struck a chord.
Andrew Harvey has redefined activism in a way that many (including myself) believe will be more effective in addressing the world’s crises—his messages are simple, inspiring and they just make sense. An Oxford University scholar, Andrew weaves his sharp intellect with deep wisdom and gives a passionate perspective on many universal themes.
Since that night, I became more aware of the individuals who are influencing big, positive changes in the world today and the “sacredness shone through”. They are making changes not by berating or belligerent rants but rather by holding a quiet resolve that they will do whatever it takes (and they do) to continue to focus 100% on their cause and charge towards positive change.
There are times when these individuals assert their beliefs louder and in more creative ways to get the attention needed for their campaign and inevitably rattle and upset those who are running an opposite agenda. However, the often unseen quality that really captures our hearts, is that they visibly hold a quiet confidence and calm, a “knowing” that what they are doing will make a difference.
And this brings us a sense peace and hope that we are moving towards more freedom and harmony in the world.
Some of these individuals who have inspired me are:
Andrew Harvey, Founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism
Aung San Suu Kyi, Leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy
Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Marianne Williamson, Spiritual Teacher, Author and Lecturer and Candidate for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from California’s Congressional District 33.
There is enormous self-sacrifice in what these individuals do.
There is also probably a lot of self-sacrifice by every member of their family whom enable them to be so focused on their cause by sacrificing relationship- and family time and perhaps too, some of their dreams.
It doesn’t take much to support someone who is leading the charge on a world issue that resonates with us and mirrors our discord at the way things are. Buy a book, buy a t-shirt, go to a fund-raising event, make a donation or vote when the opportunity arises.
Whatever we do may feel like a “drop in the ocean” but it does make a difference.
As Rumi says, “We are an ocean in a drop.”
And while we are focused on and trying our best to manage our day-to-day lives, what a great way to show our gratitude to the people who are 100% dedicated to making this world a better place for us, for our children, for our grandchildren, for all future generations…
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Apprentice Editor: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Steve Kaiser at Flickr