When is the last time you stood up for an ideal? We can all become so comfortable in our own worlds that we often forget many others do not live with such great comfort in their lives. Many go without the basic necessities of water and toilets. I write of this today after seeing the bravery of just a few recent newsworthy groups, like the band Pussy Riot in Russia, and the many people in the Ukraine, standing up for their ideas against oppression, for democratic freedom. Some will take offense and say the band Pussy Riot is not brave because they wear masks, etc. The reason they wear masks, or balaclavas, is that the masks represent deindividualization. The message is that it doesn’t matter which of them are arrested, as they are not individuals, but rather they are an Idea. This is why they are such a threat: it is easy to imprison individuals, but try to imprison an Idea!
Both of these groups of people are crying out for the world to recognize their plight, but further to also recognize the generalized aspect of a resisting mass of people, an assemblage of the discontented of the entire world – liberals, human rights defenders, leftists of all kinds, feminists, atheists, the LGBT community, and more. We cannot afford to reduce the masses of people with different political views and beliefs to a ‘universal’ category of the discontented, returning us to a liberal idea of a confrontation between the human and the state machine. This is a dangerous simplification, ignoring the inner multiplicity of political qualities and social differences.
And so today I applaud these groups of people and the many smaller voices that have not been newsworthy for taking a stand against something they do not believe in. We have much work to do in our own United States, Monsanto wants to change our food chain, oil and gas companies are heavily fracking our land in order to have short-term energy gains. Both of these things will have long-range health consequences and more on our world, and yet where is our voice? We can look to these brave Peoples for inspiration to do more than say what good would my one voice do, for one voice is all that is necessary to make a difference. You can be the change you want to see it all begins with you. Whatever it is that makes you uncomfortable, try to get out of your own comfort zone and make a difference for our planet. It might be simply saying hello to a stranger, thereby softening the voice of loneliness, or it might be more like these groups of people have done. Just find your voice for your cause.
Be the change that you wish to see in the world ~ Mahatma Gandhi