Everyday Activism

A Personal Philosophy & Message to those who Claim to be Revolutionary

Everybody wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

–          Leo Tolstoy

[Union Sq.Park, NYC, July 2004, Anti-War/Republican Protest] (Fleck)

[Union Sq.Park, NYC, July 2004, Anti-War/Republican Protest] (Fleck)

 Activism is in the everyday, the unmarked corners, the unseen hands, the lonely hum of an elevator shaft. It is in the mind and heart of every waking human being who sees the horror of the world in himself. We’re on our last legs. Give a part of yourself wholly before this society rips you apart. Fight, speak truth to power, live creatively, love intensely, never shy away from an argument, spend your last dime on someone you’ve never met, and know that you have tried your best. 

Activism starts in the home.  Or, if you do not have a “home” of your own — in the heart. Real activists are human beings with a lot to lose, with no group or organization behind them. 

True compassion and activism in life must be in a continuous state of flux; the wheels must be constantly revolving. It is not good enough or justifiable, frankly, to attend a protest march while you are fully aware that your next-door neighbor is starving to death.

To be courageous in daily life by speaking truth to power is all the activism one needs to engage in.  And yet how many activists challenge the cruelty or hypocrisy in their daily lives?  I know several so-called activists who will march on the White House lawn and yet won’t lift a finger to scrub their bathroom floor.  There is more activism in keeping your closet organized than there is in empty sloganizing and cliché’ mob-anger.  You want to stop the war?  Stop beating your kids, following incompetent bosses, and getting angry at your spouse for telling a white lie.  Your government lies to you everyday.  And what do you do about it?  You give it your money!

Activism implies taking action.  It implies doing something.  Organizing is different.  It is part of it but it is not the fruit of the womb itself.  It’s the labia. 

Activists assert their humanity and impulse to change the world every single day. It is a way of life, the way some people are born blind or live by a certain code.  These are people you may not acknowledge, but they are real people. They are stars in their unique way and out-shine the dull luster of celebrities and  “professional” activists. They are not slummers and are slaves only to their conscience.  

Remember to look at the drama everyone else ignores.

Revolution, after all, is not the huge explosion — but the tiny threads that make up the wick.

 Words & Image By

  Dennis Leroy Kangalee & Nina Fleck

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