The diligent inner work that transforms us in gentler human beings is a powerful form of activism for justice and peace.
When we become more mindful, we experience oneness, a sense of unity and connection with all that propels us to engage in the work of alleviating other people’s suffering, and that of preserving the planet and all life in it. We become less selfish and more devoted to the welfare of others, not thinking as much as did before about ‘me,’ but thinking more in terms of ‘we.’
As we go about doing this inner work — that, by the way, has no end — we will feel drawn to stand side by side with the poor, the weak, the exploited and the oppressed. This alignment is natural and inescapable. Once we reach a deeper understanding of life, we will find ourselves naturally engaged in the work of promoting social justice, speaking truth to power, and defending the powerless. And we will choose to do all this through nonviolent ways because nonviolence germinates spontaneously in the hearts of the mindful.
Once we go through this deep personal transformation, our increased peace, kindness, patience and generosity will be noticed, and this will attract more people to engage in the work that transforms people from the inside out and brings about an expanded consciousness. And once a large number of human beings on this planet do this transformative work, reach this broader understanding of life, and embrace this gentler way of being, we will reach a tipping point that will bring about a stupendous shift and the emergence of a new culture of solidarity, cooperation, unity and peace.
Working on our own selves to cultivate mindfulness, and inspiring and helping others to do the same, is a powerful form of activism. Believe it, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
We are called to stand side by side with the poor, the weak, the exploited and the oppressed, speaking truth to power, defending and protecting the powerless. As Eli Weisel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”