Ultimately, change begins with the self. I've been around enough activism in my life and enough people complaining about the state of things to know that a lot of us who go out to protest, culture jam and the like lack integrity in our own lives. Many of us are still living lives swaddled in selfishness, escapism, addictions, and general nihilism that poorly lacks in the ethics department. I've met a tantamount of people who passionately decry the conspiracies manipulating humanity at large who are addicted to drugs and other self-destructive tendencies. I was one of them once. But I've realized that in order to clean up this mess we need to clean up the mess in our lives first or else we're projecting ambiguous actions and shaky ethics. As a wise teacher told me recently, true we must point the sword to the throat of the abusers and dictators but the sword must always be held more closely to our own throats. Latent in this is the whole problem of the victim identity that our society is so privy to. I've had discussions with many people about the state of the world coming from the conspiracy realm and many come across as wanting someone to blame so they don't have to take responsibility, almost obsessively so. Just recently at the Freedom Festival where I was a speaker, I engaged a young man in conspiracy theories and could hardly get a sentence in. It was just an endless gushing of negativity. When I finally got his attention and said: "So what are you doing about it?" He said continue becoming aware as if that was enough and then launched into another theory. It was mechanical and sad. Indeed, awareness is essential but only a half-truth. We need whole truths and action is the other half. If we sit around absorbing more and more theories tirelessly from the net we're just another kind of consumer. The human soul is built for much more incredible things!
So as the big G8 and G20 Conferences converge on us this summer, I urge everyone who is going out to protest and act as a force of resistance to contemplate deeply these matters. We gain nothing by allowing the intoxicating emotions that come with victimhood to overcome us as we hurtle hatred and calls of injustice at the perpetratorial elite. Instead of giving them our energy in a vehement display, ask yourselves what are you doing with your energy to change the state of things. Better yet, ask each other, for we're all in this together and we need to depend on each other to stand up for a world that is held together by strong ethics and unrelenting integrity; by lives devoted to self-creation not self-destruction; of unwavering wills that will stop at nothing to do what is right.