Ideology. What a funny word. What does it even mean? Do you ever hear it and feel a bit puzzled? Do you ever use it and feel a bit puzzled? Have you never heard it before? Feeling puzzled?
Good, me too.
The last week has been an interesting theme for me in regards to my choices and purpose with regards to the kind of person that I want to be. Due to a specific proposition passed in California this election day, I have decided to take some time to think about what I stand for and the kind of person I want to be in this world and the values that I want to uphold, and what it might mean for me to uphold myself and my values. What could I lose to uphold them at any given cost?
I recently asked an amazing friend of mine the following question (paraphrased because I’m not that good at remembering speech verbatim): “In light of the recent popular-vote decisions regarding minorities made in government, what is the best method in effecting change in the world for minority groups?” I was looking for something along the lines of “Rally! Of course!” or “Don’t Rally! Sit peacefully like Gandhi.” or “Get everyone on your side.” Or “don’t support the system at all.” or some action that I could do that would somehow move the world around me.
You want to know his answer? “You must think about your ideology. You must be mindful of what you want to uphold. You must fully explore your values and know how it might effect the world before it can effect the world.” How interesting of a thought… I think this response goes along the lines of something that Gandhi might have said with regards to change in “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” How can one be the change if one has no firm concept of what that change is? How do you get this concept? What drives you to create and define these concepts of change that you must be to effect the world?
I was just thinking in terms of rallies and protests, what does it take to be the kind of person to march down a street with signs and chants, peacefully stating their disenchantment. What must you know about yourself and what you believe to take up that sign and march? Furthermor, what kind of person does it take to do this peacefully, compassionately, and non-blaming… and how different would this effect change as opposed to doing it more forcefully and disgrunted? Is there a difference in the potential effect?
I was just thinking about this because I heard, recently, of a movement of people who choose to do it more creatively and peacefully and include crafts and arts in the area that they stood, vigilant, singing. Do you think that this type of protest would or could be any differently moving than a more disenfranchised protest may be? Are there greater benefits for one over the other?
All of these questions are questions that I have been asking myself over and over this week. What is the greatest way to effect change in the world? To effect change in yourself, I think, is the only way to effect change in the world. At least that’s the realization that I’m working through right now. What do you guys think?