Today is a holiday here in Mexico. We are celebrating the Mexican Revolution of 1910, when brave Mexican people armed themselves to physically fight against their oppressors, leading to an independent state.
This morning over coffee, the topic of revolution spurred an enlightening conversation among my multi-national friends. Questions arose, conclusions emerged and perhaps a glimmer of useful wisdom beheld for the benefit of all.
If we may.
In today’s era, what does it mean to have a “Revolution?” Do we have fear of large uprisings in our countries? Do we have an obligation to ban together and speak out in order to affect change?
Below reads what we collectively agreed upon:
We will not stop corruption, “bring down big corporation,” halt mass murders/terrorism, save our planet’s resources nor restructure our governmental bodies by “rising up” and “fighting against” anything.
We no longer have to take to the streets with a megaphone to affect change. Public demonstrations can be dangerous things. They can become infectious petri dishes perpetuating and propagating the very unfavorable behavior we wish to discontinue, inviting more violence and a “beefing up” of our police states.
If we fight violence with violence, corruption with anger, are we truly promoting and championing what we stand for? If we cry out for change, raising our fists against our oppressors and/or the unjust, will they hear us and change policies?
We think not.
It seems that, within our communities and “tribes,” there is a fearlessness around Revolution. We are not afraid of what may come. We seem to be revolutionizing relationship, business and community quietly, peacefully, incrementally from the ground up.
Revolution today is a personal thing. This will look different for each one of us. Our personalized internal and external revolutions are what will ultimately revolutionize the world around us.
Change begins within. Change begins within. Change begins within. Seriously.
The external manifestations of violence, waste, disorder, misconduct and destruction are reflections of that which occurs within our psyches and what is embedded in our personal paradigms which craft our daily words and actions. Change is the day-by-day choices we implement that support our value systems.
Today’s revolutions begin and end with ourselves.
We are not suggesting that we roll over at the feet of violence and injustice and allow harm to be inflicted against our will. If I were personally attacked (and I have been), I would most certainly fight for my life (and I have), then run like hell (which I did). Self-defense and justice are essential to self-preservation.
However, if we harbor and let fester hatred in our hearts and minds, consciously or not this guides the way we interact, the way we conduct our businesses and the way in which we use and mis-use our precious planetary resources.
We are dealing with incredibly destructive global behavior that could be the downfall of human existence as we know it. Our children may suffer needlessly and horrifically in the wake of today’s cultural climates and personal choices.
Mindfulness, integrity, kindness and empathy are our greatest weapons of mass cooperation.
What can I do? What difference can I possibly make? How can I begin my own personal Revolution, you may ask?
What we can do is make peace with each other, one by one.
What we can do is make peace within ourselves, moment to moment. When there is peace within, there is peace without. It’s very simple, really.
Education is key.
We must teach our children about non-violence, doing the right thing even when no one is looking (this, my friends, is called Integrity), preserving resources, taking personal responsibility, caring for each precious life whether that life resides within our own borders or not, learn to relax our bodies and ease stress, remember that family and friendships are vastly more important than new clothes and ipads, that we are one human family and working together is an obligation to be held as sacred and that violence is very, very, very rarely an answer to conflict. Remember, the best way to teach our children is by example. They are watching.
And in the case that you’d like some inspiration on exactly where to start, here are some nitty-gritty day-to-day practices that we can each do right now, today and from now on:
Learn about other cultures and realize that the majority of a population is made up of people like you and I, doing their best to thrive and enjoy life. The very few are the perpetrators demanding the media’s attention.
• Stay skeptical of all that you hear and read in the media. Question, research and do your best to find the truth.
• Realize that you likely won’t find the truth. With today’s massive amounts of information at our fingertips, along with infinitely varying opinions, the “truth” may not be obvious.
• Insist that kindness and integrity guide your words and actions.
• Recycle. Whenever possible, go out of your way to recycle. It’s not the solution, but it is a start.
• Bring non-disposable bags to the grocery store, no matter the inconvenience or embarrassment. Keep them in your car, bring them into the market and kindly refuse plastic bags.
• Stop buying plastic drink bottles. Stop it, just stop it! We can no longer justify these purchases by recycling. Plastic is murdering our oceans.
• Walk. Get out and walk to the market, to your friend’s houses, etc. Even if they are miles away. Give up your gym membership and be in the world.
• Ride your bike. Wear a helmet (from personal head injury experience, I must add this!) and take your kids places via the trusted bicycle. This promotes family bonding and healthy bodies.
• Hydrate. Drink water, not juice. You will learn to like the taste and feel of your lubricated body functioning at high efficiency. Seventy-five percent of Americans are dehydrated. This leads to illness and dis-ease, draining our medical systems and your pocketbooks unnecessary. Drink more water!
• While driving (if you must), slow the fuck down. You will save money on gas, emissions output, break pads, potential accidents and stress for yourself and those maneuvering around you.
• While living, slow the fuck down. You will save on stress and enjoy life more. Look people in the eye, smile, say, “Hello.” Perpetuate friendliness toward those around you. This friendliness will bleed into your community rapidly.
• Treat your family members and children as you would a friend. Stop to think about how you would say something to a best friend and speak with that level of care to your family. They will appreciate it and you just may have harmony in your relationships.
• Turn off your computer and your cell phone and gaze upon nature. Get out in it. Play with her. Appreciate the beauty around you. This elevates the “feel-good” hormones which makes for nicer people.
• Be nice. Period.
PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. This is but a beginning to what constitutes a Personal Revolution. What else can you do?
Listen, beautiful people of the world, if we are to leave any kind of desirable legacy for upcoming generations, we must begin with ourselves. Revolution is radical, but not impossible. Do we want to be remembered as the generations that self-destructed or self-evolved?
Grow food, not hatred. Cultivate friendships, not resentment.
You are your only hope.