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Would we be right to insist?

At times I feel a reticence around activism, mainly due to the kinds of social or personal conversation it can ignite and whether it’s possible to approach that respectfully while still allowing for all our different stories, experiences and priorities (Notes One). But then, what if – while we all see things our own way – what matters to us is all truly important and needs addressing?

What if all these things really shouldn’t be pushed aside as the world ploughs on as it has been? In all areas of life, improvements could be made, understanding deepened, and values brought to better effect (Notes Two). Which brings us back round to some form of activism: seeing the need for change and believing in it enough to take action in words or deeds.

We all have areas of deeper or broader insight: things we’ve encountered, looked into and come to see the importance of. We each see things our own unique way and, those perspectives having arisen out of all the moments of our lives, they’re often deeply felt. Presumably, everyone has such concerns? And, despite all life’s pressures and conflicting agendas, what if it all matters?

Surely, it’s a question of how we go about things? How we’re navigating conversations with people who don’t see things as we do. Because, looking at communication as a landscape (Notes Three), any sharing of concerns or changing of minds is going to be a journey. Is this to be a route march though, or more a companionable walk where we’re discussing the view and our thoughts about how things are playing out?

As, depending on the positions people hold in that landscape and the roles they’re having to play, their views of life there will likely be quite different. While we might hope others will see where we’re coming from and feel inspired to see the world a little more through our eyes, conceivably we’re all feeling exactly the same way?

Could we not somehow bring people around the same table without it being an aggressively exclusive place? Could we listen to each other’s concerns without one cancelling out the other? If everything’s essential in its own way, pitting one set of concerns against another must risk us not getting much further than simply resenting others for not truly hearing what we’re saying.

And then, in a world where everything arguably needs improving, it can easily feel like there’s too much to care about and few avenues for resolving them. Maybe, because paths aren’t yet there, we feel unable to care as much as we’d like or take on these additional areas of concern. It’s difficult to live in a world where everything’s imperfect and it all matters (Notes Four).

It does seem, though, that we do want to understand things and make them better. It’s just hard to care so much, and to know where to start or how to proceed. Hopefully we’ll find that space within society where conversations and coordination can happen.

Notes and References:

Note 1: Can others join you?
Note 1: Pick a side, any side
Note 2: Right to question and decide
Note 2: Can we reinvigorate how we’re living?
Note 2: Working through mind & society
Note 2: Making adjustments
Note 3: Who should we trust?
Note 3: