Its what the title says. It was suppose to be a time of prayer, but I ended up clarifying my stand on things about social activism…
I am really tired of the phrases such as ‘changemaker’ and ‘social change’. After a point, these phrases become so overused that they become empty of meaning. I’m not sure myself about how I feel towards activism. I thought maybe I could clarify it a little here. I know there’s a part of me that’s still interested in social justice. I don’t think its a nebulous concept, but it is very clear. What I think it is, is to look towards a society with lesser, inequalities. I would think that inequalities would always be with us, but it is the extent which is the obviously the problem. But more than that, social justice, and by extension, social change, is about the effort required to enable more people to lead more meaningful lives according to their own definition. To me, it means to give empowering education, the kind of support of creative talent that Ken Robinson talks about. My starting point is that people were created to be good, and that given the right environment, they will make the right choices for their own lives. To me the debate about values is important, but not the whole point. Sure, you can trumpet the words ‘democracy’, ‘liberty’, ‘freedom of xyxyxy’, but all of that, is really peripheral compared to the reality of experience. By that I want to mean, ‘how are these values at work, and empower ordinary people in their everyday lives?’ Not that these values are peripheral, but what they mean, and how they work out in the lives of ordinary people – I think that is substantially more important. To me, that’s real social change, on the ground, at work in the lives of people.
To me, social change, must be, and has to be, about people living out and fulfilling their value systems. Everything else is simply talk. Unless lives get better, unless I see a more loving, giving, and thinking society, everything is really cheap talk.
But more to the point, values in themselves provide the social environment for a decent society. I’m really thinking that a values-based society is secondary to that of a love-based society.
The statement comes from a personal opinion that the civil society in reality still does not represent a broad swath of society, and despite the spectrum of ideals, the reality is, these are the most vocal voices. And despite the plurality of viewpoints, the debates themselves becomes a sounding room of their own that becomes divorced from reality from the ground. And when it gets there, it no longer become social activism…
I want to add: that the society that I wish to see, is a love-based society, of sensitivity and tolerance, no matter the religion.
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