Despite having been raised in a politically aware environment, as a young adult I made the conscious choice to dis-involve myself from politics.
While I always cared deeply about the world, political activism seemed more about righteousness – and the skillful manipulation of opinions and facts – than heart-felt concern for community. It seemed to be the exclusive domain of those who enjoyed a good fight above all else and had far thicker skins than my own. At the very least, political engagement was certainly not a suitable pursuit for someone inspired primarily by peaceful contemplation and solitude.
And yet, the capacity for peace in our world – personal and collective – is in many ways related to the realities of our political state. How much peace is possible for people in a state of war? In a dangerous ghetto? Whose children have died, been injured by or witnessed a school shooting? Whose community has been devastated by industrial pollutants?
How much more peace would be possible if people were not preoccupied with physical or financial survival? Job insecurity? Or the inability to afford healthcare?
Peace as a spiritual pursuit is possible in the midst of even the greatest chaos. But as a collective standard of living, it suffers when there is severe inequality, violence and exploitation.
While I still find my greatest satisfaction in contemplation, peace and solitude – I understand now that these are the fuel I require for supporting those who do have the temperament to fight, to debate and to stand with the crowd.
We all have a part to play if we choose it. In today’s world, there is more than enough work to go around and we can all do our part joyfully and in alignment with who we are – doing what we alone can do. Do not be fooled by thinking that political engagement has to occur in only one way or that being the change looks the same for all people.
If you seek support for playing your part – whether you are an expert or an absolute beginner – I am here to support your work in transforming our world. That – for me – is what it now means to be political.
What does it mean for you?
Jesica Davis is a highly regarded and experienced coach and group facilitator who has created The Awakened Activist to provide sustenance and support for activists and social entrepreneurs all over the world. If you are working to create a human presence characterized by environmental sustainability and social justice, visit her website to connect.