About a month ago I was contacted by someone in Egypt who found me online (not sure exactly how).

He said he was part of one of the political parties and had access to large numbers of young people who were feeling cynical and discouraged about their new ‘revolution’. He was writing seeking advice on what to tell them.

I re-read my response in case I wanted to edit it — but I have left it intact

This is what I wrote:

1) Think long term. Resolve, now, that you are in this work for the long term.

2) Therefore, make it as much about the journey as about the destination. BE – now – the change you wish to see. If the revolution cannot be joyful, healing, and connecting, then how can we expect the outcome of the revolution to be that way? The seeds we plant along the journey are what we will harvest later.

3) While changes need to happen structurally — in the government, in the economy — put equal focus on the relationships within your movement. Build trust and a strong sense of community. Get to know each other, deeply. These friendships and alliances will serve you for the long work ahead. Conflicts arise in any group working together. The trust and relationships you build now will serve you in any misunderstandings and internal conflicts that may come.

4) Think win-win. As much as possible – whenever possible – secure your “win” in a way that others also win. Any time we create a win-lose situation, that breeds resentment and disconnection. Find ways to meet your needs that are in harmony with others’ needs. There are times when strong action must be taken in order to protect life. And there are people who will not work with you to create win-win, mutually agreeable outcomes. You can hate and despise attitudes and worldviews, but always love people. People can change.

5) Reach out for support. You have the support of people around the world who value love, freedom, and fairness. Reach out and ask for what you want.

2 thoughts on “Positivity and Perseverance

  1. Alan,
    I appreciate your useful change guidelines. With the world learning about Occupy Wall Street, and my participation in Whatcom Alliance for Heathcare Access’ new community project for affordable and quality health care, these “change agent” tips are very relevant right now. As I build connections and have discussions, I’ve cited this piece.
    Thank you.

    Chris Wermus

    1. Hi Chris.
      Great to hear from you.
      I’m so glad that this has meant something to you. Sometimes I write what is alive for me, but I don’t even know if anybody’s reading this stuff, you know?
      I’ve gotten clear that my “tribe” is positive change agents, which I define as people committed to making the world a better place and themselves better people. (Within the “who” of my niche I also include people who consider themselves cultural creatives, sustainability activists, and social entrepreneurs.)
      NVC is just one of the tools I consider to be essential. And even then, there’s so much more than simply the best tools.
      The four things I like to help change agents with are: mindsets, tools, skills, and support.
      So far, in these early stages of blogging, I’ve focused a lot on mindsets, which create a strong foundation.
      Anyway, getting comments like yours gives me juice to keep writing.
      Thank you.

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