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.