Dominant culture teaches us to divine our meaning, worth, and truth through the judgments of external forces. When we are pushed from being the subject of our own lives to being objectified, our moral force is diminished.
For the adversaries that would obstruct our abundant life, we will never be nice enough, calm enough, deserving enough, or timely enough. They will use the words of morality like “good” and “proper” and “respectable” to divide us.
We must reclaim these measuring sticks and words for ourselves, to either dismantle them or reimagine them as blessings and encouragement.
Nonviolent activism calls us to flex our spiritual, mental, and perhaps even physical muscles of self-knowing. We do not have to be “good enough” by someone else’s measure. Instead, nonviolent activism leads us to build supportive, accountable communities that sustain our resilience, clarity, and integrity.
Which word in our tagline “Relentless Nonviolent Resistance” feels most potent to you?
Which kinds of resistance work can be undertaken nonviolently? Are there forms of activism that inherently fall outside the reach of “nonviolent”? Is there a place for that kind of activism in our movements?
When is aggression appropriate? Who decides what is aggressive?
As the pressure of media–with its polarization and cacophony of voices and quick judgments–increases, what questions do you or would you use among your co-activists to assess whether your ethics and commitments are still in place? How do you keep your conscience located inside your community instead of in the hands of the most powerful, loudest, or most aggrieved adversaries?