Sunday, March 25, 2007

So You're Talking Revolution. . .

So guess what I’ve spent my week doing?

Battling a bad cold (hence no new posts!), feeling miserable, listening to talk radio, keeping my chin up, and . . . . pondering on the nature of “armchair revolutionaries.”

MY GOODNESS, there are SO MANY “armchair revolutionaries” calling in to talk radio shows, have you noticed?

Theorizing and proselytizing from the comfort of their easy chairs, talking about what everyone else could do and should do without actually taking any action themselves.

Sound familiar, right? Because face it, most of us are “Armchair Revolutionaries,” criticizing others taking action while never getting in the game ourselves and it is time for that to stop!

“Changing the system” begins in your own home and on your own block. It begins with first changing ourselves and living the way we are supposed to be living (i.e. as in the way we tell others they should be living!). It proceeds with encouraging and enabling those around us to a better way. And those actions take root and blossom as we make the progression to really seeing –- really seeing –- what goes on around us with new eyes. Not critical ones ever ready to tear down someone else, but compassionate ones ever ready to build up.

Build up and reach out in action by helping those individuals and organizations that are on the front lines trying to make a positive difference. And you can take action in many ways:

• give a financial, direct service, or material contribution to a grassroots nonprofit organization who needs it

• answer a “call to action” and write your congressman, senator, and/or your state representative to give support to a piece of legislation that will help the community

• sponsor a child going to summer camp or an enrichment class

• mentor a child

• help clean up your community

• report drug activity on your block

• educate yourself on this country’s history and the resulting, continuing effects of institutionalized racism and oppression (hey, I’m sick, not amnesic. . .you didn’t seriously believe I’d leave that out, did you? [smile])

• take a good, hard look in the mirror. Critique yourself with as much honesty and detail as you critique others. Then heal yourself – and get assistance in healing yourself -- so that you can encourage and enable others to heal

We so often believe that we must do something really big for an action to have meaning. But it is those small actions that we commit to each day that make the most difference.

So, while you are waiting for the “big” action, the “revolution [that] won’t be televised,” start with these smaller ones. Baby steps, right?

And you can begin, “Armchair Revolutionaries,” just by getting out of that chair.

Moving Forward,



  1. I agree with you about armchair revolutionaries. I am an instructor of self-reliance and preparedness and work with other organizations/groups and it enrages me sometime with the lack effort that is made with little daily contributions. There are enough infirmities that WE could contribute to make at least a little better. WE are in a triage situation but don't want to accept it and begin to make even the smallest contribution because WE don't see enough blood evidence because WE are too busy pretending to be genius revolutionary CSIs. Blood or no blood OUR situation is definitely triage. Every affirming contribution no matter how small is helpful. Then WE start asking for more after people get started with their little contribution process.

  2. I agree with you about armchair revolutionaries. I work in conjunction with other organizations and sometimes they are waiting for this grand "something" to happen before they can make a contribution. It makes no sense. WE are in a triage situation with more than enough infirmities to address. But many of US "revolutionaries" are pretending to be on the tv show CSI Africa as if WE are already dead. WE are not dead yet, but WE are dying. WE need more triage application to go along with the arm chair pathological assessments of how wrong things are Meanwhile WE are bleeding to death because WE won't take OUR shirt/dashikis/lapas off and get out of OUR armchairs to apply some sort of wound dressing. Let alone find a band-aid.
    Oh yeah about reporting drug activity to the police, some may call that snitching. But like you said if there were not so many armchair revolutionaries, then the Block/Community Patrol would handle that decisively.
    I agree.
    Do loudly and speak softly. (smile)