December 22, 2011
On the Topic of Revolution

Nick Clements, an internationally-acclaimed author, filmmaker, and workshop facilitator, living in Wales, writes this great two paragraphs from his book, The Dangerous Man.

“Right now, we live in a society without compassion, obsessed by celebrity, material goods, and in the thrall of rampant consumerism.  This has created any number of climatic, economic, and social planetary crises. If we do not start living revolutionary lives in this moment, then we never will! If we do not realize we need to think and act as revolutionaries right now, then we have failed our ancestors and we will be failing future generations to come. We need radical revolutionary thought and action everywhere. We need to challenge how we live, where we live, what is community, what is good, what is bad, what we do, share with - everything needs to change.  It is no longer or right to think in the short term, to be timid, to stay in that awful job, to maintain a loveless relationship, or to ignore the REALITY of any of our situations.

Revolution was always about injustice. The injustice is ‘within’ as well as ‘without’. We treat ourselves very badly, we criticize and we abuse ourselves, probably harder and more vehemently than anyone else. We need to recognize this and stop being so hard on ourselves, and recognize the paradox of working with shadow. We we work with the shadow we realize that the internal always reflects the external. For example, I was on the freeway and there was a queue because a lane had been closed. Some bastard just drove up there really fast in a big red car - zooooom! There was a judgement in my head, ‘I don’t do that, I’m not like that, and I wouldn’t do that’. What bugged me about it the most was his impatience.  If someone does something that really pisses me off, I have come to understand that it’s not them… it’s a behavior that is mirroring an aspect of myself that I haven’t dealt with, however saintly I think I am. In this particlar case, what’s funny is that I am so impatient… I want things NOW. All he was doing was mirroring my own impatience. As soon as I understood that, I had compassion for him andthat’s revolutionary thought, because I’m not left with prejudice. I’m not sitting there saying, “I’m better than that bastard in that red car” - I’m saying, “Hey, brother… you go ahead and do it, because you’re just mirroring my own impatience.” There’s a silver-lining to being impatient. I would never have had the drive to achieve all those things I’ve achieved if I hadn’t been impatient. There’s always the shadow and the light… the polarities are always there. May we all recognize our own paradoxes and forgive ourselves, then we can get on with leading revolutionary lives in our own unique ways.”

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