Thursday, October 12, 2006

DARFUR ETC: We are Dying for Heroes

It strikes me how profoundly foolish the Wright brother’s plane was. Useless! Truly. It couldn’t fly much further than one can throw a rock. It could barely carry one person. Their plane could fly only in ideal weather conditions.

Yet in hind sight, the Wright Brother’s pitiful plane was so devastatingly powerful that it fundamentally transformed the world forever. The World was Dying for a Plane. Was that seen clearly at the time? Once even their crude model was visible, the genie could not be put back in the bottle, the world was forever changed. The world began feverishly changing itself in the direction the model set in motion.

Those we activists wish to help, our family Darfur in my case, are Dying for Heroes. We citizens and activists ourselves are Dying for Heroes, even if these Heroes are to be merely rough, early models. This is true whether the cause is Darfur Genocide, ending Abortion, the Environment, Iraq democricy, Stopping the Iraq sufferering by all parties, ending Terror in the world, ending poverty, ending the many thousand deaths per day due to easily preventable causes, justice for Haiti, you name it.

We are Dying for Heroes. This is what I’ve learned these months and years of activism. For me this realization is unexpected, shocking, disturbing, and unwanted. However facing and satisfying our need for Heroes is essential to achieving success within the causes we serve:

1. Activism without Heroic Love (antiviolent action) is hopeless, kills time, and wastes resources. Antiviolence is the term I use where others say nonviolence. The translation of Gandhi’s central idea typically is “nonviolence.” This is a hopelessly misleading term.

Think matter–antimatter, violence-antiviolence. Gandhi also described “nonviolence” as Infinite Love, and as the Love of a mother for her child. What Gandhi described is called Antiviolence, Heroic Love here. Teresa of Calcutta described it when she wrote, ‘Love cannot remain passive in the face of suffering.’ It is that type of unavoidably Responding, Heroic Love. Antivilent action, nothing less will succeed.

Has this always been true that we are Dying for Heroes? This has been true in the face of suffering throughout history and when enough Heroes emerged, society changed.

Just try to think of an exception. For example, “Some of us are going to have to get our heads kicked in…,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us. When enough Heroes did so, Civil Rights emerged.

2. The War of Love (antiviolence) to displace Hate & Neglect (violence.) is really the only war for the activist regardless of her/his specific “cause.” The first job, really the only job of those seeking real social/global change, is to spawn creation of Heroic Love / courage / otherishness…. Asley Montegue told us fifty years ago, ‘the problem is not the absence of love, it is the presence of tribal love.’ We are dying for models of Heroic, Global Family Love that can be copied by millions, or life as we know it begins to perish. Our individual causes are crucial because they are the stimulus for generating this Heroic Love as much as for their achievement of the objective of the causes themselves.

3. How to create Heroes? Heroes Beget Heroes Beget… There is only one strategy / approach / tactic of any hope – Be a Hero, Make a Hero – Be Heroic in pursuing your cause. “Be the change you want to see,” Gandhi told us. The explicit objectives of our individual causes are the prospective symptoms when Heroic Love is applied abundantly, and the present conditions we revile are the manifestation of a profound deficit of Heroic Love.

Is it crucial that we focus on the production of even crude models of Heroic Love in pursuit of our causes? Was it crucial for the Wright Brothers to produce their prototype?

We need living models of Heroic Love now more than at any time in history because it is vastly harder to do so today. It is harder to see the enemy clearly (our killing neglect is much harder to see than a lynch mob). The necessary elements of Heroic Love - Humanity, courage, selflessness, brotherhood, morality - are in shorter supply. And, the heroism now must be more powerful than ever because it must transcend immense distances (cultural, geographic, nationality, race, religion, economic…) far greater distances than Love ever has had to span before.

My focus is 110% Darfur, but the ideas of this article you are reading apply to all of our causes to better the world for all, I feel certain.

How important is to face that We are Dying for Heroes? I think I would give my life if that would help the effort to save Darfur. But I realize to my amazement, that I would also give (will give? am giving?) my life just in the hopes of establishing a Model of these ideas, of Heroic Love, of what is required to Win the battles we are fighting – Heroic Antiviolent Love in service of a cause. After more than 100 days of round the clock Vigil for Darfur at the White House, 60 days of water only Hunger Strike, I am now, along with some brothers and sisters, calling we-the-citizens to a worldwide Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops. (See May we all raise up some Heroes, in time.

1 comment:

Rosemary said...

You did a very good job editing, and the small errors I will not mention. Just as long the message gets out.

One thing I may want to caution you about is you do not want to disregard the half of this population.

All people care about the environment. We just disagree on what is correct science. All people care about peace. This is an area where the disagreement has gotten out of hand.

I support the war in Iraq and if the people of Darfur would prefer a war to a bad peace? Who are we to say, "No! You must die under Bashir!"

Would that not be defeating our purpose, as far as stopping the genocide? Do they not have the right to protect themselves?

All I am asking is please don't insult my intelligence. I support all plans to save the Darfurian people. I also support the war in Iraq.

It is not the people who support this action who politized this war...