Center for Restorative Activism
Oct 01, 2012
Here are some basic principles that help to frame what restorative activism is about:
The historical moment calls on us to identify and focus on root causes. I believe the historical moment boils down to a choice between continuation with the life-denying worldview based on separateness, and a life affirming worldview based on the direct experience of interrelatedness. The belief in separateness can be singled out as a root cause of the crises we face and this shows us what we are really up against.
We are all in recovery from industrial civilization and the worldview of separateness. This leads to the need to attend to our own psyche and the restorative practices that cultivate the experience of interrelatedness.
The path of restorative activism leads to the need to create and sustain relationships. And since nothing puts us on the spot like relationships we are simultaneously called to do our own inner work.
Consistent nonviolence is key. We are already creating the future by how we show up for life today. Violence begets violence, we know this by now, right? Moving away from shame, blame and “us verses them” thinking, we become the change we want to see in the world.
Balance power and love. Dr. King summed it up: “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.”
We are in a marathon and not a sprint. When we come to realize the need to shift an entire worldview we cannot avoid the conclusion that there is no quick fix. We will do well, therefore, to prioritize our own sustainability, our own ecology. When we make room for happiness and joy, for healthy food and exercise, for play and all our needs as human beings, we become better positioned to be of real service to the world.
Other Qualities of the Restorative Activist:
- Seeks to defeat injustice, not people
- Seeks to understand, not to be understood (moves from arrogance to inquiry)
- Cultivates the ability to be with ambiguity (not knowing/beginners mind) and to bear witness
- Is not attached to desired outcomes