Inspired by the #WomensMarch, one poster stuck in my mind. It read “This is not the end.” Contrary to the doomsday forecast, and the even reasonable despair stemming from the executive orders President Trump signed just an hour after inauguration, this message was a message of hope. It spoke to me of the fact that this current march is about more than Donald Trump. It is about #blackLivesMatter and #Ferguson. It is about #MarriageEquality and #EqualPay. Remember #BringBackOurGirls and #YesAllWomen. It is about calls for #justiceOrElse for the #99percent. These are calls that will not go away after 4 years. They won’t go until they are solved.
I reviewed Twitter and got into a groove inspired by Confucius with some notable exceptions. With a movement stoked by the energy of masses seeking to be heard, fearing that the country will lose progress that it has made, it seems appropriate that we revisit how movements are best implemented and sustained. We can’t do this once and for all. The best posture is to strap in for the long haul.
1. Think for Yourself
Every movement has a central paradox to contend with. Each individual is joining a cause toward a shared vision. Yet, the most sustainable mental practice is one of questioning and researching. Effective leaders, therefore, feed information to their followers (read as developing leaders) in order to balance the need for collective action with the individual need for knowledge.
Your part in this is to continue to seek knowledge, to review and digest information. You will grow to create understanding from the knowledge you research. You will learn to interpret and share information to support the thoughtful analysis of others. You will expand the movement as you become a leader thinking for yourself.
Don’t exercise your freedom of speech until you have exercised your freedom of thought. – Tim Fargo #quote
— Beyond The Cookie (@getthemcookies) January 20, 2017
2. Take Action
Events are important. They show the level of commitment in one moment. AND, the movement continues with each day as you infuse your life with action. That is, order your life as a living exemplar of both the beauty and joy of equity, equality, and freedom. Live kindness, acceptance, and encouragement. Give generously and purposefully. Do more than just seek peace, be peaceful. More than seeking love, become love.
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope, own love.#amwriting
— Kavita Chavda (@writekavita27) January 20, 2017
3. Exceed in Your Action
Ideas are a dime a dozen, and you have plenty. Many can suggest what we CAN do, but you must move beyond the possibilities to confirm the realities. Not just the challenges that you are up against, but the effort you are willing to contribute. You must determine what you are willing to put aside in order to make your vision a priority.
Life does not necessarily have to be a zero sum game. Choosing one option does not mean abandoning another. An effective way to exceed your own limitations is to join with others. Your talk is not just talk, it is a plan. Your action takes that plan, joins with your collaborators, and exceeds.
A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. – Confucius #quote
— ✨ Adrienne Dorison ✨ (@adriennedorison) January 18, 2017
4. Adjust Your Action
And even then, disappointment is possible. Expect it in the short term. Look at the action steps you have outlined. Explore whether they fit the environment, resources, and social capital you have assembled. Adjust your action steps. Search the environment to discover mechanisms that may have been hidden when you began. Review your resources to determine your needs and stores. Confirm your social capital and redundancy in key areas of influence and community. Coordinate the interplay among each of these, adjust, and keep moving.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
— Prince Ea (@PrinceEa) January 17, 2017
5. Keep Getting Up
Every time you get up, you rise as an example–even an inspiration–for others. Your story is a reminder of the journey and its challenges. Your falling and getting up is a confirmation that anything is possible. It is encouragement that the risk is not too much to bear. It is tangible proof that one stumble, many falls, do not a complete story make.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do. ~ Confucius
— Jim Kwik (@jimkwik) January 17, 2017