What does it take to create radical change?
While “change” on a small level can be created through the smallest of things–a small deed and thought or small shift in awareness–and radical change requires more from us. Not only does it call on us to do big things–but to do them perpetually. Our unrelenting pursuit and tenacious belief that we can create radical change is what fuels us when something seems hard or impossible.
Creating a global climate of tolerance and love is possible
If you are wondering how to begin, there is no shortage of best-selling books with instructions on how you can begin. Gandhi would say for you to be the change you wish to see in the world. Another great teacher might tell you to begin with simply loving yourself. Both small and monumental ideas in the interest of promoting love contribute to the powerful collective outcome. You may be one person, but know that singular people acting in accordance with the premises of radical love can most certainly change the world.
There is a powerful quote from Dr. David R. Hawkins in his book Power vs. Force on this topic
Dr Hawkins writes, “Love of our fellow man can ensue only when we stop condemning, fearing, and hating each other.” Dr Hawkins continues saying, “People cherish and cling to their hates and grievances, so to heal humanity, it may be necessary to pry entire populations away from lifestyles of spite, attack and revenge.” Dr. Hawkins breathes faith into the plausibility of this endeavor by reminding us that the move of even one pawn during a game of chess, completely changes the possibilities of the game. I may be one pawn and you may be one pawn–but we can affect the outcome with our cumulative actions.
How can we practice radical love?
- Refrain from making assumptions about individuals and groups. Surely stereotypes have been established through your life experience, but molds are shattering all around us and individuals, organizations and groups are creating themselves anew.
- Release reliance on possessions and their attainment and replace this with attaining the trust, admiration and love of people.
- Make a list of things that are right with humanity. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than the 21st century. We enjoy brilliant inventions, scientific investigations, our understanding of our universe and the myriad ways we can reach out in support of others.
- Give your undivided attention to the adult or child you are sharing conversation with. How often do we give and receive complete attention? To a child attention is love, and to an adult that is both love and respect. We so rarely enjoy that level of attention that it will surely be noticed when you give it.
- Have the difficult conversation you have been sitting on. It is easier to stuff you feelings than share them, especially when the stakes are high. Whether it is confronting an uncomfortable truth, expressing concern or sharing how you feel, expressing these things, with love can be transformative.
- Tell people you love them, hug them, smile at strangers, or send a note of appreciation. Enjoy performing a random act of kindness or a not so random one. The more you love others, the more that feeling swells inside you, and it feels great.
- Consider kindness rather than retaliation. People who are evil, hateful, and judgmental are suffering as they live in the dense, negative energy of their ways. Chances are quite good that those folks were, many times over, on the receiving end of the very same things they now give.
- Hold your movie-choices, favorite TV shows, books and video games to a high standard. Do they promote radical love? At no time should theft, fighting and killing be thought of as entertainment and each movie, game and program that shares these things, reduces our collective level of consciousness. Ask the simple question “Does this promote love in the world?” and if the answer is no, pass on it.
Radical love requires more from us than the standard definition of love. It asks for more than writing a check to a charity or sending a card to an ill neighbor. Radical love requires us to be vigilant with what and whom we allow in our lives and to reach out and connect with others in an authentic and meaningful way. It also requires that we hear and honor the heartbeat of our planet. Radical love trumps “easy” and “convenient” and asks for a profound awareness and dedication to what matters most. Gandhi, a man who embodied this premise impeccably, relinquished his attachments to the comforts of the world to respond to negativity with radical love. He stood for what was right and good-- not because it was easy, but because it was important. His advocacy for love-based action positively impacted the lives of hundreds of millions of people. Each of us shares the same calling and we are capable of the same level of vigilance and boundary setting. We can love in the face of hatred, look for blessings as we face adversity, and smother negativity with light. Being present, conscious and loving as we carrying out our work, relationships, politics, recreation and alone time is a fabulous gift to the world—and ourselves too.
Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company which offers coaching and consulting, web-design, publishing support, and fundraising opportunities for individuals and groups. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com and connect with her on Twitter @TheSoulSalon.