Why would anyone be stupid enough to do what I say, and not what I do? Why would anyone be stupid enough to believe what I say not what I do? Why would politicians, corporations, be stupid enough to do what we ‘activists’ say, and not what we pay the price for, or offer to pay the price for, with our lives?
Probably my favorite quotation is Albert Schweitzer, the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner, a Renaissance man of so many talents, in demand for so many things around the world, and instead devoted his life as an example of being humane, in the least accessible parts of Africa that had rarely if ever been visited, setting up medical clinics, and running them. He said, this man of infinite talents, music, theology, lecturing, writing, he said - "example is not a major thing in influencing people, it's the only thing." He wasn't kidding. He wasn't being cute.
We know Gandhi's words. Was it Gandhi's words that changed the world? It was Gandhi's behavior that changed the world. It was Gandhi's example that changed the world.
We know words of people like Wael Ghonim in Egypt, revolutionary of a year and a half ago, Google executive, but why do we know those words? Because their words changed the world? No. Because the action of such people changed the world; their example. Their example that there was something more precious than their own lives, reminded enough of us, awakened enough of us, that we stood in solidarity long enough that Mubarak is now gone.
Alice Paul graduated the top of her class at Swarthmore, and graduating top of class, is kind of a career death sentence - high school valedictorians, that category is one of the greatest predictors of life failure. I'm sure Alice's writing and speaking was brilliant, but it was her example, subjecting herself to torture in a prison, 20 miles south of DC, subjecting herself to force-feeding on hunger strike, it was her example, showing that there's something more important than our own selfish pleasures; showing that the rights of their daughters and granddaughters was more important than their own lives, turning the value equation upside down, that changed the world.
And so it's always been. My God, what hideous creatures that we continue to pervert and ignore such an obvious fact.
Stop your God damn demonstrating; Stop your God damned taunting. Stop your God damn talking.
Be what the world needs to be Be what the world needs to see. Be the change the world needs to see.
Nothing less has remotely the power it takes to save your world.
And doing so is the only path to joy. It's the only path to meaning.
Your nervous system isn't stupid. You're not going to fool it. Talk is cheap. Your nervous system will know that you're cheap. You'll be depressed, you'll be unfocused, unmotivated. Not if you talk with your example. If you keep your mouth shut, and make your example clear. You do that, your life will be full of joy. If you're in prison being force fed, it will be full of joy. If you're ostracized by all your friends, your life will be full of joy, because you'll be living out of the heart, and all the heart knows how to do is to produce the feeling of joy and total peace of heart while it is exercised.
Everything less kills the one resource you don't have left - time.
Be what the world needs to be.
No amount of taunting could have saved my life. No amount of ridicule, and if someone has any humanity in them all, but they’re on the wrong track like I was, you taunt them, you ridicule them, they just change the channel from you, man. You're off the list of people that can influence them. You really want to waste the little bit of time you have left to change things on such mental activist masturbation?
Really? Come on, you're better than that.