Of all these essays, of all these characteristics that I've come to know of the potent activists, there are four or five that I've highlighted as 'No., 1's.' That's a rare gift, a rare luxury, that some are such key indicators. Please understand that my daily and sometimes many times a day dashboarding of issues, time with the Personal Trainer, has been 70 such issues, characteristics, on which I reflect daily, deeply, often more, sometimes less. I'd had grown not nearly fast enough to see and embrace the death fast but for this directed "prayer" time daily, for 10 months now. Now for me, the 70 issues/characteristics of my prior tool are replaced by the ones that were created for this book, but they are a 90% overlap, just different words. So I'm not suggesting there are just four or five of these "No. 1's" that any of us can get by on. We can't, anymore than a private pilot on instruments, like I used to be when more of an Affloholic youth, can get by on just 5 or so instruments. It's a luxury one can afford, only with certain, disaster. But it's still useful to have those key indicators.
Hypocrisy is the number one killer of true activism in the last 40 years now. Hypocrisy is one of our most important words, that is among those that has been the most bastardized, the most distorted, the most lost in its useful meaning in our society. I'm not talking about a slanderous use of the word - hypocrisy. I'm not talking about a weapon the we hurl at another to hurt them, 'oh, you hypocrite,' I'm talking about a diagnosis - saying one thing and meaning another; of living that one standard applies to someone else, but that standard does not apply to oneself, and one's group. And today's activism, post 1960's activism, there is nothing more that characterizes it so well as - hypocrisy. Tragic. Revolting. Suicide. For example…
'Obama, by any objective measure, you have done 99% more than any president possibly could with the lack of support, and animosity that you've received from the opposition, let alone from your supposed base, but there's still 1% that maybe by some miracle you could've got done, so you are a bum, a total failure, a sell-out to the right, in the pocket of wall street, spineless...." Now the honest activist, the real activists, would go on, well, they wouldn't have even started such a sentence, but let's say did, 'now president Obama, you are performing at a higher level on a daily basis than I do cumulatively in any five year period….'
It's our hideous, evil religion among so-called activists - Hypocrisy is that religion. It's a drug, it's license - because we're 'activists,' I no longer have to hold me or my associates to any standards whatsoever (EXCEPT, to hold no other activists to any standard whatsoever), but I get to hold everyone else to the highest, totally unrealistic, totally unachievable... standards. Is that how a loving mother treats her daughter? Is that how an extreme-tough-loving drill Sgt., in the movie "An Officer and Gentleman," Sgt. Foley, one of our great icons of courage and tough-love and giving, is that how he treats his recruits, holding himself to a lower standard than he holds them? The good coach, is that what they do? King, Gandhi held themselves to lower standards, but others to higher, right? Never. The Freedom Riders signed their last wills, got on the bus, held the police and the mob that was beating them to a higher standard, right? They held themselves to a higher standard, no, they held themselves to the same standard but a higher implementation of it!
There are no exceptions friends. There are no potent activists who have brought long-term abiding change that held others to any other standard than they held themselves. EVER. The only 'double' part is they always, always, always... hold themselves to a higher level of compliance, a higher level of performance, to that standard, than they hold others, and the activism for the last 40 years through today, religiously does the opposite, and they wonder why the Right detests them so, and why they've been totally, totally, totally impotent for 40 years. [I take that back. The don't wonder, they just drown in the intoxication of their hateful, self-wallowing hypocrisy.]
Madness. Be the end of it. Please. For yourself and for the world.