How many books did Gandhi write? How many talks did he give? How many papers? How many articles? Many and many. Yet, the inscription at the base of his magnificent, moving statue in front of the Indian Embassy here in DC on Massachusetts Avenue around about 21st, is, "My life is my message."
Language is far too little, far too late, and far too cheap. Real activism, the insanely humane warriors like Gandhi, weren't there to play, they were there to use the strongest weapons, the strongest means of communication, the strongest means of communicating, to hitting the heart, known - that's behavior, that's paying the price with one's life, that's establishing the price with one's life, voting with every breath. Gandhi, et al, explain with words, but they don't make the mistake of thinking that their words have 1/10, 1/100th, the weight of their actions. They know that their words are too little too late. And the activism of the last 40 years is exactly the opposite - devotion to getting the words right, devotion to getting the media coverage, the right ‘message.’ For what? For what?
The news isn't that this past fall, several thousand people showed up, maybe 5000, maybe 10,000 to circle the White House. The news isn't that this fall, thousands of people showed, up hundredths, maybe 1000 over the course of two weeks submitting themselves to a paltry four hour post and forfeit arrest. The news is that it wasn't 10,000 going to prison for life; the news is that it wasn't 1000 on death strike, on death fast in front of the Canadian Embassy. This inflated, ridiculous ahistorical sense that the right words are worthy of news coverage, that the right lip service is worthy of news coverage - this is suicide friends; and it's genocide to the 200 billion people's lives that depend on what we do right now.
This is insanity. My generation that caused it isn't gonna suffer the consequences. The young forever will. You've got to learn friends. Throw off our example; we've been giving you nothing but bad example for the last 40 years. Go deeper, look at the Egyptian revolutionaries, the civil rights workers, the women suffragists, the Indian freedom fighters of Gandhi's day.
The Unviolent warrior learn from history friends, not recent history (throw that out, it’s garbage, self-masturbatory garbage, throw it out. Hurry). The language that has hope is the language of the body which is the visual language, that done out of love, done out of discipline, done unviolently, that is violating no one else's rights, is the only way to hack our problem, which is our cold, dead hearts, and restart them.
You can't escape speaking with your life. If you're doing two hours’ worth of active activism a day and 12 hours of kind of hanging out, don't think that's not what is seen. If you're working a nice comfortable nonprofit job and stepping out to demonstrate a couple times a year, don't think that's not what people see. Your life is what they're ‘seeing,’ you can't escape that.
But you can escape the trap of having your life not be what you want to see in the world. You can have your life be what you want to see in the world. And if it's a tremendous amount of change that constructing a new future requires, then let your life be a show that. That's what speaks to other people.
You can't escape speaking to other people with your most powerful weapon, your life. What you can escape is saying the wrong, counterproductive, self-defeating, self-dooming, future-dooming things with it.
Make it so.