[Probably the toughest, most difficult, most challenging, most important essay in this book. Rough language and imagery ahead.]
Friends, this is a silly, true story that comes to me and I use by way of introduction. When I was a youngster I was enamored of something that I now really, I'm fairly appalled by, that's the Olympics, more distraction from the 26,000 children that die every day from easily preventable causes of poverty, and every other important issue of our global neediest. But I sure had what I thought was an appropriate admiration. An event I never liked much, but I still paid attention to it, was the high jump; seemed so awkward. Sometime during my youth, an unimaginable change took place, a new invention. This guy's name was Fosbury. Instead of diving over the bar as had always done, in his last plant right in front of the bar, he turned his back to the bar and leapt over backwards which I think is still the predominant way to high jump today. In any case, it was for long-time. The Fosbury Flop. Your going to reinvent how the high jump is done? Really? Yes. For all time.
Was Gandhi fooling us when he told us, 'there must never be a Gandhi-ism, I've just scratched the surface on Unviolent warfare. You must take it way beyond.' Jesus said, similarly, 'if you love me you will do greater works than these, because I go on to the Father, you remain.' Well, that suggests we're supposed to be constantly figuring out how to do this better, and that's been true of me, lifelong believing that it could be done better, more importantly, knowing I wasn't good enough yet, I wasn't powerful enough yet, I wasn't effective enough yet, I wasn't the key yet, and trying to figure out how to invent ways to improve my shape so that I could become the key in the lock.
Gandhi was not some static dogmatist, he was constantly studying, famously saying, 'learn as though you're going to live forever, live as though you're going to die tomorrow.’ Learning was central to him.
I'm not suggesting that this the for the title of this video, talking about keeping others in the room with you at all times, your clients, I'm not suggesting that's ever been the exact thought of other activists, though the good ones would applaud me for inventing something new and they would use it. It was only about three months ago as I was in a desperate struggle to figure out how to become the key to averting climate Armageddon, because no one else was even trying to figure out how to do so, that the following came to me. My focus of the time was very high, very intense and powerful, but it was not perfect or close enough to perfect. My intensity was extremely high, but not high enough. My clarity, my sense of reality my moral imagination were very advanced but not advanced enough. Then, the following gift was presented to me by the 80% of my brain that I understand to be the Heart, others understand to be God, as follows - keep the client population that you have in the room with you, or their parents at all times, every waking second, is you go to sleep, as you get up in the morning, as you eat, as you party, as you are thinking of going to a party, as you're thinking of diverting your gaze to the scantily clad girl, or boy or man or woman; as you're on hunger strike and you're thinking of devoting half an hour to the idea of eating. Keep the potential victims you to care for, in the room with you, and arm them with AK-47s so that if you divert your attention from saving them to your own self-indulgent rants, pleasures, intoxications...they will blow you away in righteous rage.
In the beginning, I kept ‘in the room’ with me, the parents of the 26,000 children that will die exactly 30 days from today from easily preventable causes of poverty, largely dirty water, because we don't care enough to stop it. So, I'm thinking of, 'oh boy, I just want to go and a enjoy hamburger someplace?!!?!?' They're not going to punish me for that, they're going to frickin blow me away. 'Pal, you have allowed yourself the over-privilege, the time, the skills, the place of the most powerful country in the world, and you're going to indulge in a hamburger, while my children are going to die in three months, if you don’t get them salvation?
I want these armed parents with me there, friends. I NEED THEM WITH ME. I don't want to be that person that's so small that I'd rather get a hamburger, than be the creature that out of love, out of greed for joy, is devoting every second to saving those children. [NO, my point is NOT that a hamburger should never be eaten.]
And now the population that I keep in the room with me, or I bring into the room those rare times now where I feel myself drifting - with the greatest gratitude and joy I will reach to the year 2050 and I will pull in with me, the children of today the five-year-olds of so today, the children of today's 20-year-olds, I will pull them into the room with me, and I will keep them there, every second armed with AK-47s. They know what I know; they can't talk to me; they can't tell me what to do; but they can hold those weapons, cocked and armed.
This is such a beloved, blessed, godsend of a device for me to stay the joyful path, rather than waste my life as I did for 40 years on the garbage trivia of the head and the flesh, nothing but a different form of addiction. The infinite flow of 'stuff' in this culture, just a different form of crack. It's a different form of heroin. It's a different form of alcohol.
If that's really what you want to spend your life, do it. But if you want joy, if you want the quality of life of a Gandhi, or a King, or a Loving, you put your and keep your population in the room with you, armed with AK-47's, joyful, that if you forget, they will blow your ass away with righteous anger. Hatred? No. Righteous rage.
It'll keep you alive friend. If nothing else it'll keep you alive, and joyful, and loving, and it just might save them, and a future for your kids.