Real activism for a variety of reasons is relentless, brutal in a way, in taking responsibility for its own actions, and scrupulous in avoiding taking responsibility for other's actions, be they coworkers or the opponents. Why? They understand that the only thing they can control is themselves, nothing else, ever. But in fully controlling themselves, to be what they want to see in the world, nothing around them can remain the same. The change in things around them, might be miniscule, it might be never seen, but it has to be there.
And they're so focused on their own behavior, they're so focused on being the change that the world needs to be, that they make huge changes within themselves, they make, and invent, and create of themselves what a human being should in their time. And it causes, often, tremendous change in those around them in an ever broadening sphere. They’re the tip of the spear. The spear tip begins to form behind them, and gets larger and larger and larger, and soon there's something that can penetrate the hearts of others in great mass. Not always, but often.
They also understand an extremely counterintuitive reason for never taking responsibility for the behavior of others. We are trained it to want others to take responsibility for our behavior because it sets up a whole stream of opportunities to not take responsibility for our own. It is the very essence of codependency; of enabling. I need someone to take care of me. I need someone to tell me what to do. I don't want someone to tell me what to do. So instead of focusing on what my responsibility is, I can focus on fighting with the person that's trying to control me; wonderful excuse for avoiding personal responsibility. It sets up the opportunity to talk. We like to talk. We're taught in this sick culture that actually standing, up putting our bodies in the way of harm, is naïve, foolish, irresponsible, reckless, not be done, futile….
So when we take responsibility for the behavior of others, we massively enable their ability to not take responsibility for themselves. And the Unviolent warrior, the insanely humane warrior, the ‘Marines’ and ‘Navy SEALs’ of Unviolent warfare is all about, 1st, taking Sheroeic responsibility herself, and thereby inspiring others to do the same. They don't make the mistake of, with any breath, of not taking responsibility for their own behavior, because that's their weapon, that's their hope. All of it.
And in doing so they create what Dr. King called creative-tension, to the maximum, avoiding falling into the trap of dissipating that tension by taking responsibility for others, for the reasons I just mentioned, and thereby leaving that vacuum of creative tension, an ongoing pull on those who would avoid their responsibility, to pull them into that space of responsibility. It's brilliant. It's counterintuitive. And unless a bunch of folks step up to it, it doesn't matter, because all the major doors, all the major windows are closing now. But if these lessons are learned by few, they might be learned by many.
There's still time to work a miracle, but not much.