How can we practice shifting anger from a destructive to a generative force? The Zen teacher, activist, and author angel Kyodo Williams describe healthy relationships to anger and the historical context of inequality for some communities. Anger is capable of pointing us back to love. It arises as a result of an offense to what we love. If we can use anger to reconnect to love, then that anger—the response that we have to injustice, pain, and suffering in the world—can be a generative force rather than a destructive one.
Rev. angel helps us understand that we don’t have ‘personal’ experiences because we’re all connected. So when yet another black child, teenager, or young person is killed, the response should be fierce. But if it’s rooted in love and that love is connected with a deep touching into our suffering, whatever the reaction, there’s no wish for the destruction of life or for the suffering of others. Love has a wish for the deconstruction of that which is false and that which harms. That’s the right place to go. Love never expresses itself as wishing harm.
You can feel things that are unknowable—and should stay that way—to our minds. That’s the third lesson that I learned, which I knew and which was affirmed by this profoundly messy, wild, disorienting space that Occupies Wall Street is. In the progressive community, we like to take pride in our willingness to extend ourselves into difference and bring difference forth. As profoundly important as that is, we have to find spaces of shared practice.
Just as London was beginning to be set ablaze by Blackberries, I was bracing myself for the current Hollywood reboot of Planet of the Apes. The 2001 remake starring Mark Wahlberg left me mortally wounded, having claimed itself a “revisioning” of the original story and movie, it managed to not only leave every racist/colorist myth in place but it was also elevated it to a spiritual plane by being robed in pseudo-Himalayan garb so that the apes were a cabal of ill-compassionate, slave-owning monks and priests. It was one of only two movies
Beyond survival and security, self-determination is the underpinning of justice…Beyond simple survival, being able to determine our own path is the hallmark of self-expression, self-fulfillment, and most importantly, self-love.
Questions abound as to how the all-knowing US didn’t see such a wave of revolutions forthcoming: America’s deep-seated racism and perceived religious-cultural superiority conspire to make the quiet swelling of a sea of brown and black People calling for their freedom with fearlessness, grace, and unwavering determination a political improbability. To see them do it in succession, leaving the realm of mere anomaly? Impossible.
Waving their flags of red, white, and black with defiance and dignity, destiny is on the side of revolution and the government must finally yield to the eternal law of change. What I see in Egypt is all the people of the world that seek out justice when it is too long denied, insist upon equality when it too long imbalanced, and take back freedom when it is too long withheld.
I propose one single resolution that we can take on right now: A resolution for revolution. I propose that we put our efforts into forming a new state. A state of the union. I propose that we become a single movement of movements. I propose that we become one.
I believe this different world is not only possible but that it can be manifest by achieving a tipping point: one that is ushered in through the existing networks of individuals, informal groups, communities, and organizations that are striving for justice in all areas of society.
I have found the thinking, choices, behavior, and resulting consequences of our people so incomprehensible at a heart level, that my mind has refused to put words to a phenomenon that seems beyond them. when I say our people, I mean OUR people. all of them. the ones that every single human that ever lays eyes on this—from now until the end of time—have a relationship to