Transform Protests into Promotion

Activists can create the most change by focusing on their own message

Between witnessing stolen elections and wars for profit I was mad, and this was before I was tased, arrested, and lied about on TV. In 2007, I was arrested after asking John Kerry questions like “How could you concede the 2004 election when 5 million votes were suppressed and you should have been President?”

I was furious that the Democrats weren’t fighting against the wars for profit that were killing thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan including our own troops. When they let me out of jail, the first words to my lawyer were “I’m ready for O’Reilly.” I was ready to tell the whole world exactly what I thought about these liars and criminals.

The anger I felt, while justified, was unhealthy and unproductive for what I wanted to accomplish. I was making myself sick over the misdeeds of Bush, Kerry, O’Reilly, and people I saw as the root of the world’s problems.

That anger raises the bile in the body, creates stress, and is not useful for reaching the people I wanted to inform about the situation. Most people don’t want to listen to political diatribes, especially when the arguments are delivered with any hint of self-righteousness or feeling of desperation, even if that desperation is a need for justice or freedom. Self-righteousness and desperation are not attractive to people.

To truly create change you have to share with people in a way they can handle it. When you can speak from a place of peace and offer knowledge with no need for acceptance, people will be more willing to listen to you.

A book that helped me reduce my anger and come to a place of peace where I am better communicating is Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chödrön. Her teachings, Buddhist in nature, are practical for anyone.

The book is a short, quick read. Another book I highly recommend is The Power of Kabbalah by Yehuda Berg. It’s the best book I can recommend for understanding the law of attraction and manifesting the change you want to see in the world and in your life.

It’s important to reach a point of personal peace. When you are at peace with yourself, you can now share peace with the world. The image of a person screaming about peace is a contradiction. To create peace, you need to be at peace. You can only share what you have.

The other best piece of advice I can give to the people fighting for freedom is to promote the good, not protest the bad. Recently on the FIU campus where I attend law school, seven “Occupy FIU” members were needlessly arrested.

While most people would identify with their intentions – advocating peace and justice – they found themselves in an adversarial relationship with the college administrators. Think of it from the Dean’s point of view: a group on campus has raised a banner that says “Occupy FIU” on campus. Most likely, the administrators will perceive this as a threat. If the movement had been called “Promoting Peace!” how many people do you think would have been arrested?

Labels are important, and if you want to educate people your forum must be called something that attracts everyone on to common ground for a productive process. For example, “Students for Justice in Palestine” immediately alienates most people who are pro-Israel.

 A group called “Creating Peace in the Middle East” will attract people from all ends of the spectrum, and you could still educate people about inequities in the Holy Land. During a discussion, the best approach is to try and understand and learn from your audience while sharing information that people may not know. These methods provide a bigger platform and a engaged audience.

It’s important to inform people about the changes our world needs. It’s equally important to make sure that your focus is positive, creative change, not just coalescing anger. Like attracts like. If your approach is angry, you will attract a fight. If your approach is open, you will attract open-minded people.

While people in the Occupy movement are being arrested left and right, you rarely hear about NORML activists or Ron Paul supporters having issues with law enforcement. The difference is, NORML activists are promoting positive change. Most people in the Occupy movement are simply protesting. A protest is a complaint. Instead of complaining, promote a solution!

Pick a candidate, or a cause, and promote it! Print flyers, promote online, host meetings, and do it in the name of a solution that people can get behind. The issues in the world are many and great, but it’s hard to help people from inside a jail cell. Protesting is a reaction, promoting is proactive.

In the end, everything is good. Certainly we need to work to improve the world, but it’s important to know that things will be good in the end. 2012 is a time of re-awakening of global consciousness, as the Mayan Calendar scholars and Kabbalah teachers are happy to tell you. The more you work on yourself and think about how other people can best receive what you have to share, the more impact you will have on the world.

You are powerful. You have an enormous impact on the world and the people around you. When you smile, the people around you will smile with you. The world is truly what you make it. Before you create the world in your image, make sure you’re happy with the person in the mirror.

Andrew Meyer writes regularly at Andrew is a history savant, political guru, sports prognosticator, entertainment writer, Kabbalah mentor and law student, internationally famous for questioning U.S. Presidential candidate John Kerry and the phrase “Don’t Tase Me Bro!”

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