Often I wonder who wants war, injustice or inequality. If it isn’t you and me, what can we do? We dream of an utopian world of perfection, but where are the actual steps we can take? A sort of Gandhian civil disobedience adapted to the 21th century? As we see in United States with the political revolution, spearheaded by Bernie Sanders, the Danish politician Uffe Elbæk has held discussions with people of all age groups and gathered these 25 guidelines for righting the wrongs in society. A revolution through kindness.
In Uffe Elbæk’s words: A friendly revolution has already begun, many places on the planet. We need a completely different perspective on our understanding of what creates healthy societies, happy lives, sustainable development and respect for future generations’ welfare on the planet. In short: We need an attitude revolution.
We need a revolution that calls on the will and desire to confront the current fixed political positions, habit-think, power domains and decision hierarchies. A revolution that demands new democratic processes, decision models and a much more direct relationship between citizen and decision-maker. Which helps us find the courage to imagine a completely different and better version of the current classical division of society.
Pure fantasy? No, it is not. The friendly revolution is already in the making. In many places on the planet people experiment with both partial and circular economy, testing direct democracy and much more citizen participation in political decision making. And we see new business models that most of all resembles generation 2.0 of the cooperative movements in the 19th century. Today they are called B-corp or 4th sector companies, at least in the United States.
For if we are enough people who start our own little everyday revolution, there is a good chance that we can create such a huge desire for change in society, so despite everything, we avoid a collapse of both our civilization and the planet’s balance.
But how do you get such an everyday revolution started? You start with thinking new thoughts. Allow yourself to ask the question: “Is this really it? Can we really not do better?” The list is written to inspire and not least make a stir. A kind loving kick in the ass for all of us. Or a mental playlist for some serious noise in the street, if you will.
You have a right to be here. Stand by who you are. Express what you feel and think and share your experiences of the kindness revolution with the rest of us. The more stories that exist out there on the friendly revolution, the stronger a cultural virus attacks we can make on the economic and political model, which right now sucks the life out of, not only the planet, but also every one of us.
Here are 25 advice the group of people came up with:
Anarchy. Begin by reading some selected texts by and books about Emma Goldmann, a legendary American anarchist. The following Goldmann quote has been with me since I was young: “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”
Children. Spend time with some children, yours or others. When you are with children, you throttle down in pace and also rediscover the world anew seen through their eyes and questions. At the same time you will find that the world actually is larger than yourself and your own tiny navel. Which has never hurt anyone.
Bicycle. Get yourself a bike if you do not already have one. The bike must be close to being the most brilliant democratic invention of all. At least if you live in a city. There are really only good to say about it. It is cheap to run. You get fit by using it. And the city will be less polluted and much more fun to move around in.
The details. The devil is in the details. Practice having an eye for the little things while keeping the big picture. To be able to rise up to helicopter perspective one moment, for a split second later to zoom in on the detail’s detail, reflects great organizational talent and overview.
Entrepreneurship. Drop the idea of taking an education in order to be offered a job. No, educate yourself because you wish to create a job. The 21st century is the entrepreneur’s century. It is we who must develop all the good ideas necessary to save the planet out of its crisis. So just begin being an entrepreneur.
Gut feeling. You know when something is right or wrong. But too often we still feel uncertain of our intuition and fail to act accordingly. For afterwards to find out that what we felt was right enough. Trust your intuition – most times it holds.
Limits. Where is your limit? What do you want to participate in, and what not? And why? But perhaps more importantly: Have you ever gone outside of your own limits? Where you really are moving into uncharted territory. If it’s a long time ago, perhaps it’s an idea to do it again soon.
Humor. Drop your self-importance and puncture that of others. We must be able to laugh at ourselves, otherwise we can do nothing – least of all afford to laugh at others.
Intelligence. Has nothing to do with high marks. Intelligence is a question of being able to see connections, form meaning, sense the world – both the one outside as well as inside yourself. Explore your own intelligence. And reach out to the intelligence in others.
You have the right to be here. Definitely. Stand by who you are. Express what you feel and think. And never accept when someone tries to make you less than you are.
Conflicts. Look them in the eyes. Not to make them bigger, but to find out what really feeds them. Find the root of the conflict, and address it instead of the symptoms. Seek out people who think differently than you. Put yourself in their positions and perspectives.
Equality. The others have just as much right to be here as you. Remember that although you must do whatever you feel like, this applies only as long as it does not limit the freedom of others. Also those in future generations. Only then can we talk about real equality.
Courage. To say no to injustice and abuse in everyday life. But courage is also to show that you are vulnerable and can make mistakes. Or to say, “I love you” and mean it. Singing loudly while cycling through the city. Courage is many things and comes in many forms. Regardless of how you express your personal courage, it makes you more beautiful.
Now. It’s now that counts, so don’t hesitate and do it properly. Be present, curious and sincere.
Organization. Participate in decisions where they are made. Whether it’s in your appartment building, your workplace, sports club, your children’s school or at the annual summer festivities. Train your leadership skills and your ability to motivate others. There’s nothing more fun than afterwards being able to say, “We did it. The others just talked about it, but we damn did it!”.
Precision. You get nowhere without making an effort. Show the world what targeted, sound and precise work means.
Praise. It’s amazing what a well-deserved praise can do for the one who receives it. Managers as well as the cleaning staff get too little praise. Try it, and witness a happier organization.
Solidarity. We had never arrived at this point without showing solidarity towards each other. We stand on the shoulders of those who throughout history faced showdown, conflicts and confrontations with injustice. Now it’s your turn.
Company. It’s good to be yourself. But it’s even better to be two. Both in love and activism. But then only if one and one equals at least three. For the total must be greater than the sum of its parts. Otherwise, it may not matter.
Under the radar. Sharpen your focus on everything that is happening right under the radar. At your workplace, where you live or your neighborhood. What are people concerned with? Which issues are discussed? Who says what and why? And what does it tell you about the future that lies just around the corner?
Daring. Just taste the word. There is something really good about it. Both in being daring and being brave. Daring is a relative of foolhardiness. We must have much less of that.
Gracefulness. There are many ways to get through the world. Noisy, clumsy or awkward. And then there are those who just do it with grace. They just got it. The rest of us have to cultivate the ability. But once we have, everything runs much easier. Based on the motto: You get what you give.
Honesty. You come furthest with honesty, we have learned. But why is it so hard to live up to? Because it requires that you take responsibility for your own life. Stand by what you understand, what you see, what you feel, what you believe in. This creates conflicts. But it also offers personal integrity, respect and authority.
Islands. And bridges are connected. That’s how it is in Denmark. But that’s also how it is between us people. Fortunately, we are pretty good at building bridges in this country. Let’s continue being good at it. Out in the big world, as well as here at home, more and more people are busy raising walls. Train your bridge-building skills. The future needs it more than ever.
Openness. When facing new perspectives. Seek out people who think differently from you. Put yourself in their position and perspective. Why do they see the world as they do? Can they have a point? That way you train in seeing a given issue from all angles. There are enough yes-men. There is too little productive and sincere opposition.Picture of steps by Morquefile
This view of Earth’s horizon as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crew member. Sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Jacek Halicki
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