Millions of people marched in protests around the world today over the election of President Trump.
In opposition to the capitalist ideologies championed by Trump, a diverse array of organizations assembled to spread messages of opposition, resistance, and fighting back. As inspiring as this is, the messages of fighting demonstrate this assorted mass does not yet fully understand the core problem.
Fighting messages are common among most advocacy and social cause organizations. It pervades our political system, and is even celebrated in our economy.
Yet, there is a wealth of evidence that the ideology of fighting is, in fact, the actual problem.
Look to our most powerful social movements. The most impressive advancements of human civilization were all achieved through peaceful means, avoiding at all cost the vilification, stereotyping, and propagandizing that only escalates conflicts.
We fight to get our way, so we can move fast. Yet the problem with fighting is that it creates losers, who are psychologically predisposed to not follow the winner. Rather, losers fight back to get a shot at being the winner, creating the eye-for-an-eye loop that leaves everyone blind to the real problem: fighting itself.
When we show respect for others, and avoid the fight, making time to understand opposing opinions, we begin a collaboration that will take everyone much further than a winner ever could.
We’ve known this for ages. Change is best done together. If we want to go far, and make fundamental changes to the structure of our society, we need to do it together, all of us, even those who believe that capitalism is the answer to our problems.
This is the Startling Truth: We all want the same thing.
As we rally to fight injustice, we are addressing the same fears that those who oppose these efforts feel: we all fear being controlled. We fear corruption. We fear poor health. We fear instability. We fear being taken advantage of. We are united in fear.
In this state of fear, we make personal that which is not: injustice is systematic. We fail to recognize that the problems and solutions of injustice are highly complex, and will require grand collaborations to resolve.
Sharing hateful messages about the president will not bring us closer to a more just economic system. Vilifying people who have a different opinion on the problems and solutions to address our fears only provokes their own fear, and creates competition where there should be collaboration.
A new injustice movement is starting to take form, and it’s a beautiful thing. Yet we cannot turn to the fear-based strategies of fighting. We must learn from the past, and value the experience of resisting in a non-violent, peaceful means, while compassionately working together on a grand human collaboration to understand the problems and solutions to injustice.
The future of humanity is bright. Let’s bring that optimistic vision to our efforts to make this world a better place, together.