The Desire for “Radical” Change is Greater than I Imagined

Photo: Sarah Witherby via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo: Sarah Witherby via Flickr (Creative Commons)

A few weeks I mentioned my surprise about learning how many people in the U.S. were actively seeking alternatives to capitalism.

I first read those statistics a few months ago (sometimes I need to let posts ferment), and since then I’ve continually noticed how many people are truly seeking deep and “radical” changes.

“Radical” in this case meaning to truly address the “root issues” of our time and to implement intersectional and strategic initiatives.

From those just starting out in their organizing work to those who would never consider themselves an activist in any fashion, I hear people talking about how the need for change has never been higher.

Despite the media and our dominant institutions doing an excellent job of normalizing our oppressive systems, there remains this spark for making significant changes.

The main reason this attitude towards the “radical” becomes hidden, is due to the fact that we do not have an outlet for our radical thoughts.

These radical ideas and actions need long-term support and infrastructure, but we are still far away from having the capacity to truly bring about them on a large-scale.

However, a far graver issue is that we are often unwilling and/or unable to have these conversations with those that we are closest with.

I remember I was always so nervous bring up “radical” ideas (e.g. that we need to find alternative to the Prison Industrial Complex) and I would be unsure how folks would respond.

I still experience nervousness and uncertainty when discussing the need for deep changes, but I have a new frame around this dialogue.

I now see that my family, friends, and community want to have these conversations with me. They want to get to know me and know what I believe and am passionate about.

By talking about our radical views, we both support our own self-development but we also contribute to the lives of those around us by sharing ourselves with them.

Though there might still be topics we are not ready to talk about with all of our family, friends, and community, we should find the folks we are willing to talk to and build our community of support.

For me, the frame of talking to those around me about my radical views = contributing to those around me was all I needed to feel more comfortable with my nervousness/uncertainty.

I’m still learning about the ways that work best for me in having these discussions, but I’m definitely feeling much more confident in my ability to do so.

So whenever you are feeling alone with your “radical” thoughts, just try talking to someone you never expected to share your views. You might just be surprised to find they share your views.

Thanks Jeremy Blanchard for the brilliant coaching on this topic and helping me better share with others!

Off-line opportunity=talk to one person who you’ve been wanting to share your “radical” views with. What thoughts, ideas, or actions would you like to discuss? Talk to one person and see how this leads to authentic dialogue.