Rage is all the rage right now.
Everyone seems to be mad; everyone seems ready to fight. Yet for all the rage, all too many people are still opting out of their actions.
Doing nothing is not a solution for the problems in the world, waiting for others to act isn’t a solution for the problems in your life.
It’s time to learn how to fight, but not only with rage, to also fight with kindness. It’s time to learn and master Kind-fu!
Originally kung fu refers to any discipline or skill achieved through practice and hard work and practice. Why not push our efforts in kindness to a martial art level of dedication?
Kind Fu is the practice and application of kindness that goes above and beyond just being passive in life. Yes, we have to be willing to fight to be kind. To push kindness, even when it gets rejected by others. As dictators pop up like weeds, as corporations steal away your power: it’s time to reject and weed out unkindness from society and the world.
Perhaps it’s a good thing to spice up kindness with a dash of rage after all.
Many people are saying: “we need to tear it all down”. Trump won the 2016 elections with this premise. History now shows Trump as being both very corrupt and unkind. The 2016 election also shows that powerbrokers easily manipulated people embracing blind rage.
Let’s also be realistic; the rage we see in the world isn’t going to go away. So it’s time to do something different. We need rage and kindness working together!
So we must rediscover today how to stand united, with respect, rage, and kindness blended into something new!
Walking with Kindness
A kind path is not necessarily an intuitive path to maintain when working towards social improvements. Teaching kindness today means knowing how to be both strong as an individual and a member of society. It means knowing how to speak up. Our voice isn’t silent if we speak with our actions. It means knowing how to act. Our actions are not to be stolen by fear when reinforced by the community.
People often think they understand kindness, but you would be surprised how all too many people think kindness is passive and only being nice. Understand kindness is much more expansive than you might realize.
Here are two articles to help you explore kindness in a deeper manner.
As a teacher of kindness, let me go over some of the hidden truths of working in kindness when society is being unkind.
Civil Rights, Innocence and Kindness
As you stand and act in kindness, you might find yourself being attacked by society. Kindness and innocence are not shields against injustice.
A founding principle in the American revolution was to create a system where citizens are innocent. Guilt has to be proven. Look through the news, and you will discover an example after example of citizens being put into jail without guilt. Fact: 90% of people are sent to jail without a trial now, forced with heavy pressure plea bargaining processes to admit guilt. If you don’t accept a plea bargain, the odds are very much stacked against you even when you are innocent.
The flipping of innocence to guilt started with the war on drugs in the ’70s. Then after 2001, the process kicked into high gear. If you don’t think the war on drugs is where this all started, then review these words from US policymakers.
“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did,” -Ehrlichman
Most citizens know they are innocent. So the average person thinks they are protected, but when everyone is guilty in the eyes of enforcement, this is no longer true. Just scan google & the news, and you find the blood of too many innocent people hurt and dead, who thought innocence would protect them.
So realize this does impact you: especially if you find yourself acting with fear or hesitating to speak up or feeling more anxious with current events.
Innocence is the baseline of any spiritual practice.
To be innocent includes a lack of guile, corruption, and be within purity. When a social system pushes a citizen into automatic guilt, it attacks the citizen’s spiritual growth in turn. To shift a person’s steps to be based on fear rather than grace.
We need to understand the baseline of any society we interact with so we can make sure kindness/virtue doesn’t leave our society. Society is a reflection of us: when society is unkind, we become unkind in reflection and lose our innocence.
Doing nothing in today’s culture is unkind because your culture’s actions have become unkind! Your culture speaks for you; if you don’t speak up, then you get what your culture promotes.
Leaders only listen to the people who back their words with actions. The only voices being heard are those people raging with unkindness! We need to add in our rage to counter out the unkind blind rage.
Each person here has the challenge of how to stir up their rage, to protect their innocence. As we are all part of humanity: how you act, think, and create your own life is very important. Each person does matter! Get mad, Get up, Be proactive, and stand for what you feel is right rather than be passive and lose your rights. Yet stand up together. When standing up alone, you just get thrown into jail. When you stand up together then society cannot simply isolate you away from others.
There are no civil rights when people are guilty before innocent or when kindness is removed out of the equation of life.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and SpeecStand for Kindness
Embracing the Rage
The Mauna Kea TMT protests are an amazing example of Kindness and Rage working together to make a difference.
Hawaii is a conquered country where Hawaiian rights have been ignoring and abused for the last hundred years. The protests are not about a telescope; they are about Hawaiian rights being ignored for the sake of profit and building another telescope at the expense of Hawaiian culture and spiritual rights.
Initially, the protests were smaller and ignored by the government. Once people began to come together, the protests were able to slow down development. The protest took both kindness and rage together to meld together a more effective united front. The protesters have even built a school on the protest site to teach people about Hawaiian culture and history.
Passive kindness would have achieved nothing in this situation. Without rage over the government’s disregard for Hawaiian rights, a few people couldn’t make a difference, but adding rage to kindness made all the difference to a successful resistance.
Rules of Kind Engagement
- Kindness doesn’t mean inaction.
- Kindness doesn’t mean waiting for someone to prove themselves when they are attacking you.
- Kindness doesn’t mean to be nice. Kindness means to be in essence and to stand up against anything that undercuts your essence.
- Kindness isn’t to be passive. We must actively stand up to be in our power.
- Kindness in society requires people to stand up in respect and earn other people’s respect.
- While kind words are good, kind words must always be backed by strong actions and potential. Otherwise, they are disregarded. Likewise, respect is often backed by action and potential as well.
Let’s face it in today’s modern world we need to be kind in a Samuel L. Jackson “Motherf*cker” sort of way. Yes, we need to get the language right. Some people may be offended by this, but political correctness is partly to blame for the current 2016 political fiasco.
Yes, we can’t always be polite or perfect here so others can live in unkindness force injustice over the people. For example, no legislator should support taking away the blessings of liberty from fellow human beings for religion, sex, race, or nationality. Any of those that do, will get their motherfucker arses voted out of office in the outrage. The United States is a country of we the people. It’s a country that will strive for kindness, not injustice if we the people stand united against such outrageously unjust practices.
It’s what we put behind our words: our action, that give them power. We need to put heart, strength conviction into what we say and act against otherwise we are not acting kindly. Otherwise, we are not backing our actions with essence and the politicians will continue to steal away your power.
Our country is based upon: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” At times we need to get loud, active, and reaffirm the baseline of the United States.
As the world changes, keeping everything the same is the worse unkindness we can do. The kindness step ahead is building a new world. That starts in your life now. If you cannot begin changing how you live now, how can you expect others to change?
How to Apply Kindness in Society.
I have worked several decades experimenting with how to share kindness. On average, I have found:
Kindness is most effective as a bottom up process.
It starts at the individual level and then works up the chain with compassion and actions.
So if kindness doesn’t work well in changing how people at the top act kindly: how do you face the system with kindness? More importantly, how does a person react when working bottom up isn’t enough on its own?
To apply kindness to a social system means to create respect first.
Let’s be honest kindness is not respected by many people in power.
Sadly all too often, people in power abuse power and take power away from those with less power. So the first step to work towards kindness is to improve personal power. Once you are strong, then help your neighbors become strong. Together you stand up and create respect by standing against injustice. Only after you have gained respect from those in power will they begin to return kindness to you.
Fighting with kindness means pushing in a manner to gain respect. This, unfortunately, often does mean resisting all social measures that take away personal power. Civil disobedience, rejecting misuse of power, economic boycotts, being loud and strong are some of the valid kind approaches to resolve out systemic prejudice. To have kindness towards a person in power is to be in your power while working with them.
Waiting for someone high up to save you will never work. The people need to share in power together so that power, in turn, will be respected and then acknowledged by the leaders.
This doesn’t necessarily mean fighting with force all the time since if you fight someone with power, they will double down on the force they use against you. This means picking and choosing your fights with awareness. We should support each other in the fights we may have, but in the end, in kindness, we fight the fights which are in our hearts to back fully and that build up support. Otherwise, you won’t withstand what gets thrown at you.
Today we are in a situation where we might need to do more. We still need to work in kindness at a person to person level. We can’t underestimate how important it is to help people at a personal level. Yet the complexity of our world and scale of problems we face have exceeded common sense kindness. So this means also pushing up the chain more than we normally would in better times.
This is where I personal put 90% of my efforts in making a difference in kindness
Ironically you cannot in kindness help a person who accepts their abuse when they are actively giving their power away. You can only help in kindness when a person is ready to break free or be in their power.
You first have to help empower people to be in their essence. Understand that a person who is abused has had their power stolen by their abuser. If you don’t first help an abuse victim re-discover their power, they will instead only help the person who holds their power.
This means we cannot fight another person’s fight. We fight our fights.
We can build communities that take those who are being abused to feel safe and work together. If you are being abused and cannot find a community, then take time to build start a community around your values. I know this isn’t easy from personal experience building the Awakening Dragon community, but you can build a community. Ironically often times, the energy you get from your rage can be used to drive the process.
Another issue is this: what is kind to a society or a small group of people in power is often unkind to the common man or the rest of society. Yes, today, we are in a situation that our leaders are abusing the general population. Unfortunately, what is good for the leadership collective at the moment isn’t good for the larger collective of humanity.
So appealing with logic won’t sway those in power because it would undercut their power. So appealing to those with power won’t work when their power isn’t connected to you. Most people in power are beholden to corporations, personal relations, and other backers and not to us the people.
When over 50% of people don’t vote in the 2016 election, what politician is going to bother and listen to you the voter when you don’t vote??? If we have congressmen in an office with only 17% approval rating of Congress getting re-voted back in, that says it all! All too many politicians feel as if they don’t need your vote or voice. Change this truth today. Make your representatives know you exist. Stand up to them, back up your words with votes and actions; otherwise, they do not need to listen to you. And when they block your right to vote, which is happening, with thunder and conviction, we must break down those constraints and reclaim our voting rights.
Kindness means to first change the game so those in power require you to be in power.
Once a person in power requires you to be in power, then they will listen to you. So listen deeply to this basic truth of kindness: change the game, so you are part of the game.
Remember, while many people hold kindness in a cuddly manner:
We must always hold kindness so that it also includes Strength and Respect!
Rage doesn’t mean violence; it can mean using your ire to drive actions towards solutions. Use your rage as energy to do the right thing rather than to fight and lash out in life. Keeping in mind, the right thing isn’t defined by the law but rather by your heart and actions.
It is surprising at how little teachings exist to turn rage into a useful tool. In my martial arts training, it could be used to keep one’s energy at a ready level of action. So I know there is a delicate line with rage. The secret is it must be proactively used constructively or only holding it undercuts you in life. Sadly rage is only encouraged to create violence or suppressed to make people passive. Ironically suppressing rage is part of suppressing our rights in these times. That is why it’s a surprising idea to use it to support heart and civil rights. Look at American democracy. Without the rage from the times of 1765 to 1776; we wouldn’t have the democracy from the United States that changed the modern world! The rage is there all around the world, and something must be done with it, or we will only get more violence.
In kindness: To remember who we are and embrace our humanity!
In rage: Backing up our actions to stand up against oppression. Not letting anyone de-register, degrade, or belittle us into not standing up to be human.
Yes, we can merge the two: Speaking out our rights, and acting to back up our words, we can become united and free together in this United States.
Our challenge of this generation here is learning how to rechannel rage into a useful force. Merging rage and kindness could be the path to saving our world.