The Irresistible Resistance

“These are the times that try men’s souls,” Thomas Paine observed in 1776. He could have written those words this morning. War clouds gather, aggression stalks the halls of Washington, and fear ripples through those of us who can’t afford a seat at the table.

But if these times try our souls, these times also summon souls. We can no longer pretend that the wisdom or temperance of elected officials will protect us from the forces of corporate greed. We have to grow up and protect each other. Our souls must activate.

An ego-in-chief occupies the White House. He landed the lead role in a show called Celebrity President. He pretends to be a duly elected leader, not a CEO bent on profit, power, and fame. To achieve this illusion in spite of his bad acting, he uses manipulation: “Be afraid,” he says. “Be more afraid. Be as afraid as you can be.” He wants terror to keep us too distracted to know or care what’s going on: grand theft wealth, from the wallets of the 99 per cent into the coffers of corporations.

We, the 99, are a mighty giant, but we’ve been tricked by the tiny man with tiny hands. He and his minions tied us down with little strings, but we can stand up anytime we choose. If we don’t, those in power will kill the middle class.

Yes, this is an emergency. Yes, right now. Yes, it’s time to break the glass and push the button that activates our souls’ potential. The same button activates democracy.

Step 1: Wake Up
The alarm is going, right now. We leap to our feet, drink our coffee, and see the con for what it is: media theater to maximize ratings, backroom deals for exchange of cash, violence against the vulnerable to keep control.

Step 2: Shake It Off
The 1 per cent will have successes. The rest of us will face anxiety, fear, and discouragement. We face up to these forces, and we face them down. Then we come back to center, back to ourselves, back to each other.

Step 3: Toughen Up
The lioness defends her cubs. We’re willing to resist, to disobey, and to sacrifice not only for each other, but also for the next generation.

Step 4: Get Together
We’ve done our self-help and our therapy. We worked on our issues, found our voices, sang our lonely songs. Now it’s time to show up at rehearsal and practice singing in tune with the choir. We march, we collaborate, we crowdsource. We help each other past our fears.

Step 5: Have Fun
This resistance celebrates. Our awakened actions are as beautiful and playful as they are determined. We activate the same way we want to live: affectionately, collaboratively, daringly, with humor, inspiration, and encouragement for all.

Step 6: Dream Big
We resist in order to create. History books can be written that document the swift downfall of corporate control, followed by the rise of a vibrant ecological democracy with a robust social safety net, sweeping reforms in education and finance, ever-increasing equality and opportunity, and a green energy revolution.

Step 7: Feel Joy
We don’t just march; we dance. We don’t just shout; we sing. We exult in our activism, we relish it. We savor this bracing energy.

Step 8: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Thomas Paine continues, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” The price of democracy is rising. But freedom is not a one-time purchase. It’s a long-term investment with incalculable returns.

This is the time for courage, creativity, and joy, actively claimed by awakened souls who know the value of these treasures, in defiance of the forces of fear. This is the time for the 99.

Let’s make the resistance irresistible. Let the revolution roll.