Appreciate the protest
Hey. The times are changing and to me it couldn’t be more evident than it has been recently. For those of you who are not from Poland, this is what I am talking about. I would never write about politics, but this is not politics anymore. It is a transformation, I see it as such and I participate in it with my heart. My heart tells me whether I should be there or not. Recently it has been saying: go and demonstrate.
I planned to write about something else today, I had a post scheduled and all that. But the experiences of the last days made me change my plans. This article talks about unity – yet another sign of it that is transpiring in the worldly happenings.
The protests are necessary now – no matter if we achieve what we are technically looking to achieve. It may sound strange, but it doesn’t actually matter if the ruling party does what we are asking them to do. In a way, it doesn’t matter whether the President signs the proposed bills or uses his right to veto. Read carefully – whatever the political outcome, these protests are showing us what we all have in common. It is important for us to see the unity now. I don’t know if you think the same way I do. All I know is, it is the first time I have a chance to participate in a movement of this kind. And there is a lesson there which I believe each of us has a capacity to absorb. It is just the matter of our willingness to perceive it.
So pay attention to the feeling which we get when we arrive at a demonstration. People are angry, we are angry, but we can see beyond that somehow. A middle-aged man who passes by, in spite of having to stand the overwhelm of the crowd, he smiles. He smiles and she smiles even though she has to elbow through the mass of people in order to be able to breathe. There is not a single sign of aggression here. We give each other way to take a picture, we share light of the candles which we brought to symbolize unity. We laugh at the ruling elite as if we were about to forgive them. More and more often, we see this guy, Kaczyński, as a troubled person rather than an evil person. And that doesn’t mean we have to sympathize with him or with others who claim themselves to be driving this country. We are coming to speak out our mind and if you ask me – these protests are one of the first times I hear us all using the same, collective voice. We are coming in peace.
I see people coming here with their families and dogs. They are eating ice-cream, reading newspapers and casually exchanging news from their daily life, at the same time giving their presence to these extraordinary events. It is like a festival and a protest merging into one. We are coming leisurely, commenting on the weather and shouting out some slogans. We are coming here to live, not to cry out ours or someone else’s sins.
The candles seem to be important as a symbol which suits human nature so well. You are simply burning a candle, your own piece of light – it is a sign of hope and life that no one can deny. We don’t even need to think about it, because we understand it with our felt-perception just by being exposed to it. As you are reading this now, imagine yourself being surrounded by thousands of people, who are each holding a burning candle in their hands. A sea of lights that is flooding you, and you are also emitting one of these lights. Now as you imagine it, or as it is really happening while you are in a protest, ask yourself: how does that feel?
People are sharing the Light by lighting candles from one another, getting connected, constantly being in touch with their neighbours from the crowd. I don’t remember this happening before, not to such an extent. So our job now is to acknowledge and appreciate this. Not just to point out the problem of bad government, unjust laws and incompetent ministers. The political issue is not the whole picture here.
Our very important task right now is to acknowledge and appreciate our collective response to it all. The crowd out in the streets is full of love and, above all, seeks to be united and respected – not to “fight”. Let’s choose to notice this, for it is our collective response and intentions that are all-important. Maybe more important than the problem which triggered them in the first place.