On the Nature of Service

The Social Activist Consolidates Her Efforts, And She Does Not Spread Herself Too Thinly. With A Focused Perspective And With Like Minded Persons, She Works To Coordinate Her Efforts While Guided By A Sense Of Goodwill.

The Social Activist may be viewed on many levels independently or simultaneously. The one that most resonates with me is, what is sometimes referred to as, the higher self as opposes that aspect of ourselves which think in terms of I, Me, Mine. The latter mentality stems from a sense of separation and disconnection from others. A discontinuity, if you will, between themselves and the needs of the greater society. The social activist is one who resembling Decartes’ Thinker is capable of being an observer of the thinker while watching the self act upon those thoughts. An essential connection exists in these interrelationships where each element conditions (with each reconditioning) every other element. The greatest trick seems to be to bring all elements into alignment with a unifying principle. Which principle should connect the activist to all who share a common vision of bettering humanity, or as large a swath of humanity as she may be capable of working with at any given time.

Identification with those worked with is the essential key. The activist much be capable of identifying with those she seeds to lift.

[In relation to Mississippi Rising Coalition or any organization of persons of goodwill, which in this case is coalescing around your shared vision, this is a critical period. It is as if MRC is a new born and as with any new born it is in a state of constant need of nurturing. And as Yoda said, Lea, this is a dangerous time when you will be tempted by the dark side.” You will be tempted to devote all your energies to this creation which has been birthed from a vision of service which has coalesced in your consciousness because you may feel totally responsible for its success. You are not, so take heart. If your planning has been properly organized (and I think it has) this “new born” is not as fragile as you may fear. You have some very solid co-parents in Cindy and Charlie.]

I am making certain basic assumptions:

Firstly, the Social Activist is governed by a re-collected attitude of mind (one might almost say altitude of mind), and by being careful to attend to a constant review of life, particularly, our individual and collective places therein.

Secondly, that each of us have lived and battled sufficiently long with deterrent forces to enable each to develop a fairly true sense of values. That we will not be kept back by adversity, by the pressure of time or circumstance, by age or physical disability and while some of these may hinder us they will not deter our efforts from moving forward. That we are, at least learning the lesson that an overly enthusiastic rushing toward our goal and a violently energetic progress has its drawbacks, and that a steady, regular, persistent endeavor will work toward a more just world in the long run. That a spasmodic spurting of effort and temporary pressure peter out into disappointment and a weighty sense of failure remembering that it is the long term goal that is of the greatest importance.

Thirdly, that each of us is attempting to organize our minds, through a continual process of inner reflection, with an “eye” to the promotion of healing our society. The organizing

of our individual and collective minds is an all-day, everyday affair, and the application of the mind to the thing at hand throughout our daily avocations, is the best way to make our individual and collective efforts fruitful in bringing about the needed changes in society to promote social justice.

It is here being assumed that we, and those who associate us, are seeking to measure up to the need for dedicated activists; however, we need not restrict ourselves with only those who measure up. Intention and effort are of prime importance, and are the two main requisites for all who seek to activate their society’s greater need, plus the power of persistence.

To some extent our goal is to interest those who will be responsive to the need for social justice, thereby stimulating their mental interest so that sufficient impetus is generated to enable them to identify with the need.

Also, let us keep in mind that facilitating social justice requires two essential elements:

1. To aid those within our communities to sync their separated self with the underlying need for equity in a way that allows their mental and empathic natures to develop a heightened awareness for the need of social justice.

2. To provide such practical instruction as will enable any who will—

  1. To understand the connection between the separated self and society-at-large to the healing qualities of social justice.
  2. To learn to control their personal efforts in relation to the need for social justice. It is here assumed that those who have made some commitment to social justice have already achieved some degree of this understanding and that our goal is to aid as many others as possible to achieve a similar understanding.
  3. To enable those who have any appreciation of the need for social justice to deal with their own specific problems, stand on their own feet, handle their own lives and become sufficiently strong and poised, mentally and emotionally, that they are enabled to recognize their personal fitness to aid in the struggle for social justice.

Those who wish to become engaged in social activism are therefore asked to extend their concept of useful activism to include all fields of human life (political, social, economic, and religious). We should not limit our concept of useful groups to only those who have brought their own particular organization into being, or to the so-called religious or spiritual lines. All that tends to lift the status of humanity on any plane is to be considered worthy.

We could perhaps enumerate the desired qualities of a social activist thusly:

  1. Mentally, empathically and viscerally understanding of the needs of the greater community.
  2. Consistent awareness of those in need and what their needs may be.

3. Coordination, or a drive toward At-one-ment with those in need.

Finally, let us consider the subject of social activism by enumerating some ideas relating to the nature of service:

  1. The social activist should be in touch with the ideals of selfless service to others thus desiring nothing for the separated self.
  2. The social activist should be receptive to and aware of the extent of the need for equity within the greater community.
  3. It is to be considered that service to humanity or as large a portion thereof as is possible at any given time and cIrcumstance—
    1. Works from the needs of the greater community toward the needs of the individual.
    2. Is the result of the separated self’s identification with the whole society.
    3. Is not an effect of one’s personal desire for acclaim or material gain, being divorced from emotional and lower desire impulses. Rather it is an effect of one’s empathic nature and higher aspirational motivations.

The down-flow of energy from the higher abstract mind is the result of–

  1. Constant internal self evaluation.
  2. Concentrated single-minded contemplation between the abstract mind and the concrete world.
  3. Steady reflection on the field of needed service.

In sum: Always do the highest good you know at the time you have to act. I hope this may prove to be of some benefit for each who cared to read it.

Roger W Mills II

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