I finally got a chance to read my assigned article, "Who Is an Activist" while in Minneapolis for a cousin's wedding. On Saturday morning my father and I took a walk along the Mississippi, we moseyed through the farmer's market in the old mill district, and stopped at a coffee shop where he encouraged me a bit about this whole daunting task that I currently face (that is, StreetFest). We sat across some sort of government building and read separately for a while.
Working as the StreetFest coordinator has been a difficult blessing. This summer has been a lesson in engaging the "system" and sampling bureaucracy. I've enjoyed getting my hands a bit "messy," even at those moments when I'm partly confused as to whether or not I'm doing the right thing. In light of my summer job and my more recent discouragement, reading the article "Who Is an Activist" this past Saturday was a refreshing act of reflection.
Living in right relation with God and creation is important. It is the foundation of everything, it is the motivation for activism. And yet, I have also found it to be entirely confusing and exhausting. What does it mean? Do my summer activities reflect this effort? Perhaps a year or two ago I would have had a different opinion as to whether or not being StreetFest coordinator had anything to do with activism.
I appreciate what this article says about activism when the author writes that we must "have a strategy for shaking the system." In this way, practical activism may sometimes appear mundane. I am sometimes a bit bashful about Streetfest, because it is easy to wonder what purpose it serves. However, my hope is that this event will appropriately apply pressure where it should (our letter-writing campaign to Gildan, vegetarian lunches, and challenging incoming students to engage their city).
I firmly believe that activism has a place in everything. I echo what this article when it says that while not every activist much be a Christian, every Christian must be an activist. In this realization, I believe we are called to living with clear communication. That is, to work together. There must be unity between those involved with new-monasticism, the Jesuits living and working in garbage dumps, the Christian politicians, and the suburban church-goers.
Activism must reach deeper than a protest; it is essentially about a life of love. We must work to insure that our life is consistent with this call to love, participating in our Creator's transformation.
Would anyone like to share their thoughts? (Please)