As a child who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s I am no stranger to the concept of protest. Folk songs and books were written; peaceful (as well as some not-so-peaceful) marches were organized. A counter-culture was born, arguably at a time when it was very much needed. Protesting can be beneficial. When something is wrong, it needs to be called out rather than blindly following an unfair status quo. That being said, putting all one’s energy into protesting what we don’t want has a definite downside. Love and hate are close cousins. Both are rooted in passion—they are just aimed in different directions. When you pour your energy and passion into something, you energize it. Therefore, if for example, you hate conflict, ironically, you end up giving it more power. It’s a paradox to fight for peace.
The world is full of noble causes and most of us want to do the right thing. However, the pleas for fighting the good fight are often not constructive: “Tell Congress this or that; sign that petition, pass this law; join the fight to end [fill in the blank],” and so on.
There is a much simpler solution than passing more laws or going into full-on battle mode against the opposition. If you don’t like what a company sells, for example, simply stop purchasing its products, and instead buy from ones you believe in. If you don’t like a particular leader, vote them out of office and call upon your friends to do the same. Exposing lies and greed only goes so far; after that we need to endorse something else in place of the things/people/practices we don’t want. Align with peace; do not fight for it. Pour your energies into whatever is lovely and true, instead of seeking to destroy the evils of the world. To quote Martin Luther King, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that." Energize what you love, with love.