What if I’m Not Ready to Turn the Other Cheek? (New Weekly Segment)

What if you’re not ready or willing to commit so fully to peace that you’ll forgo the right to self-defense? Why, that puts you right in the same boat as the rest of us, of course!

In today’s brief message, we shift gears to suggest that it’s okay to seek peace and to understand that the revolution is within us and not against our external oppressors but at the same time take strategic measures to protect and advance ourselves in the world in which we are forced to live. Outside the actual military, why should Sun Tzu be only “for Managers”? Are not the workers and the average people waging their own wars themselves, and might they not benefit from lessons in its art? Why should the Tao Te Ching be used merely for pretty and poignant poetry when the general truths revealed are quite applicable in the practical sphere? Why do only Dick Cheney and Rahm Emmanuel get to benefit from Machiavelli’s Prince?

And there’s more than merely the ancients available to us. There is more even still than the modern thinkers and revolutionaries. We’ve got our own stories, our own manifestos. Once we’ve spent a little time out in the game, even the most stubborn and thoughtless among us have accumulated at least a thin playbook of lessons learned and hopefully applied. We can’t only exist on the higher plane and we can’t spend all our time in spiritual wonderland. It can’t all be just about principles. Sometimes we’ve got to factor in the limited control we do possess over our own survival. We’ve got to keep our jobs. We’ve got to avoid being backstabbed and outplayed and exploited. To maintain our spirits, we’ve got to identify the ways in which we are able to stand up with dignity and even nobility without simply exposing ourselves to annihilation. Even if it all may seem so depressingly “material,” we’ve got to accept the material as just as real of an aspect of our experience as the higher planes, and act accordingly to avoid neglecting it.

So we’ll have Unity Tuesday each week, but the day before that, we’re going to gear up for Damn the Man Monday, when we together share a quick lesson to sharpen our senses as we begin the week and increase our strategic acumen. Keep that cheek right where it is, raise a fist or two toward the sky, and join me.

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