What Does It Mean To Be Radical?

“Radical simply means grasping things at the root.” ~Angela Davis

I’ve been thinking a lot about how certain words, ideas or energies can elicit feelings from within that can cause us to shut down. When I was younger, I felt shamed for being seen as “radical”. The culture I grew up in looked down on people who spoke up and stood out. I can remember being told that activists got what they deserved when they were thrown in jail because they were not acting how ‘good people’ were supposed to act. I was told that if you dressed a certain way it was your fault harm came to you. I was told to sit down, be quiet and conform if I wanted success in my life. The message was clear; if I wanted to be liked, nothing I did could be radical.

There was always a part of me who knew those things to be untrue and I was often seen as ‘radical’ because I chose to push back. There’s also another part of me that likes to be liked. Those two polarities can sometimes be hard to navigate, especially when life gets overwhelming, but reminders like this one from Angela Davis help to keep pressing forward.

We are being called to address the roots right now. 2020 has exposed everything that needs to be addressed and it’s time for our actions to be radical. I DGAF about being liked these days, all I care about is co-creating a more equal and balanced world.

What about you?

Have you been taught that to stand up for the harm you see happening is not what “good people” do?

Is there a part of you scared or ashamed of being seen as radical?

Can you hold space for both the radical and the part of you who wants to be liked?

What does taking radical action look like for you?

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