American politics of the last few months have been all-consuming for many of us. Greenpeace launched a huge banner in front of the White House as Trump was settling in and the banner read “Resist.”
That word and the idea of it has actually brought me some calm. What I know for sure about conflict is that when you push back or over-ride what a portion of people are saying they want, people resist. And then more conflict follows in undulating waves – until some kind of peace-building starts. So resistance is the acceleration phase of conflict – and it is only a phase. All things change.
The sad thing is, resistance is completely unnecessary when we know how peace works – through consultation, collaboration, communication. Clear, ongoing and respectful. These are the ingredients of engagement – the anti-thesis of resistance. But, in the face of power-over tactics – resistance is what arises, and has to be done. I know this rhythm. I understand this rhythm. I believe this rhythm ultimately resolves.
There have been calls for those on the “left” politically to resist – to resist that which does not fit with their values, to resist that which seems undemocratic and harmful to others. This resistance I’ve come to see as hopeful – just as surely as spring comes after winter, does hope arise from resistance.