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You need to keep trying, no matter what.
”How long should you try? Until.” Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn never fails to say so much with so few words. What will it take for you to achieve your goals, be it your health, your business, or personal goals?
But what if your goals involve LGBTQ equality, human rights, and absolute freedom from oppression and bigotry of any kind?
It takes willpower, clarity of vision, determination, steadfastness, the ability to pick yourself right back up and continue when you “fall back”, and finally, faith.
Yes, faith, but I am not talking about religion or faith in a higher power.
Instead I’m talking about faith as an unwavering belief that you will succeed, even if the goal seems inconceivable. The kind of faith that supports you when you don’t know how to take the next step - you just do it anyway.
Faith is blindness, through which you can see.
How do you quantify faith? You can’t. There is no measure for faith - you have it or you don’t. But it’s the quality of your faith that matters. You feed your faith with frequency and quality of practice, i.e. how often you take one more step on the path towards your goal. Your faith is your own, and no one can challenge it except you.
I know this might be too metaphorical for some. So be it. When you are ready, you are ready. And when you are ready, you will make it happen.
How often do you heard self-defeating statements from people around you like,
- “I can’t do it alone.”
- “I don’t know what to do to make a difference.”
- “That would be too hard to organize.”
- “Someone else will do it. “
- “I don’t have enough time to get involved.”
Every single one of those statements is a horrible excuse.
When we make statements like the above we defeat ourselves - we defeat who we can become, who we are meant to be. We allow those, against whom we are fighting, to win. Heteronormative patriarchy is like a fortified wall surrounding a city. All we have at our disposal to bring down the wall are our words, our actions, our visibility, and our bare hands.
The quality of your faith will determine how often you make excuses versus how often you take action to improve yourself and the world.
Evolution versus Revolution
Revolution is about change and is very different from evolution. Just as change and personal growth are two very different things. You can change any part of your life, but change alone might not lead to improvement. Personal growth is about the evolution of the self.
When we seek to change the world for the better, a revolution will fall short of what we want and need. A revolution is seeking to create change, but to what end? By replacing one leader or one government with another? By enacting or striking down a law that translates into better lives for LGBTQ peoples?
If all we do is change something, someone else can come along and change it back, or make it worse. The United States witnessed eight years of improvement under the Obama Administration that bettered the lives, rights, and equality for LGBTQ people.
One simple change in government and much of what was changed for the better is being taken away by Donald Trump and the GOP.
Evolution is about change for the better.
You become something much more than you were before. It’s not about changing clothes, jobs, or your home. This is about evolutionary transformation. The seed becomes a flower. The child becomes an adult. The caterpillar becomes the butterfly. These are visible, evolutionary changes we can observe over time and the type of change that does not go backwards.
Time is what it will take for people to evolve.
This is why we need faith to keep up our energy. We need to support one another so we can work together to make the kind of evolutionary change needed in this world where difference isn’t perceived as a threat, where financial greed doesn’t corrupt basic human decency and respect for human lives, and where religious ideologies no longer exist to reinforce exclusion, bigotry, oppression, murder, heteronormativity, and fanaticism.
Have faith and get passionate about your rights and freedoms.
Make a plan to take action. If you don’t know what to do, ask for help. I don’t have all the answers, but that’s why I publish my magazine, Th-Ink Queerly to provide a space for LGBTQ+ people to share their passion for improving humanity and eliminating prejudice.
What I do on the Living OUT Podcast is to empathetically provoke critical thinking about what we perceive as “normal” to help create evolutionary change in the world. Finally, I provide a space for gay men in my Living OUT Leadership Facebook group to learn how to lead from their uniqueness as powerful, out gay men.
Evolution is a seed waiting to be planted. You must have faith that the seed will take root, but you also need to water and feed it.
Cover image: Ted Eytan