Some things are learned from books, lectures and teachings. But somethings have to be learned in the area of experiential doing. I term it ‘experiential doing’ because i have always believed that radicals do things that have not been previously explored by people and that is what makes radicals the scapegoat of ridicule based on their un-orthodox methods.
Some of the things that I share here are stuff that I’ve been thinking through and deeply personal. They are based on my own opinion on the stuff that would rev up the adrenaline of someone seeking to inheriting the mantel of a radical.
1. Be Gripped By An Area Of Need
The very first thing to start it all up is to be gripped by something, by a need. Is there something that causes a sense of dissatisfaction in you, something that you see needs to be done and pronto, something that is constantly in your thoughts that raises adrenaline whenever someone brings up that particular issue, something that you see neglected by people in general and the situation is getting worse. I would call this the foundation to revving up the radical in you, the beginning of something but it does not determine the outcome of how things work out. But this is what starts it all.
2. Getting Familiar with The Stuff that Grips You
Well, it’s not enough to be gripped by something and letting it stay there. If there needs to be some sort of platform to expand knowledge on it, one has to get into the mode of learning as much as possible on this particular need. may it be from books, conversations, people’s opinions or on teachings on the issue the radical beginnings of someone needs to be harnessed by a sense of brooding knowledge about the subject. One has to be well versed as much as possible on the area that one is gripped by.
3. Just Do It (Not the Nike slogan)
It’s not enough to be gripped and get all welled up in knowledge about the thing that grips you. To really make something out of all that one simply has to have the guts to do something about it. Change would not come if we just gather around and just talk about it, or be stirred by ideas from a book, change come when something is done about it. I think this is crucial for someone wanting to see change happen.
4. You Can’t Do It All Alone
Anyone familiar with the story of Jesus knows that he had disciples together with him to carry out the mission of the kingdom of God. And when Jesus went to pray at Gethsemane he called for his disciples to come pray with him. If the radical Jesus needed others for support, modern radicals should follow in his foot steps as well. We cannot work for change alone, we need support from others. Without support, with all the baggage that come with taking up the mantel of a radical one will definitely crumble with all the pressure that comes. Simply stated, you cannot do it alone.
5. Be Ready to Forgive
This might be one of the hardest discipline that a radical must take up and constantly practice with ruthless brute force. Since the call of a radical is the cry and action for change, criticism and misunderstandings as well as clashes with people will arise. A great article on forgiving and why it has to be done is given here in this article here.
6. It’s a Learning Process
Trying on the radical mantel is like putting yourself on the treadmill of the never ending cycle of learning and relearning, deconstructing perceived ideas and reconstructing them from scratch again, having confidence like nothing will go wrong and finding out that there is no such thing as a fool-proof-forever-method to implementing something. To fuel the radical in you needs the constant discipline of being a learner and to know that being a radical is always and forever will be a learning experience, you can count on that.
I’m thinking about expanding this (on Radical/s) with another two posts on the consequences of embracing the radical mantel and the context behind what influence my ideas on it.