A revolution of silence is the way goodness can win over greed and binary my-way-or-the-highway thinking. #Silent Revolution is the cure for stories that inevitably tell of conflict. In this remarkable century, there will be many demonstrations around the world. Trump inspires constant protest in the US. The answer to Trump is not to shout louder. It is to consider and act on the principles of silent revolution.

I am a veteran of the nonviolent civil rights movement of the early 1960s. Since then I have watched the failure of efforts to bend the world toward justice and goodness. I think I know why some have failed.

A silent revolution

Silent revolution aims at achieving tolerance, helpfulness and democracy.

Advertisements
Advertisements

This is a powerful platform. Tolerance is strong and flexible. Helpfulness enables and educates. Democracy combines voting with universal rights.

There are two main reasons we have failed in the past.

1. We were binary when we should have been triadic. To be triadic is always to seek a third way beyond conflict.

2. In a protest, we do not need a specific platform. We need to hold up imperishable values and support them in our lives.

Silence can win

We can win by including potential allies. We can win when we do not claim sole possession of the keys to the kingdom. We can win when we accept that we are part of the same family.

The best way to protest is to take a walk with no intent to violate a law or disrupt. Silence means this walk is not noisy, raucous or provocative. We behave normally and want people to join us if they feel like it.

Advertisements

Simple rules: pivot, stay peaceful and fade

There are three simple rules. First, our group pivots away from obstruction of any sort. There should always be four directions we can take. By simply turning and continuing, we indicate nonresistance. We are pivoting in in a ballet of tolerance.

The second rule is to stay peaceful. I remember when Jim Lawson, a great non-violent leader, instructed us in Nashville in the summer of 1961. When we went and peacefully picketed, we knew that in the event of an attack we were not to resist.

The third rule is to fade. Leave. Shake the dust from your feet. Walk don't run. This final rule should apply to any situation when the conversation ends and conflict is imminent. Whenever you cannot nonviolently resist, follow the fade rule.

Proof of the pudding

I now see proof that this works on avenues and streets near where I live.

Advertisements

I have seen groups of at least 1000 who, when police barred their way, just turned and kept walking without an ounce of hostility.

The more who demonstrate, the more powerful the message. If masses of peaceful folk seek change in this way, we will win.