THE COST OF ACTIVISM
For those who embraced a Cause, believing it as if life and future hinge on it, must also adhere to the consequence of fighting, even dying for it. Succeeding in the projection of a Cause means being recognized and eventually lionized; failing means being ignored as a consequence or by passed if not exterminated as nuisance.
Activism for the principled is a way of life, a higher form of advocacy, a spiritual force that engages one to challenge an obstacle, whether it be a system or a party, an established order or a philosophical construct. It is a game of power and game changer. It is a competition to win hearts and minds. It is pitting endurance, relevance and devotion against another. It could also mean betting everything to prevail and claim as a kind of frontrunner who eventually assumes the winner-takes-all proposition. The stakes are high and higher still are the threats and obstacles. As the saying goes, “no pain, no gain; no thorn, no crown..” One must hurdle through and gamble if necessary just to overcome overwhelming odds to be heard. And once heard, to dodge every ammunition hurled by the affected party. And it is not a joke to get into this kind of condition.
Activists know they are fair game in any given situation. They either end up as incident or if fate would have it, as an event. They live not in the physical comfort of an ideal but in a spiritual realm that requires every painful sacrifice conducted through the regime of struggling. For them, a cause is an adventure of a lifetime. Its every phase is defined in terms of heroic appreciation. Their lives are secondary if not basically an adjunct of a mission. They are simply consumed by their zest, their excitement on the realization of their cause.
To carry the banner of their cause even if it would mean staying in the mountain lair of their group, or in some remote clinics nursing wounds or sickness brought about by engagements with opposing troops, or in some hidden crevices in a relative’s or friendly dwelling in the urban or countryside, anything just to maintain the purity of purpose, anything just to sustain the belief, anything just to placate ideological idealism. That is their lifestyle. And it is an extraordinary lifestyle. One day a vagabond, another as fugitive.
It is never a picnic or a whim. And while there are others who try to project a cause through braggadocio, when the winds of brutal reaction whip them on their faces, they just grimace and run with their tails behind. The cost is never cheap. It is never even worthy of one’s estimation if the person is highly skilled or whose intelligence is almost at par with that of a genius. But it seems that the higher the intelligence, the higher the vulnerabilities to embrace a cause is almost a curse attached to their sentiments.
Activists have a profound understanding of their environment and they know fully well the consequence of their stand. To benefit from their cause is farthest from their minds and persuasion. They are fully appraised that those consumed by the fires of revolution are always its children. Only a handful would succeed in this highly dangerous course, in this very sensitive line of a vocation.
But for the genuine activists, this is the only road to happiness.