What Is Openhearted Rebellion?
By Wes Annac, Openhearted Rebellion
Every so often, I like to write an article reexplaining what openhearted rebellion is meant to be. I’m making content more consistently, and my fitness videos have brought a little more attention to this space; so, now seems like a good time to explain this blog’s purpose.
I’m aware that ‘openhearted rebellion’ sounds new-agey and might make people uncomfortable. I may come across as some hippie telling people to ‘just be nice to each other, maaan’. It might seem naïve given the cultural climate here in America, where everyone of every political identity is angry and fighting with the other side.
A lot of folks will be quick to dismiss this idea, because it just sounds too soft – maybe even like I’m virtue signaling. “Who does this guy think he is, going around telling everyone to be openhearted?”. It may even sound cultish, or just too damn weird.
I understand all that, and I get that I’m opening myself to judgement from so-called normal people who aren’t concerned with how others behave or how society functions. Most of us are just trying to survive. We don’t have time for grandiose ideas or misguided millennials who think they can change the world.
If you’re thrown off by the idea of openhearted rebellion and you haven’t scrolled away from this yet; allow me a chance to explain in clear terms what this is. Let me state my case for why I’m not some looney burnout who’s about to go start a commune or become a guru to lost folks vulnerable to manipulation. Sadly, that is often the case with groups that spring up around pretty-sounding ideas like this one.
First, this idea is not about me. My intention for it is not to gain millions of followers or be elevated into some guru status by people who are missing something in themselves and would look to me to fill that void for them. Plenty of cult leaders are happy to play that role. I’m not interested in putting you on cloud nine with my ideas, because then, we can’t get anything done here and now. I’d rather connect with like-minded people who maybe feel the same way about life and, like me, are utterly confused as to why people are so damn cold.
This brings me to my point: openhearted rebellion is just the Golden Rule repackaged in another catchy term meant to draw attention to the idea that maaaaaybe we shouldn’t be cruel to each other. Crazy, right?
Did you learn about the Golden Rule as a child? Treat people how you want to be treated. Most of us want to be treated with kindness in our everyday life and compassion when we’re having a hard time. The Golden Rule is rooted in the kindness and compassion we hope to be shown. Sadly, these are two qualities many people seem to lack.
People are harsh. I get that experiencing harshness comes with being a person and living on this planet, and you can’t expect everyone to be nice all the time. But is it so absurd to suggest that we could all be a little kinder? That we don’t have to be divided or hate people we oppose?
The Golden Rule is a purposeful rebellion against hate. It is an answer to the endless wars fought in the name of every religion that hypocritically promoted it and every ideology we let divide us so severely that we kill each other. We’re achieving the opposite of what these ideologies seem to have intended, which was simply for us to be kind.
The Golden Rule stands in opposition to all the divisive nastiness created and promoted by humans. It is an encouragement to live just a little more from the heart and less from the analytical mind, which will find every reason to put us above, and pit us against, other people. It is an attempt to bring people together, through kindness and compassion, in a society in which we are purposely kept apart.
So, what about all those hateful people trying to gain political power so they can oppress others? I won’t say to kill them with kindness, because that is its own form of passive aggression. I won’t say to censor their ideas, because yours will be next. Instead, bury them with facts and intelligent debate. Get involved. Make your voice louder than that of bigots and your influence stronger than that of the billionaires running the world. Just don’t stoop to their level, because, as the saying goes, hate cannot drive out hate. We all know what drives out hate, and it comes from the compassionate emotional space we call the heart.
This is an openhearted rebellion. It is the Golden Rule, practiced purposefully with a pretty slogan meant to get people onboard. It is a choice to be kind as often as humanly possible.
Call it what you want – the Golden Rule, openhearted rebellion, living from the heart, being a decent person – it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, I think the world needs more of it.