In December, 2010, a man in Tunisia protested his treatment by police by burning himself to death. As the world took note, the events that followed led to what is now an unstoppable force, a genie let out of the bottle which is often referred to as “the Arab Spring.”In a breathtaking timeline of collective consciousness, people began to say “ENOUGH!” to their oppression, suppression and brutality. They gained strength through solidarity, found in the social media as well as the streets they poured onto. City squares in major middle eastern countries were occupied by immense throngs of people, demanding change. (The Guardian offers an actual interactive timeline here.)
Governments responded by all imaginable means, using everything from water cannons to tear gas to live bullets and chemical attacks to stifle the rising voices. The attempts were too little, too late, and the surge took off across the world. By September, 2011, the Occupy Movement was well established throughout the United States and many other countries, and continues today through use of the very social media that gave birth to the early roots of the Arab spring.
Why? Never before have we, as humans in general, been so connected to others. A mom in California identifies with a mom in South Africa. A textile worker in Thailand finds solidarity with a cotton grower in Australia. Kids in Kurdistan want the same things as kids in Palestine. The borders of countries are invisible, as are the prejudices of race, education and economic class. Social injustice is an outrage to all.
It is this connectivity that will enable us to reach the next level of our progression of humanity: the acceptance of others in exchange for acceptance of one’s self. Solidarity in the belief that all humans deserve equal, respectful and meaningful participation within their world is not a new concept, but had deteriorated to mean something to stifle when defined by governments and powerful forces of opposing views.
As the threads of this collective consciousness begin to weave themselves into a fabric of humanity that will blanket the world in a new spiritual understanding of all people, we will prevail. Our solidarity, our united voices, our consistent outrage for the continued same wrongs will not be silenced. We can and will bring the change humanity needs and begs for.