Self-Purification

S E L F  -  P U R I F I C A T I O N 

As referred to by Martin Luther King, Jr., this is a most vital step by which we acknowledge internally that personal sacrifices are needed for the sake of progress.


In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail , Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks of Self-Purification as a necessary third step in any non-violent campaign. A most vital step by which we acknowledge internally that personal sacrifices are needed for the sake of progress. He warns against skipping this step, which potentially prevents us from acting with sincerity and love . In the 1960s, Reverend James Lawson ran workshops for students planning the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins. In preparation, they spent months of rigorous training, enduring verbal and physical abuse, which would help students “ withstand the taunts, slurs and blows of the city's staunches segregationists.” The mental and physical preparation it took for them to practice meeting violent opposition with resolute peaceful methods, allowed them to maintain the moral high ground in high stakes conditions.

What does self-purification look like for our generation? In these complex times of runaway climate change and escalating social injustices, defined by increased police brutality, government monitoring and political incarcerations, what does it look like to face & conquer our own fears? How do we come together to navigate the waves of despair that inevitably accompany the fight for Justice? PeaceUp recognizes this deeply introspective, soul-searching phase to be a necessary one, while also recognizing that the journey will look quite different for each individual and community. For example Tim spent months mourning for his future, giving up the idea that his would look anything like those of previous generations, before being ready to take spontaneous and bold action.

For our community, self-purification has translated to engaging in honest conversations about our own fears, with a constant reassessment of our personal triggers and comfort zones. We’ve embraced singing together as a means of strengthening bonds as well as mourning. Recently we’ve discovered Barbara Ford’s Growing Awareness Into Action (GAIA) workshops derived from Joanna Macy’s work, which have been instrumental in helping us work through despair.

In our collective fight for Justice, what will tomorrow's trainings and workshops look like? How will we deepen our resolve & level of commitment, to match today's unprecedented threats to our liberties and well-being?

OUR CHALLENGE TO YOU:   As an individual and as a community member, begin your own process of self-purification.  Determine your comfort zone and your own limitations. Then explore your willingness to take risks. What does the courage of your convictions look like ?