“Michael, you need to slow down.
If you keep doing too much you’re gonna burn yourself out.”
With my father’s words ringing loudly in my ears, I laid in bed all day for the first time in ages this past weekend.
It was in this stillness that the experiences of the past two weeks caught up to me.
It was in this stillness that I had the chance to reflect on a historic delegation in Missouri that I participated in to discover and learn from their amazingly effective juvenile justice system; a system that actually treats young people, regardless of their past mistakes, as worthy of our love and attention.
It was in this stillness that I reflected on the California Wellness Foundation’s Violence Prevention Conference where hundreds of people gathered to share best practices on how to promote peace in our communities.
It was in this stillness that I reflected on Culture Clash, the premier Chicano theatre group in the country, celebrating their 25th Anniversary in the same building at UCLA where, a decade ago, 99 other students and I got arrested for advocating for our fundamental right to an education a decade ago.
It was in this stillness that I reflected on Alberto Retana, one of my best friends and one of the greatest community organizers to ever emerge from Los Angeles, moving to Washington, DC to work on education reform for the Obama Administration.
It was in this stillness that I realized that all of us are personally engaged in a revolution.
A revolution to become fully aware, involved, and committed to transforming our world.
A revolution to learn and implement practices that will heal ourselves and our planet.
A revolution to make love the foundation for how we deal with conflict and apply peace to our daily lives.
While there are numerous changes occurring all around us, there are also those moments where we, as advocates and organizers, doubt whether or not our actions are truly making a difference.
Whether or not our commitment to organizing is compromising our responsibilities as mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons to our families and communities.
Whether or not our late night meetings or our final phone calls are actually contributing to structural changes or inspiring our peers to believe in the transformative power of love.
It was in this state of reflection that I accepted this undeniable fact: no matter what happens in this moment, nothing will ever be the same again.
I do not doubt that very real and substantial changes are occurring right now, but I am also aware of the fact that injustices continue to occur within our homes, neighborhoods, and society.
I am not blind to the f