I believe we live in a destructive and regressive society and within my work; I try to imagine how it could be better. I see it as one’s civic duty to be a voice for change regardless of the improbability that one will be able to move the mountain. When presenting my ideas I have never wanted to dictate to others what they should believe or how one should live, because that goes against my desire for freedom. I have long wrestled with the importance of freedom in relation to getting across that we must change our values.
At first, I thought one had to be a preacher to get one’s point across, but that never sat comfortably with me, because a preacher is fundamentally a sales person who has something to gain from those who buy their product. They may gain followers, power, wealth, a special place next to their God and or stimulation of ego. Furthermore, it is required that one is loyal to the belief system sold and that it cannot be questioned.
One day I heard a friend of mine describe how he saw himself as a teacher and it clicked for me. A teacher wishes to share ideas, knowledge, and desires to stimulate those who are listening to ask questions because they know it is through being inquisitive that we learn and are able to reevaluate what we thought was true. When you are finished being taught the teacher does not have to care if you subscribed to their teachings or not. What you learned was not a doctrine, but a set of tools that you can use at your own disposal. This is not to say there are schools and teachers who hide behind the idea that knowledge is truth, and in by so doing, become preachers.