Meitheal Manifesto: We Are the World

“There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one”
— Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie

“We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. The Igbo, always practical, put it concretely in their proverb Onye ji onye n’ani ji onwe ya: “He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down.”
― Chinua Achebe

Problems are systemic, so solutions have to be systemic.

Is fearr réchonn ná iarchonn.
Foresight is better than hindsight.

The Meitheal (MEH-hull) Manifesto*

First Wave: Total Equality

All humans are equal.
If you are not actively working toward the universal recognition of this value, you are part of the problem.

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.
– Navajo/America

Goreu ammod, cyfiawnder.
The best agreement is justice.
Cymru/Wales

Cuir síoda ar ghabhar agus is gabhar i gcónaí é.
Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.
— Gael/Ireland

Second Wave: Physical Safety

If a biological system doesn’t feel safe, then it will never leave trauma mode. Living beings have a general right to exist. People can’t be healthy under constant duress, including most bullshit. Make your own physical safety the highest priority, with that of your family, then community next.

Ua Kuluma Ke Kanaka I Ke Aloha
It is natural for people to behave in a loving way
Kanaka Maoli /Hawai’i

Mos prit të të kërkojë e mira, po kërkoje.
Do not wait for good things to search for you, you search for them.
— Vlorë/Shqiptarët/Albania

Maireann croí éadrom i bhfad.
A light heart lives long.
— Gael/Ireland

Third Wave: Interconnection

The planet is tied together by co-evolved biological systems. They are all interconnected. Humans are not separate from this. We are part of it. The fitting role for thinking beings in such a system is to take a proactive role in the preservation thereof. Our physical safety depends on these systems.

Water does not come out of its source polluted.
— Igbo/Nigeria

Mni Wiconi
Water is life
— Lakota

Ní chronaítear an tobar go dtrá sé.
The well isn’t missed until it dries up.
— Gael/Ireland

Fourth Wave: Common ground

In order to follow the principle of equality, we must meet on common ground. Common ground is always determined by the needs expressed by the most marginalized populations. It’s no secret who those are.

Árbol que nace torcido, nunca su tronco endereza
A tree that is born crooked will never straighten its trunk
— Mexico

Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself.
– Hopi

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
Under the shelter of each other,  the People survive.
— Gael/Ireland

Fifth Wave: All are hurt

It is error to take modern human existence as healthy or normative. Everyone is carrying around hurts that leave traumatic markers, the hurts themselves, in the body.

風向轉變時,有人築牆,有人造風車
When baffled in one direction a person of energy will not despair, but will find another way to his object.
— China

Meitang’e oltung’ani olkikuei leme olenye
A person does not itch from a thorn that is not theirs
— Maasai/Kenya

Ní thuigeann an sách an seang.
The well-fed does not understand the lean.
— Gael/Ireland

Sixth Wave: Hurt is Catchy

Not only are we all hurt, but our hurts all trigger each other’s hurts. This compounds and complicates everything.

Երբ որ կացինը եկաւ անտառ, ծառերը ասացին… «Կոտը մերոնցից է
When the axe came to the forest, the trees said: “The handle is one of us.”
— Armenia

ಆಡಿದರೆ ಅರಗಿಣಿ ಕಾಡಿದರೆ ನಾಗರ ಕಾಟ
If you act out you are a royal parrot, if annoyed, you bother like a cobra
— India

Bíonn chuile dhuine lách go dtéann bó ina gharraí.
Everyone is sociable until a cow invades their garden.
— Gael/Ireland

Seventh Wave: Safety First

Your feeling of safety is your neurobiological guide to preserving your safety. Put the feeling of peace and safety as the reference point for how you should feel at any moment. Get to know that feeling well enough to address the escalations you feel in your body and to make changes to ensure you feel safe. Make safety your primary orientation in each moment.

sákihitók mina wicíhitók.
Love one another and help one another.
— Cree

ಆರೊಗ್ಯವೇ ಭಾಗ್ಯ
Health is wealth.
— India

Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin.
There’s no sore ass like your own sore ass.
— Gael/Ireland

Eighth Wave: Systemic Harm

Those most influencing the human systems globally are often more interested in exploitation and the consolidation of resources and power than in ##1–7. Good examples are systemic racism, war, industrial working conditions, the environment, displacement of indigenous peoples, and sexism. Systemic harm is on a grander scale than personal harm and carries unique hurts.

A ddwg ŵy a ddwg fwy.
He who steals an egg will steal more.
— Cymru/Wales

اللي ايده بالمي مو مثل اللي ايده بالنار
They who have their hand in the water are not like them who have their hand in the fire
— Syria

Ag duine féin is fearr a fhios cá luíonn an bhróg air.
The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.
— Gael/Ireland

Ninth Wave: __________________

We can never know everything. We must stay open to the unexpected and unknown and to grievances previously unheard.

Eiridh tonn air uisge balbh.
A wave will rise on quiet water.
— Gael/Scotland

No hay mal que por bien no venga
There is no chaos that good cannot come from
— Puerto Rico

Trí doruis a n-aichnither fír: frecra n-ainmnetach, ái fossad, sóud fri fíadnu.
Three doors through which truth is recognised:
a patient answer, a firm pleading, appealing to witnesses.
— Gael/Ireland

Tenth Wave: Feelings Count

The suppression of feelings is one of the prime drivers of key types of oppression. Feelings are how we know what is right and wrong for us, safe and not safe for us. Feeling healthy and safe protects us from manipulations and helps us work with others.

El perro del hortelano que ni come ni deja comer
The keeper of the orchard’s dog, that neither eats, nor will let anyone eat
— Puerto Rico

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” 
—Audre Lorde

Is onórai poll ná paiste.
A hole is more honourable than a patch.
— Gael/Ireland

Eleventh Wave: Golden Rule

Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Love yourself as you love your neighbor. Political and social hierarchy promotes systemic imbalances and inequalities and effectively set people up to be divided and conquered. Unity comes through equality, equally distributed, shared, and carried.

己所不欲,勿施於人。
What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.
— China (Confucian)

Love your neighbor as yourself.
— Middle Eastern (Christian)

An áit a bhuil do chroí is ann a thabharfas do chosa thú.
Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.
— Gael/Ireland

Twelfth Wave: Goodness

The only standard of goodness that matters is how well do we promote and preserve sustainable relationships with each other and the world where we live. The better we do this, the more important what we do becomes. If you don’t care, you are contributing to suffering and inequality.

“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
—Maya Angelou

“You’ve got to learn to leave the table
When love’s no longer being served.”
― Nina Simone

An rud a ghoilleas ar an gcroí caithfidh an t-súil é a shileas.
What pains the heart must be washed away with tears.
— Gael/Ireland

Thirteenth Wave: Working Together

Because those in a position to take advantage of current inequality have a lot of momentum in keeping their privilege, and since they’ve shown no interest in promoting sustainability or equality, those who want to preserve the planet and humanity must work together toward common goals.

A’bhiast as mutha ag ithe na beiste as lugha.
Big fish eat little fish.
— Gael/Scotland

Nerth gwlad, ei gwybodaeth.
The strength of a nation is its knowledge.
— Cymru/Wales

Is í an dias is troime is ísle a chromas a ceann.
It is the heaviest ear of grain that bends its head the lowest.
— Gael/Ireland

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

*The Meitheal Manifesto is offered as a gift to try and help right the wrongs that went with  Gael family members joining the white caste and being part of the colonial displacement of natives globally and of the ensuing white supremacy, both willingly and unwillingly, knowingly and unknowingly. There are no more excuses.

Ní dhíolann dearmad fiacha. A debt is still unpaid, even if forgotten.

“Meitheal is the Irish word for a work team, gang, or party and denotes the co-operative labour system in Ireland where groups of neighbours help each other in turn with farming work, such as harvesting crops. Neighbours who give their work to others are helped in turn with their own heavy seasonal tasks to the heart of the concept is community unity through cooperative work and mutually reciprocal support. Meitheal is the Irish expression of the ancient and universal appliance of cooperation to social need.” — Source of definition, the Mary Robinson Centre

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