“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.
Goreu ammod, cyfiawnder.
The best agreement is justice.
Cuir síoda ar ghabhar agus is gabhar i gcónaí é.
Put silk on a goat and it is still a goat.
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.
Maireann croí éadrom i bhfad.
A light heart lives long.
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.
Water is life
Ní chronaítear an tobar go dtrá sé.
The well isn’t missed until it dries up.
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
Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself.
Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
Under the shelter of each other, the People survive.
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.
When baffled in one direction a person of energy will not despair, but will find another way to his object.
Meitang’e oltung’ani olkikuei leme olenye
A person does not itch from a thorn that is not theirs
Ní thuigeann an sách an seang.
The well-fed does not understand the lean.
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.”
ಆಡಿದರೆ ಅರಗಿಣಿ ಕಾಡಿದರೆ ನಾಗರ ಕಾಟ
If you act out you are a royal parrot, if annoyed, you bother like a cobra
Bíonn chuile dhuine lách go dtéann bó ina gharraí.
Everyone is sociable until a cow invades their garden.
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.
Health is wealth.
Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin.
There’s no sore ass like your own sore ass.
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.
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
Ag duine féin is fearr a fhios cá luíonn an bhróg air.
The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.
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.
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.
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.”
Is onórai poll ná paiste.
A hole is more honourable than a patch.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
Nerth gwlad, ei gwybodaeth.
The strength of a nation is its knowledge.
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.
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*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