It’s week two on the road for the Zoon Garden Team, and the group has already seen Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma – and today, they are on their way to Flagstaff, Arizona. As the team grapples with communication, storytelling, and connection amidst social distancing precautions, many have taken the time to consider what it means to change deeply, at a personal, interpersonal, and systemic level.
“To have a personal revolution is to simultaneously halt and contradict rigid patterns of thought and rule-governed behavior that previously infiltrated the mind,” says Grace Tierney, the team’s Media and Marketing specialist. “On an interpersonal level, a revolution might take place along the spectrum of boundaries, where friendships morph into romance, a son tolerates paternal abuse, or a marriage becomes non-monogamous. Systemically, revolutions hold the utmost significance as they possess a measurable net benefit or disadvantage. For this reason, systemic revolutions often heighten emotions, create tension, and invoke a sense of urgency.”
These emotionally charged cultural revolutions are constantly in flux, often rising in reaction to acts of violence and injustice. But how can we ensure these changes remain in place – that our activism is proactive rather than reactive? Tribe Supply’s Creative Director, Jonah Baker, highlights the need for constant vigilance, the ceaseless movement toward a better world.
“For me, revolution is a kind of constant state,” he says. “In the same way that the earth is naturally revolving around the sun, we have to be in a constant state of update and revision. This can sound tiring, especially on a personal level, but I've found that as I keep reconsidering myself, revolution comes easier and allows me to update myself easily and bring that same energy into my environment. If we push that through line out to interpersonal and systemic levels, there is a kind of osmotic effect that translates from our basic behaviors into the people and places around us. Constant vigilance (and when necessary, revolution) is the sort of thing we can act into existence.”
Internal revolution is an act which requires courage, honesty, and a good long look at yourself. It is impossible to improve society at a systemic level without improving the culture that inhabits it.
“I love the sacrificial nature of revolution,” says Tierney. “It requires a great deal of courage and trust to make oneself vulnerable for the sake of some greater good.”