Communication is how we choose to define our reality, and how we choose to depict it for others. It’s a communication of priorities, from the senseless, to the significant, from the subtle and subconscious to the overt and impassioned. Communication does nothing other than define what kind of reality we are choosing individually, and societally in the amalgam.

And communication has defined for us a reality that rewards people disproportionately, and convinces us that it’s our fault if we haven’t been rewarded. …

“To a worm in horseradish, the whole world is horseradish.” — Yiddish Proverb.

We are the worm. And most will live and perish in that jar of horseradish, without ever having never having imagined a possibility of a world beyond. We are the worm caught in a lack of imagination, implacable in our persistence to make do with what we got, because we minimize on the fact, that now, in this very moment in time, it’s all we got.

We’ve seen generations of injustice, hostility, and oppression. So we acquiesce in our relief that it could be worse, as it…

(and why we have forgotten our strength against institutions of power)

Have you heard the story of the elephant?

See, this elephant was a big, powerful, mighty elephant. An elephant whose girth, and density would make the ground shake. An elephant whose strength could not be obfuscated and whose might was obvious to all who met her.

But this elephant was unaware of her own strength. In fact, tying her to a mere fence post would be enough to discourage her. Never would she even try to tug, because a futile endeavor was all she saw.

What could have happened…

Photo: KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images

There’s no such thing as a bad person, only a person who has seen injustice.

I have forever considered myself a pacifist. The kind who always thought that violence, under no conditions, was ever warranted. The kind who would break up the fights at school. The kind who’s followed the teachings of civic disobedient pioneers. But this weekend I learned that pacifism, kindness, patience, acquiescence… it doesn’t mean much if you’ve never personally been seized by the talons of injustice — pacifism is easy when you’ve never been the one being dehumanized.

It’s easy for white folks to sanctimoniously demand…

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” — Joseph Campbell

In times of chaos and pandemonium, I can’t help but think, “Is all this worth it?” This path that I’m on… the sacrifices I have made, the things I have put off?

Am I living in perfect resonance with my intentions? Does the way of my being match the truth of my being?

What a gift this recalibration! But what a gift — wrought in a paralyzing fear of insufficiency, of wasted time, of uncovering the mythology of our implacable truths, the fragility of our certainty…

Don’t get me started.

First, the NBA. Then March Madness (oh God, not March Madness!). Then, the MLB, the NHL, the NFL (and Tom Brady leaving the Patriots). What’s left to America when it’s lost its most important pastimes? All that’s left on ESPN are average documentaries about sports’ worst human beings and talk shows of predictions as to when things will return to normal. (Even the Scripps National Spelling Bee has been cancelled!) To be honest, I’m sick and tired of this bullshit. …

What if this were a test?

A test from God. To see who could comply, to see who could fend off the temptations. To see who could sit quietly and patiently, knowing that this too shall pass, to see who was willing to learn the lesson He is leaving behind all of this. I do very much believe that He has a reason for this. And I do believe that most will be too motivated by satiating their impulses to notice. But I believe that those who hold God closest to heart will hear the lesson loud and clear. He…

America was built upon a revolution. A revolution for freedom against oppressive forces operating under the confiscation of indelible human rights and liberty. And oh how we proved so vigorously that our liberties could not be infringed upon. It is perhaps upon this promise of freedom, and liberty, that we architected a country of unbelievable global influence and power. We are the result of this revolution, and the revolution lives within us.

The courageous American must not forget the responsibility to preserve the sanctity of liberty, no matter the enemy.

This time, the enemy has come in a new form—a…

The rebel is perhaps the most underrated role in society. It is the rebel who demonstrates that the system is weaker than it thought, the rebel who demonstrates that limitations are fabrications, and that the true spirit of individuality is to give the rest of the world the permission to break free from the shackles of convention.

It is you, rebel, who carries the keys to our liberation. And we need you today more than ever before. The self-interested penny pinchers are back — pretending that we’ve vanquished the threats of global pandemic in 6 days, to protect their portfolios rather than protect the lives of millions of vulnerable Americans.

Let’s do what we do best. Afterall, rebellion is what moves the arch of justice towards justice.


To all the heroes out there — this is the moment we’ve been waiting for. This is the moment where we prove our empathy and compassion, where we prove that we care about the wellbeing of others. This is the moment we have been called to do what’s difficult, what’s unpopular, to do the very thing that may deplete us of joy, excitement, effervescence, and liveliness.

The ones who do, will help save lives (perhaps thousands!) They are the ones who will rescue the victims from this invisibile and insidious enemy who is lurking devilishly on the unfortunate victim looking for the next attack.

Be the hero we’ve been waiting for. We need you, and I know you’ve got it in you.


Romain Sepehr Vakilitabar

at the nexus of media and behavior change, founder @PathosLabs

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