Identify "Proactivism" seeks to identify, in any conflict, the true enemies of peace. The enemies are never people but rather unacceptable conditions, bad attitudes, and deficient ideologies. We strive to diagnose and cure the sickness rather than merely deal with the symptoms, that is to "kill the spider" rather than continually cleaning out the "webs".
Intentionality "Proactivism" means, having identified the root causes, we take intentional, deliberate actions to deal with those causes rather than only dealing with their effects and results. Proactivists choose intentional actions based on their beliefs, values and principles (see the proactivism pyramid below) rather than reacting to their fear, feelings, personal interests, friendships, expediencies, polls, opinions, pressure, or coercions. While we believe in doing "random acts of kindness," we prefer to be doing selected, directed, planned, intentional actions that strike at the root of evil. As Thoreau pointed out, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root" Our goal is to identify and then strike at the root of evil, knowing that in doing so, the fruit will die.
Proactivists are more proactive than reactive. Their beliefs, values, and principles dictate actions that are proactive rather than reactive. Proactivists choose the agenda. When an individual reacts they are following person to whom they react. The proactivist sets the agenda and therefore become the leaders rather than reactive followers.
Proactivists call for mercy more so than justice because the drive for justice is re-active whereas mercy is proactive. Teaching responsibility is proactive whereas demanding rights is re-active. Demonstrations and boycotts (except for purposes of public awareness, information and understanding) are reactive whereas dialog is proactive. Reparations are re-active but forgiveness is proactive. Co-existence is re-active but building friendship is proactive. Therefore, our agenda will be more about mercy, responsibility, forgiveness, reconciliation and friendship than justice, rights, reparations and co-existence.
Initiate Proactivism means to take the initiative, "Peace begins with me". Each person, individually, can act for peace. No one needs to wait on governments, armies, politicians, treaties, etc. Proactivity is deciding what to do, how to go about it, and getting started. As Confucius said, "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." We prefer to light "candles of peace," however small they may be, rather than merely exposing evil.
Proactivism Distinguished from Non-Violence
"Proactivism" is certainly nonviolent but is very different from what is now understood as nonviolence. Traditionally there have been 5 ways of responding to a problem: 1) Apathy, and non-involvement, 2) War 3) Negotiations leading to comprise 4) Cowardice is people refusing to get involved in conflict resolution or confronting injustice because of feelings of fear, hopelessness or helplessness5)Fatalism is were people acquiesce to evil because of feelings of destiny and accepting conditions as fate. 6)Nonviolence where by one party seeks to enforce their will upon another party without overt violence. 7) Proactivism (The Seventh Path) The goal of Proactivism in any conflict is to make the enemies friends. Proactivism seeks to strike at the heart an individual so that he/she may undergo a paradigm shift and begin to forgive and make friends with the worst of enemies.
Diagram of Proactive Peacemaking
Proactive peacemaking is the culmination of seven elements, beginning at the base: (click each element for explanation)