My dear friends in Dublin says NO.

Reykjavík March 14th 2015.

A speech made on mybehalf in Dublin on March 15th 2015.  

Why do we become activist?

     My dear friends in Ireland. My dear friends in Dublin says NO. I have learned that you have been protesting for two years and that calls for a celebration and some moments to reflect upon what you are doing and what you have gained and where you are heading.

    Sharing our experiences and learning from one another must be a positive move for gaining insights to what appears inappropriate policy or process or attitude. We should never accept unjust deeds, actions or ideas that destroys or diminish the quality of our life. Interpersonal communication is a key to knowledge sharing and understanding improvement.  A cynic might say that this world will never be just, but in my view, we must do our best to make it so. And to me you people are a good living example of such attitude.

   And my friends congratulations with your results.    

   I never planned to become an activists, never and I am quite sure the same goes for you. It happens though that there are some things in the way life is organized by governments and institutions that we do not accept. Some policies, processes and actions are seriously wrong and unjust.  Then we must do our best to change them for the better, even when we are repeatedly been told it can not be done and that we  should just accept bad situations. My response to this has been to consider that life offers many challenges and one has a choice to accept or decline the status quo. There are some things in this that I just cannot accept and in rejecting them, or raising questions, I have become an activist as you have. 

     I have been an activist for alomost 50 years now and believe me it was not what I set out to do in the beginning but now looking back I am proud of having taken that path. And I took it because otherwise I could not have lived with myself. I thought; each of us has special talent so let´s together work in harmony to try to keep our balance. That has to come first. I learned that we do not win or loose in life, we simply participate. We are, after all, most of us, trying to make this world a little better for all of us and for coming generations.     Sometimes I am logical, sometimes not, sometimes very sure, sometimes not, many times very lonely, isolated and skeptic but I have always tried to do my best in making this world a little bit better and cooperate with others, as I know you are. And then there are time when I meet my friends and celebrate life as we are doing now, because believe me I am with you in spirit.

     It takes work, patience, endurance and time to get results. One day I realized something that really helped me; I could divide people into 4 categories; 30%, 30%, 30% and 10 %. Simply put, 30% each for those who accepted me for who and what I am with my attitudes and ideas, those who do not accept me in this way and are often against me because of it, those who haven´t made up their mind and then those who are neutral. Once this came clear to me, somehow my work and life generally seemed easier. This kind of self-awareness demands vigilance and some introspection; and sometimes a lot of both for a long time.  

    Many people tell me that they are not interested in politics. That´s strange to me since politics is about our life. Being interested in politics does not mean you have to be a member of a political party. A political party does not own politics. No more than birds own the sky. I think that one of the roles of an artist is to criticize society and to criticize politicians and political parties, especially the misuse of power, not only with words but also with actions, when needed. But do it in the spirit of the society in which we want to live. Criticism is a form of love. We must use reason, yes. But we also have to remember the unseen, the unproven, our feelings and cultural roots that cannot always be reasoned. It is called creativity and it works perfectly well together with reason.

    Having political parties running and influencing our lives by not telling us how and keeping secrets and using lies and violence is totally unacceptable, always. But then, at the same time, we know this is human behavior. But there is this huge difference between a private live of an individual or individual that has sought after power to be responsible within our system and is misusing it for own personal benefit. That is totally unacceptable and we must fight it with our best means. We must keep a close eye on each other and debate especially when things are really, going incredibly well. That to me is always a danger sign. It take time yes, but then again what is time but a frame of life? Or should we say life is a frame of time?

    We, activists, are often called names and attacked by people who are not understanding our views and actions but these same people are the one who benefit from our deeds and we have to be patient and polite to them until they join us J    

    I challenge my own ignorance and limits as well as others. I try to understand the wonders and the complexity of our human confusion. What are we doing and how are we doing it? Being a part of it myself I try to come to terms with it. I ask myself, and others, some questions.  But when things go seriously wrong and when I get seriously wrong answers, I try to do something about it. More then use words, that is, because I can change some things I will not accept. To do that I have become an activist on squares or on stage with a mission for few weeks or months or years until I reach my goal. And I always reach out, asking other people to assist me because I want to assist other people. We are all in this together. It feels like many times that we are simply trying to stop the world from committing suicide and that is a life long project.

    I am an activist for the natural development of humanity.  Sometimes that means being on the frontline and demanding the backlog of change potential occurs in the now, not some time in the future, because the evolutionary change should already have occurred but it hasn’t.  Sometimes it means having to be revolutionary for change to occur. Sometimes that means being on the frontline alone until joined by others…or perhaps no one else at all.   

     My friends, you are not alone. All over our planet today everyday people like us are rising up to the old system that favors the few and we are going to change it to favor each and everyone of us. Keep up the good work and let´s stay in touch I am here for you as I am sure you are here for me. I am proud of having met many people in Ireland that have stood like rocks on their convictions and shown courage and set great example for others.

Hugs to you all.

Hörður Torfason