Sunday, October 01, 2006

What is firebrand?


“The firebrand is the person who recognizes what is natural, what is organic, what is alive and vital in life, the person who dares to live, to be, and to create, often in the face of interference, rejection, deceit, and betrayal. The firebrand is a burning ember, life that is in each of us and that provides the spark and energy to speak against what distorts, hides, and denies our being and truth. It is that which awakens within us, when we must declare our independence or when we discover a new formula for living. It is the path that enables us to participate in the mystery of creation, uniquely and individually. The firebrand expresses her- or himself in two basic ways: as the torch that lights up the darkness, and the as the carrier of the torch, throwing light into the darkness, and often disturbing complacency and brewing trouble. Being a firebrand is a way of raising temperatures and creating conflict, turbulence, and dissension.

The motive of the firebrand is not to attack or destroy others but to bring to light a basic truth, to take a stand, and to declare and own who one is, especially in the face of perceived violations of one’s values and rights and interferences with one’s goals, purposes, and meanings.

In relation to one’s self, the firebrand engages in reflection and self-dialogue that evokes awareness of ideas, projects, and goals, insights, into one’s deviance from others, and particularly from the mainstream people. The firebrand chooses to be different when being different represents a truth, when being different guides the fulfillment of basic human values and actualization of one’s potentials.

In relation to others, the firebrand seeks to maintain what is unique and distinctive, what will enrich a relationship and keep it alive in fundamental ways. The firebrand avoids roles, categories, classifications, hierarchies, fixed routines, and practices but rather seeks to create rituals, searches for new rhythms and connections with others, keeps secrets and confidences, and engages in conflicts and intimacies when these are true to experience, when these are ways of enhancing life. The firebrand is concerned with being open, honest, adventurous, and creative. If none of these processes are viable, the firebrand terminates the activity or relationship and moves on.”

- Moustakas, Clark. (1995). “Being-In, Being-For, Being-With” pp. 5-6.

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