BOOK | Say the Quiet Part Out Loud: Liberate Your Inner Changemaker

publication date: Jul 3, 2024
author/source: Bina M. Patel

This excerpt is shared with permission.

Love, rage, and all of the things

I’d like to offer some space for rage. Dominant culture demonizes rage and often looks down upon those experiencing it as immature, naive, out of control, and violent. We are often told, “...just calm down!”

But rage is more dynamic than this. It is more useful. It has more purpose. We must be able to reach toward the edges of our rage and let it serve as light and fuel. Rage is an opening to action rooted in justice and activated by a desire to serve the collective good. For rage to be rooted in purpose, it must be of service of liberation — both communal and self. You can stay with it, feel it, and not erase this rage.

The grief, exasperation, and frustration of bearing witness again and again. Together, these show up as rage.

Rage, love, and grief — they live together. They exist together. Though truly not the same, we are not strangers to the range of emotions that are present as teachers in the work of changing the world.

Rage is a signal that we are in a relationship with one another and we are seeing each other. And that, dear friends, is love.

Rage makes us aware of injustice, reminding us of our shared humanity — even if we are not the ones directly experiencing the harm. Rage as a signal of love tells us that we are present for a reality that is challenging to be with, a reality that often breaks our hearts.
Rage, once felt and accepted without the weight of how the world perceives it, must be channeled into collective service, protest, and rebuilding.

To be of service, we must resist the urge to shrink, to let unchecked rage eat us up and turn us to ash.

If rage is not a natural response to everything we are bearing witness to, are we even being this work?

I wonder why more people aren’t enraged. And then I wonder, do they know how to love?

To do this work, you have to be in it — in your heart, soul, cells, muscle memory, and synapses. You have to let what you bear witness to change you.
I had to unencumber and recenter my rage. This takes work and it can be exhausting. It has taken practice1 to be in my body and to stay with the rage, not crumbling under its weight.

It took eventually coming to a place in which I let what I saw and felt change me.

I let the rage become fuel for holding more space for those who bear the direct pain and suffering of oppression and taking up space in a world guided by white supremacy that is always telling me to be smaller. We cannot lose our purpose in the face of the paralyzing rage we feel.

Rage makes us more honest, aware, and present to the urgency in this work. It creates action where helplessness used to live, and it connects love to purpose and confidence where there was once only silence. Rage is a practice of love. Rage is also a form of labor – good labor. It has purpose.

I invite you to let the rage of those moments you feel rage at the injustices you bear witness to change you again and again.

Let rage radicalize you and show the world how deeply you can love.

Learn more:

Purchase in Canada here.

Bina M. Patel, has worked for more than 25 years to advance inclusion and equity. She founded and leads Saathi Impact Consulting, a collective good strategy and coaching firm working internationally on issues of equity, justice, and inclusion.


1Through breathwork, finding places to more explicitly be an ally and accomplice, to advocate more publicly, to send donations to folks. It looks different for each of us.

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