Christine's Reviews > Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
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's review
Nov 12, 2007

it was amazing

I just finished reading Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It was life altering, as I knew it would be, and pointed the way forward clearly to how we can begin the revolution. If our aim is, as loving humans, to eradicate homelessness, poverty, racism, classism, and sexism, our revolution must be educative and cultural. Educative meaning that it is a process of reflection, critical thinking, and dialogue; cultural meaning that it must act decisively on our ways of being and inhabiting society. One way that Freire tells us this can be done-- and I mention it here because a lot of people question what practical steps can be taken to begin the revolution-- is by bearing witness.

Bearing witness is an action. It is a way for us to begin to live our lives in ways that fruitfully impact our world. Freire tells us that the historical essential elements of witness are:
1. Consistency... matching words with actions.
2. Boldness... confronting the issues that matter, not shirking or avoiding our responsibilities towards equitable humanity.
3. Radicalization... leading both the people bearing witness and those receiving witness to increasing action.
4. Courage to love... rather than accommodating an unjust world, transforming the world so increase our own liberation.
5. Faith... belief that we can change ourselves in collaboration with others.

I truly believe that it is through the integration of the personal and the political that we begin the revolution. We cannot think about how to economically love developing countries, if we cannot love the homeless man we pass on our way to Whole Paycheck, err...Foods. We cannot have faith that the world can change, if we cannot start a dialogue with our annoying younger sister about how to better our relationship. The revolution begins with a commitment to bearing witness in our small personal lives-- AND acting on the political scale, the two are not in sequence.

It is really hard to bear witness. I struggle with it everyday. I have to fight my own inclination to rush out to those post-Christmas sales, and figure out new ways to love my heinous roommate. It is a process, for sure. But the revolution must begin. How else can we continue being human?
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06/04/2016 marked as: read

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