Activists and spiritual people: take note of how leaders behave in personal relationships.
Folks who habitually use and abuse those close to them, people who don’t value the love others give them, people who don’t respect those who love them aren’t going to be socially conscious or spiritually aware people, no matter how they appear so.
People who behave in radically differently in private to their public image are false – no exceptions.
Close relationships and love hold vast potential for cruelty and are a brilliant indicator of true character.
Before you believe somebody is amazing, check how happy their partner, kid or closest friend is!
I’m not talking about ‘rough patches’ here, or ‘imperfect’ families, but sustained lack of care and compassion from a person for close friends, lovers and family. Especially if they aren’t doing any work to correct the problem. I’ll briefly mention that outwardly ‘ideal’ relationships and families are also a red flag. Look for loving, yet messy, real life stuff!
If somebody is a spiritual or community leader and their personal relationships are abused or neglected, then it is very likely they have chosen these fields for recognition, unquestioned power, access to vulnerable people, work addiction or as a smokescreen – or all or more than one of these reasons.
Whether a person is a good partner, a good friend, a good parent, a good sibling etc *matters*.
It tells you about their larger character and their motivations for the Work.
Patriarchy has created a lie of private and personal life being separate, mainly so that men could still feel they were good people, even as they sucked the life out of their wives, mothers, sisters and their women friends and relations.
Let’s start to challenge that lie.