A Little Idea: Occupy a Beautiful Beginning

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” (Bruce Lee)


Like many martial artists of my generation, Bruce Lee was a catalyst and inspiration for my own studies. In fact, I specifically opted to take up his original style of Wing Chun Kung Fu.

The first form one learns in Wing Chun is called Sil Lum Tao (this is one a few different spellings), which is usually translated as “a little idea.” The movements of Sil Lum Tao can initially seem awkward or even esoteric but as we advance in Wing Chun, we discover that indeed, these movements offer a little idea of what lies ahead. How we choose to utilize and apply these ideas, however, is ultimately up to us.


Mic Check: You cannot evict an idea.

I immediately loved the “little idea” concept and in many ways, it’s carried over to my writing, public speaking, photography, and general activism. By offering a little idea of what’s possible and encouraging others to partake, we can break free of what is commonly accepted.

For those who seek only to criticize activists and movements from a distance, for the 5000th time: Of course, we/they are not perfect. The goal of dissent is not perfection. To struggle for change is to risk imperfection.

Mic Check: Ideas are bulletproof.

Therefore, since no one can truly know how any movement will evolve, let’s begin by detaching ourselves from—and dismantling—the system destroying us (and all life). Perhaps then, we’ll create a space in which we can recognize previously unimagined little ideas.

Sil Lum Tao has also been translated as “a beautiful beginning.” So, my questions to you, comrades: What little idea can you bring to the movement and how soon will you create this beautiful beginning?


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