Manifesto For One

Jodie Harburt
Mar 13, 2018 · 13 min read

I remember, when I was 12, looking up at the black, night sky scattered with stars and being overwhelmed by the hugeness of everything and my absolute insignificance, over time I came to realise that our isolation in space is what connects and unifies us as a species and with our planet, but as a child it was both scary and exhilarating. Looking to the future now prompts a similar feeling.

We are all bombarded with data during dialogue with friends and colleagues and through news and social media to the point that it becomes challenging to differentiate fact from fiction and pinpoint the bias that we are subjected to. I’ve also found that it’s hard to wade through the discourse to find that which does more than simply underline our predicament and point blame. Many articles resonate with powerful truths but after reading I often find myself simply asking… now what?

This seems to me to be the elementary question and one, that if properly answered, will dictate the nature of our future.

So whose job is it to fix stuff?

For many people in the world informed debate and choice are inaccessible luxuries so I believe it is the responsibility of the rest of us to create a positive network that extends beyond our familiar boundaries. When we do something (rather than just talk/write/read about it) we become a part of a solution and inspire others far and wide. It’s not possible for one person or one solution to cure the ills of our beautiful world, but each one of us can carry a tiny bit of responsibility, and in this we can initiate change. This is our job; one of existing and of ongoing conscious evolution. Being useful and nurturing is an antidote to the poison of hopelessness and together we are a Multitude of Ones.

What is Conscious Evolution?

Conscious Evolution is the result and ongoing process of our small, accumulative actions. Our reality (present and future) is made up of what we perceive, imagine, think about and do. If we hold a vision on our minds and then take steps towards that we are designing the future. When enough of us are in alignment regarding the vision we can consciously create the emergent, thus our future is in our hands.

So are you saying that we have to create the future ourselves?

Ordinary people implement whatever the future holds, yet most feel disenfranchised from any kind of solution and worse still, we feel disassociated from the problems that our very actions (or lack of) are inadvertently causing, we choose ignorance rather than enlightenment and we are in the dark about the impact of even the most mundane daily choices we make. We assume that we are powerless and we believe we have the right to live as best we can within the parameters of our distorted realities. The politicians, the rich, the big business and even the academics are often too elevated or self serving to see the little picture and we can’t see that we are contributors to the big picture.

It is our daily choices to buy, consume, remain in passive stance or our misguided negative actions that perpetuate the situation that has become unsustainable and has long been intolerable for many (habitats, creatures and people alike). Improvement is entirely reliant upon our will and actions.

How can we deal with something so big?

Facing and dealing with reality is often excruciatingly painful, but our tendency to become overburdened by the enormity of issues can be counteracted by chipping away at things from the bottom, that is not to say that the we should not swoop down from above and extinguish disaster or provide relief if it is within our capability, but let us not desist from each of us doing the best we can on any scale.

If each person implements a list of things that he or she can do, I call it a ‘Manifesto for One’, the accumulation will add up to something big. Every human has the capacity to be proactive today.

What kind of ‘action’ are we talking about? Does it have a name, leader or affiliations?

Imagine a self compiled rule book that we can make up to suit ourselves. When we gain a sense of alignment and satisfaction with the actions that emerge through our own evolving manifesto we will become a part of the true and defining emergent, we won’t need a single leader and we can collaborate and merge with others.

Each One of us can be affiliated with others yet retain individual definition and dynamic, never losing identity and free choice. A new paradigm with no name, no owner, no book and no rules, a multitude of singularly designed yet multilaterally instigated actions that allow for infinite diversity and evolution.

Can this be worldwide?​

Historic and enduring disputes cripple dialogue at the outset. By starting with our own individual actions we negate prejudice and proceed without hitting the impassable wall of irreconcilable stories. We are each the product of the culture that we and our ancestors have absorbed, but we can decide what will define us from now on through the creation of new stories.

The very fact that we walk upon the same world is unity enough and mutual regard for each other means the scale of any one of our actions is automatically worldwide. It is within our ability to share our individual intent and to create a huge wave of inspired action.​​

Countless success stories exist all over the world, humans doing jobs of magnitude on every scale, small initiatives, international summits and acts of bravery, sacrifice, charity, compassion and collaboration; the media thrives upon and the human mind is stimulated by bad news, but there is a whole lot of good news that needs to be headlined and emulated.

War is waged upon threats to the present system using multi billion dollar social media attacks and crippling misinformation. Polarization is a weapon of choice. The good news is that we are not a group, we can’t be divided seeing as we don’t affiliate with each other specifically, there are no bonds or handshakes, no flags or titles, nothing links us except the fact that we will have all stopped being passive.

Is humankind capable of this?

Collaboration and compassion are at our core and we can learn to allow our nurturance capability to take front stage. There is a presiding idea that we are selfish, individualistic and the worst thing that ever happened to our world, indeed it is easy to despair, but we were born dependent and our societies evolved in a permanent state of mutual dependence and benefit. With a key strategy being the birth of multilateral Nurturance Culture our actions will prove that we can do so much better.

Deep levels of invested interest defy progress and for many it seems that the first step should be radical castration of the elite, the corporations and the political bodies that exploit the world’s people, natural resources and each other. However such an approach will not facilitate cooperation or pave the way to a healthy result. We have to be patient yet proactive, believing in the possibilities and in the power shift that could emerge.

Are we all responsible?

Let’s all look in the mirror and rephrase some of our questions:

  • What is the world coming to? = What am I doing to help the world?
  • Why are they doing this? = What am I doing that is harmful?
  • Don’t they know better? = Don’t I know better?
  • Why are they (governments, corporations etc) so greedy, corrupt and stupid? = Is my behaviour greedy, corrupt or stupid?
  • Who really cares about anything anymore? = Do I care?

It’s hard to face up to one’s own hypocrisy, but we must be kind even when blaming ourselves and others and then try and shake off our fear, repression and inertia by empowering ourselves through action.

How can good emerge from the mess we are in?​

There are 7.6 billion of us. Imagine if we all just did one less crappy thing and did one more good thing today that’s a whole lot of worldwide improvement. Call me over simplistic if you will, but there is something (at least one thing) that we can each decide to do and in the very doing we can become part of the cure.

Of course if only one of us pulls his/her weight than the balance won’t be tipped, (there are already many people doing so), but if enough of us feel inspired enough to put in some effort we will be motivated by each other, connected and more importantly our actions will promote change in every realm. ​

Do we have to make changes? Will this make us happy?

Various forms of change and breakdown are imminent, we don’t know if they’ll come hard, fast and radical or whether we will have time for slow transitions. In the meantime we have the option to either wait it out and let it hit us any which way it comes or we can become an active part of the change process, we can help define it while figuring out how to navigate it and we will have given ourselves a chance to adapt. Improvement and empowerment are incentive and gratification. As the future unfolds the sense of belonging and useful contribution will grow exponentially. Positive results will be shared (as the success of the whole, not the lone achievement of inaccessible icons) and action points will overlap creating collaboration which will propagate the seeds to further success and happiness.

Photo credit: Faye Harburt

But what can I do? I mean I’m broke/ stressed/ over worked/ under qualified…. and what is the point while everyone else does what they like?

Once we drop the excuses each of us can decide what we can do. It’s not hard to shop sensibly, avoid creating waste and to learn about the world from other’s view points when you try. ​You might feel alone to start with but people are inclined to follow good example so we should be loud and proud enough to spread the word.

What if I have a great, original idea and everyone copies it?

Then wow! Be extra proud, you are the creator of the new emerging trend in human behaviour, make sure it’s something meaningful to you and enjoy watching it grow.

What is the real goal here?

To enable a nurtured, worldwide society to evolve in a conscious, self initiating, empowering and sustainable manner.

Meaning this: We look after each other, we take care of the world and we live long and prosper as a species. And we have fun while we are doing it. (And if the apocalypse comes we go down with dignity knowing we gave it our best shot!)

What should be the essence of any Manifesto for One?

Everyone has his/her own priorities and inspiration. However the Basic Rights can be considered a backbone to the infinite contributions that are possible. These do NOT just belong to humans; they are the rights of every inhabitant upon the Earth and of the Earth itself: Shelter (protection from elements and in the case of the Earth protection from humans). Water (clean). Food (real food). Safety (freedom from war, exploitation, discrimination, oppression)

It’s necessary to research and understand the mechanisms of our present world to see how our actions contribute to the whole, every Manifesto should enable the individual to learn and foster empathy, compassion and nurturance. However the necessity for and ongoing quest towards deeper understanding and self improvement should not hinder an immediate application of any form of positive action.

Photo credit: Faye Harburt

Where do we start?

A good starting point is to review one of our most powerful tools: Consumerism. We can take control of what we buy and how much we spend. It’s a major turning of the tide when we take consumerism and make it ours (after it has been used to hold us captive and to benefit only the few). Our conscious choices regarding what we do or do not consume can become our power.

What’s wrong with what we are consuming?

The words ‘need’ and ‘wealth’ are most ambiguously used. The common understanding is that anything you ‘want’ is something you ‘need’ and that owning lots of property, money and stuff makes you ‘wealthy’. The decades of brain washing will take time to eradicate and for our poor half poisoned and glutted out consumer selves to wise up. Irrational and ignorant spending creates waste, obesity and severe detrimental effect on the habitat. We have no right to allow ignorance to be an excuse anymore. Intelligent and informed choices on everything from cosmetics and cleaning products, to garment and electronics will free us from this most toxic of our obsessions and is a pivot point in the history of humankind and this planet. The words ‘wealth’ and ‘need’ will have been reconceptualised.

So enough talk and on to the action!

Below is a list of some possible ‘Manifesto for One’ activities and life changes that may appeal to you, or you may have much better ideas!. If you want to join me in being One of a Multitude then invent your own or pick at least one from the Action Prep section and one from the Action Points section, but do more if you can. Add new ones over time and maintain them.

Action Prep :

Self development.

  • Read more about Nurturance, Conscious Evolution.
  • Get outside, notice and feel.
  • Learn stuff (such as about the food we eat, gardening, cultures, places…)
  • Ask any person simply what matters to them, listen, don’t comment.
  • Look after One (exercise, meditate and spend time in nature)

Action Points:

​Food

  • Stop buying any palm oil products. (learn why palm oil is top of this list!)
  • Make your own: soup, peanut butter, cakes, cookies…. and share.
  • Stop or limit eating beef (and all red meat) especially imported.
  • Buy green/ free trade/free range/organic, seasonal and preferably local fruit and vegetables, eggs, milk, chicken etc.
  • Stop/limit buying sugar (it is one of the worst offenders for loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction)
  • Stop eating fast, packaged, processed foods.
  • Create edible and/or pollinating garden (even in urban settings)

Packaging and products

  • Avoid all plastic (bottled water, packaging) Use reusable shopping bags.
  • Support businesses that don’t use packaging.
  • Only buy ecological cleaning products (or learn how to make your own)
  • Don’t buy anything that’s wrapped in non reusable packaging (hand soaps and shampoo included) Find stuff you can buy in bulk or that refills or is wrapped in paper (or make your own)

Recycling and Waste

  • Give away and upcycle everything not needed: furniture, books, clothes, electronics, kitchen ware…
  • Fix stuff rather than chuck stuff.
  • Don’t use disposable plates, straws etc. Refuse the straw at the restaurant (you really need a straw?!) Tell a server in a restaurant that you don’t want the straw in advance and say it loudly.
  • Recycle along with the local initiatives and help instigate more.
  • Compost.

Energy & Resources

  • Wear a sweater in the house rather then turn the heat up.
  • Use public transport. Bicycle and walk.
  • Share car rides and shopping trips (and bulk buy with neighbours to minimize packaging)
  • Buy an electric car (when the infrastructure is available and you win the lottery!)
  • Limit international travel or flights in general (This is a tough one for us immigrants)
  • If you are a scientist develop an ecologically sound airplane fuel (please!)
  • Minimize electric and water consumption (retro fit grey water usage system and a composting toilet) Install solar or wind turbine, consider sharing within the community.

Teach Kids and Adults:

  • That they don’t need an egg surprise or a new toy or another pointless wrapped thing.
  • How to grow real food, even just one tomato plant on a balcony.
  • To consume responsibly and to nurture, set the example. (Don’t buy stuff just because someone is selling it and someone else has it!)
  • To not compete against but to collaborate with their friends.
  • People don’t want to be lectured, but they might listen if making a small change has made you happier/healthier/more productive etc.

Nature

  • Develop an urban garden and plant pollinators so bees hang out.
  • Bicycle or walk in nature often.

Money

  • Donate to, create or join a good initiative.
  • Only buy what you ‘need’.
  • Spend on quality organic living and shared experiences.
  • Consider how and whether you use the banks and what you can do to support ethical banking (if it exists)

Specific skill based Action points

  • Use career and skills to good use for your community and beyond.

Activism

  • Sign campaigns and join or start activities that promote change.
  • Use social media to share this or any thing that inspires you.
  • Do volunteer work and collaborative enterprise.

Sharing

  • If you bake for example, share with your neighbours.
  • Share garden produce with neighbours and encourage them to plant edible gardens.
  • Share positive energy.
  • Become actively involved with anyone who shares the Manifesto for One idea!

And many more possibilities that are yours to manifest; you can copy or adapt these or invent your own.

Maintain any of the Action Points you choose indefinitely, they should not be short lived but become a lifestyle. Have long term ambitions too, but don’t let future intentions delay starting something today.

Tiny drops in the ocean? …. “It is the drops that make the lake”

(Translated from a Turkish proverb — “Damlaya, damlaya göl olur”)

I hope you feel inspired to go off and make a manifesto for yourself. It really makes you think and wonder about what you can do when you write it all down. Let it grow and shine out of you.

I’d love to hear how it goes. (Here is a link to my own Manifesto and my progress)

Jodie Harburt

www.multitudeofones.com

www.facebook.com/multitudeofones/

https://www.instagram.com/multitudeofones/

Jodie Harburt

Written by

Writer. Spatial Designer. Visual Artist. Mum. Partner. Person trying to live on this amazing planet and be something a tiny bit more than blight.

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