Gentle Revolution Class 3.01
Powerful Ways to Get Involved Now!
“When everything is connected, the best solution is to contribute to the best world possible!”
How to become an activist, or help the world to become a better place? What role to take in the complexity of issues and needs? How to help us overcome the destructive ‘Wetiko’ or Crony Capitalism*? Choose to become involved in one or more of the following options. It can be fun, offer meaning and direction and help you make a difference. So what can you do to help the world, nature and society to flourish and yourself to fly?
1. Humanize, where people are dehumanized. Humanize both illegal immigrants and Redneck Republicans. This helps to overcome the Us vs. Them thinking and keeps you human as well. Find and spread films that help spread this kind of empathic attitude. Show humanity when it’s not expected.
2. Build networks of trust and connectivity. Positive Changemakers recognize each other. Trust makes collaboration fast and easy. Support others without expecting something back, what can use your help, or give what you have to where you feel it matters. This helps to grow and speed up change.
3. Be alive, attractive and inspiring. Invite people to join the party. Aggression doesn’t change people, nor helps to get them over to your side. This helps people feel safe to join or at the least explore what you are about.
“I don’t want to be part of your revolution, if I can’t dance in it.”~Isabella Duncan
4. Work on closing the tap. There’s a Dutch expression: ‘to mop the floor with the tap open.’ Many NGO’s, often because of funding reasons stick to doing just that; healing the wounded, but not stopping the war. Closing the tap helps end the sources or roots of the problem and stops way more suffering in the future.
5. Embrace the unity within diversity. Many people help in their own way, in their own context. Acknowledge them, help them, don’t fight them. The age to fully agree is over. The concept of being all the same outdated. The complexity needs very different people, all at their best, adding their own gifts to make the difference within their context. The work is to see the connections and align these efforts. This helps to overcome biases and prevents being played out against each other (for ‘they’ will surely try.)
6. Help create visible alternatives. Play with possibility. Dare to experiment and fail, change comes out of a laboratory, not because of a perfect plan in a few peoples minds. Dare to ask for help and feedback. Pioneering is interesting as a thing itself and help can change others towards involved collaboration or even become an active community. And finally solutions that work, with an active crowd around it, help prove that the dominant idea is not the only solution, or other ways are possible to those that think it can’t be done.
“There’s no civilization possible without an element of play.”~Johan Huizinga
7. Link solutions to other fields. Be a cross pollinator. When you’re in permaculture, see if you can use new economic ideas to realize plans, or your work may get refugees involved to address also other aspect. When you innovate education, learn from resilient communities what essential skills are. Link people who should know each other. By creating bridges you emphasize and help see that our current day complexity needs other levels of thinking and integrated solutions. It also helps strengthen the field of change and makes people more capable in systems thinking across the board.
8. Make it visible/experiential. Be the media, be a storyteller. Most people adapt to the herd. Trump creates a new normal in which it seems okay to steal from the poor or reject humans for being ‘other’. You must work to show how (y)our normal, is the more hopeful, valuable, warm, possible the alternative is. Find, make and help spread films that offer solutions, ideas, inspiration that make being part of the Gentle Revolution/Shift/Blessed Unrest/United Earth feel the greatest next step possible. Let me tell you: it helps your and other peoples sense of meaning and well being. :)
9. Include magic!! This may seem corny, but the presence and sharing of stories of the unexplainable, of supernatural help, life-changing dreams, being deeply moved by nature, all help people to feel and grow deeper relationships, the sense that life and meaning matter, and we all have a role to play. It helps to provide a bedding and a deeper sense of what it means to be human on a fragile planet.
10. Be a Bee. Follow that what helps our planet to flourish and supports all movement that do too. You may consider yourself one very small bee. Yet, with each flight you enrich the hive and with each flight you help some flowers to bear fruits or seeds. That is the best win win possible.
Feel free to add essential steps I missed in the comments. Already heard Critical Thinking, thinking free, when every else follows the stream, to be able to step out and show social courage.
A few hints were taken from the “Critical Mass and the Blessed Unrest That Never Found Its Power…Until Now.” by Troy Wiley. Great article on the spirit of the Gentle Revolution/Blessed Unrest or however you call the global shift. Most others come from my own experiences or have been so long with me, I forgot where I got them from.
*) Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windigo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live. More on Wetiko Capitalism and way to overcome it.