Sunday, June 5, 2016

Do you believe it?

Do you really believe it is possible to change the world, to make it a truly "more beautiful world"? I do.

I believe it is possible. But just because something is possble doesn't mean it will happen. Just because we can do something doesn't mean we will do it.

What would it take to change thew world? Actually, it wouldn't take as much as you think. IF the desire is strong enough and IF enough of us want it badly enough we can do it.

I comes down to challenging and changing beliefs that maintain the status quo. While changing beliefs may be difficult, it is definitely possible.

When we believe we can't do something, we won't really try to do it. But then something happens to weaken that belief and we begin to look at things differently. With a nwe perpsective we can begin to develop a more empowered sense of our ability to make the changes.

There is power in groups - unions, for instance, can bring about changes in working conditions that individuals never thought possible until they joined with others who saw the need for change. And as a group they created circumstances that changed public opionion and gained the support of public opinion to bring pressure on the compaies to create the better working conditions.

By making an injustice visible, activists can create significant emotional experiences that challenge the public to change their perspective in situations. Public opinion then disrupts business as usual. It makes it impossible for people who believe everything is fine a it is to continue to hold onto that belief. (1)

Think about it. Until we had the TV news bringing the horrors of the Viet Nam war into our livingrooms we believed the war was "business as usual". Uniformed soldiers killed the enemy soldiers and somehow that was acceptable. It was done for the "right" reasons. Sending young men, boys really, into another country to fight the enevy was nothing new. But seeing them ordered to destroy civilians, women, children and the elderly each night on the evening news.changed the public opinion. Activists pointing out these injustices disrupted the status quo.

So, to change the world, we are going to have to make waves and change the systems of separateness.

Disrupting the status quo is perilous and insufficient on their own. Even if they come from a place of compassion and non-judgement, they easily trigger the old hatred habits. They create the persception that there are two ides, the good guys and the bad guys, and one must win and the other lose. And even then it only disrupts the status quo on one level - the economy, for instance - leaving untouched the less visible beliefs that sustains the old way of being. (1)

Perhaps another level of change will disrupt the status quo, by simply becoming a living example of a different way of life, of how we deal with technology, farming, money, medicine, schooling, etc. This way we reveal by contrast the narrowness and dysfunction of dominant institutions.

Perhaps if we simply live differently by living simply, with compassion as part of the whole web of life, connection and compassion will disrupt the destructive status quo and create a more beautiful world.

(1) The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, by Charles Eisenstein

Today's Daily Dozen To-do List:

It is getting harder to come up with new things for this list. Maybe you can contribute a few.
  • Become a tutor/mentor for young people.
  • Identify an injustice and provide information about it to others on FaceBook, Twitter, or other social media, as well as community or religious groups you are a member of. 
  • Volunteer for organizations that confront injustice.
  • Attend community meetings about justice issues. Share what you learn.
  • Feed a parking meter for someone else.
  • Ask your library or bookstore to set up a display of books and resources promoting compassionate acts.
  • Help a neighbor weed his/her garden.
  • Grow herbs, indoors or outdoors, and offer them to your neighbors with recipes that require fresh herbs. Take a sample of the recipe's product!
  • Nurture small blooming plants in pots until they are in full bloom. Then deliver them to shut-ins or recent surgery patients.
  • Visit nursing homes or senior centrs with recordings of songs that bring back memories, such as Mitch Miller.
  • Encourage community leaders and business owners to make their sites mor wheelchair accessible. Help build ramps where needed.
  • Work with schools, businesses, and merchants to rais "Pennies for _(a community beautification project)." Remind people that pennies don't seem to have much value, but when combined, they do make a difference. In the same way, one kind act may seem insignigicant, but many kind acts practiced daily have grat impact.

1 comment:

  1. I have learned that I cannot change "the world" I can only change MY world. But if everyone took care of their own little part of the world, the world as a whole would sure be better off.