Monday, October 24, 2016

Changing how we work for change

"Either you build from the bottom up or nothing changes." ~ Gar Alperovitz

The cultural contrasts could not be more profound - which is what tends to happen at the precipice, or at the decisive moment of transition. The tension rises. A keen sense of what those who benefit from the status quo are about to lose comes up against those left out, marginalized, or outright oppressed by that same status quo who have become empowered to shake off that oppression, to bear witness to a new world, a different world, a better one than this.

We are in a decisive moment like that. And, no, I don't mean the national election. That certainly matters. Conditions for bringing about change will be altered by the outcome, but the change necessary now, the kind needed to get this world on a better path than this destructive one, will not come from the voting booth.

Keep in mind that I am not saying don't vote. VOTE!! It is one way we keep some space in our political system open for the other work we need to do, the work that DOES bring about change...from the bottom up.

For me, those sharp, clear, cultural contrasts are best seen right now in what feels like the worst of us up against the best of us - the campaign for the White House and the struggle in North Dakota and Iowa to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. One is disgust-inducing, the other inspiring beyond words. One means we sink into more chaos or keep a firmer hold on the status quo of corporate power, and the other shows us the path toward healing our relationships with Mother Earth and our history.

As a friend of Rev. Billy Talen (that character brilliantly created by Talen and the Church of Stop Shopping) said about what he experienced in North Dakota with the Standing Rock Sioux, "It’s not like a protest. It’s a ceremony."

And I agree with Talen in this piece [Environmentalists: Make Your Stand Like Standing Rock] - the nature of how we make change needs to be changed. Mere protest won't do. And ego-led top-down organizing won't do. This must become a movement of bottom up sacred work, spiritual work, humble work, community-building work that creates a new culture to replace the one that is destroying the living communities of the planet....

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Developers v Protectors

This is indeed one of the decisive struggles of our time because they represent powerfully divergent views of how humans view Nature, Mother Earth, Gaia.

Is the Earth a vast dead mass of resources that, by way of our human brilliance and ingenuity, we have figured out how to exploit to advance our industrial/technological/consumer economic way of life, with all the comfort, convenience and species privilege that comes with it? Or is it a living organism within which all the systems that make life possible are interconnected, including the human who is not over and above Nature but embedded within it, within the web that holds life and makes life possible?