Create Islands of Sanity wherever possible.
Meg Wheatley on training to be of service to our times:
Wherever we are, whatever our work, we train to be able to offer ourselves in two essential ways:
- Through our presence, we serve as reminders and role models of who every human being is capable of being.
- With our leadership, we bravely stand in stark contrast to the current practices and dynamics of this age. We know what must be remembered and preserved to create good human lives and societies, and we embody this wisdom in our work.
As we do our current work, and find new places of contribution, we strive to:
- be present with compassion and discernment in all situations
- refrain from using fear and aggression to accomplish our ends
- create Islands of Sanity wherever possible
- do our work with greater commitment and different skills, including patience, clear seeing, compassion
- refrain from fixing, staying present, supporting others to find their own solutions
- stay in situations which triggered us or from which we fled but where we still want to contribute
- maintain a keen sense of humor
- rely on moments of grace and joy
In this spirit: I choose not to perpetuate fear based attempts to manipulate and move people to action. These are often pandered by well meaning nonprofits trying to convince a largely apathetic public that something matters. It does matter and we do need to act, but we already lost 20 years of activism thinking that urgency and fear would move people. It hasn’t. Except in a few rare cases, I see folks wake up when their lives are touched personally by climate changes or are inspired by the joy they see in others brought by this work.
I also choose not to perpetuate narratives of victimhood and powerlessness. These are so often pandered by mainstream media, which reports on what’s broken, what’s “happening to us,” and what’s out of reach, instead of reporting on the myriad ways people can participate in good efforts, already underway, closer to home. Or on the ways people are asserting their strengths and exhibiting ingenuity and resilience.
Our power lies not in getting global decision makers to do what we want, but in our ability to transmit to others, including to younger generations, in our presence: our love, sources of joy and sources of resilience.