Understanding how our brains operate in relation to power, privilege and status is important if we wish to build a world that works for all. This article gives an overview of the brain tendencies we have in relationship to groups, and provides remedies to counteract the automatic labor-saving devices of our human brains (which often prevent us from seeing the fullness of others, and our own, humanity).
Within the pandemic, limitations of our market economies are more visible. Extreme need is exposed when the economy is collapsing and so many people are without jobs. We can now see how it’s possible to direct resources where they are most needed, solely out of care and interconnection. This is a call to explore a more viable way of living, that centers relationship over transaction.
We can't alone (nor with lone communities) transform the hidden structures of violence and domination. Dialogue alone isn't disruptive enough. We can easily be in dialogue with Trump supporters while the planet burns up, millions are still hungry, and we go extinct. NVC seriously risks reinforcing vast inequities and abuses if we're not radically engaging systemic constraints, and impacts of our choices that go beyond our immediate circle. Read on for ways to leverage NVC practices to expand true social change.
If we're to have a better future, our biggest task will be to reexamine what the police are, their place in the system, and more. Police violence exists by systemic design. The myths of where the problems and symptoms lie with the police, capitalism, laws, government, citizens, class and racism --plus the relationship between all these-- is what keeps oppression ongoing on a mass scale. For change to happen, we'll need to find systemic leverage points, and use privilege to benefit those without it. Read on for more.
Human health is connected to health of ecosystems and other societies. Our wellness and liberation is found in our interconnection, kinship, reverence for life, and solidarity. Solidarity erodes through narratives, practices and policies that separate us from each other -- and this impacts societal functioning. The breakdown creates conditions for pandemic, racism, police brutality, exploitation in untold numbers, and extinction. Read on for how all is connected.
How much money to pay? And how much money to ask for? The supply and demand logic basically say that we ask for the most that “the market can absorb” and pay “the least that we can get away with.” We can instead, we can engage in experiments that focus on connecting to and satisfying needs. We can also engage with our varying degrees of access to resources within the existing economy and consider how we want to make choices about resources, especially when we have access to power.
The more we can support an interdependent flow of resources and energy in society and the economy, the greater we can increase both natural abundance and the chances of averting extinction. Accumulation is a strategy born of mistrust. It’s an attempt to control the flow of life to guarantee that we will have enough for the future. Accumulation and exchange has blocked this interdependent flow. We can transform this blockage by uncoupling giving from receiving, and shedding excess as much as we can, so that energy and resources can travel further to those in need.
In learning how to re-invent the economic system so that it distributes resources in a way that includes as many people's needs as possible, we would need to be in a process of mutual influence with one another. However, addressing resource distribution can be complex when people in different social locations have 1.)a different sense of what's considered "enough" 2.) different capacities to find creative strategies that work within the given limitations, and 3.)different levels of self-doubt, shame and capacity to put their concerns and needs on the table. Can we collectively create conditions that support people to stretch productively so that included in the outcome are the needs, perspectives, ideas, and concerns of people who are less powerful? What needs to be in place to support the way towards a better future?