Can the Social Order Be Transformed Through Personal Practice? The Case of Nonviolent Communication - Part 1 of 2
By focusing on NVC process and practice without factoring in the interdependent, systemic dimension we unwittingly diminish the power of NVC. We reinforce the dominant paradigm, rather than challenging it -- making NVC one more tool for compliance. NVC principles can turn against its own purpose in cruel ways. NVC could also empower social change. We'll need our attention on this matter if we are to contribute to transforming the oppression we face and our collective march towards extinction.
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.
While so many of us know how close we are to the edge of global catastrophe and want change, what makes the existing global system continue to function with our ongoing participation? Read on for more on the challenges and path towards learning to steward life and all the resources of this one planet for the benefit of all.
Unless we change our collective ways on the planet, we will one day exceed the earth’s carrying capacity. We can only address the planet's very real limits of physical resources at the level of social organization. To operate empathically is to adjust our collective social order and patterns so that resources are more widely available and everyone's needs are met no matter what their output, income, power, circumstances, etc. Can we envision a future where the system is infused with this level of empathy, before it's too late?
We're in difficult times - possibly at the brink of extinction. What can we do in response? Some nonlinear steps: A.) Notice what isn't working; B.) Mourn so that we can move "towards" from an expanded space inside; C.) Analyze to bring a fuller understanding of what's happening and what's needed; D.) Reframe our inner and outer narratives; E.) Discern what we can contribute; F.) Care; and G.) Bring in support for more resilience and creativity.
There are healers and therapists who see climate anxiety as a pathology. Instead, we can see it as an understandable reaction to the magnitude of the environmental problems that surround us. And we can see it as a subset of eco-anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease triggered by an awareness of the ecological threats facing the earth due to climate catastrophe. Read on for tips on coping with the anxiety.
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.