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April 03, 2008

“I have the answer. I know what needs to happen.”

That’s the thing. So many people think that they know the answer to what we need. When we each see the world through the lens of issue of choice or our own personal life experiences, we tend to see how everything fits in those frames. We are each the star of our own movie. But then how can we learn from each other’s frame, or understand how “your issue” is actually “my issue” too?

We are all participants

So, let’s look at how we are all actually already participants in many of the problems and solutions of a socially just, ecologically sustainable world. I am a participant in slavery because I eat refined sugar (sometimes). I am a participant in racial profiling because I am not regularly calling out the institutional and subversive ways that white people are privileged. I am a participant in the oppression of the Tibetan people because I still use gadgets made in China, as much as I try to avoid them. I am a participant in clearcutting because I use toilet paper, or allow others to use virgin paper on my behalf, like at a bank or businesses.

And, I am a participant in supporting my local socio-economy because my food comes from farmer’s markets or local co-op. I am a participant in discovering healthy methods of group decision-making because I live in a 22-person intentional community. I am a participant in growing the pedestrian, public and bicycle transportation infrastructure because I mostly walk, bike or bus. I am a participant in the “caring and sharing” economy because I participate in a shared car collective.

We are already participants in many pieces of this world. And the groups working to end injustices or protect/regenerate the environment want us to recognize this. But it’s still too much for each person to actively right all of the wrongs that we participate in, which is why we need the infrastructure and systems that allow the vast array of changemaking avenues to become more connected, efficient, collectively impactful. That’s why we need to cultivate the conversations and identify the patterns that many of us experience. That’s why we need to recognize that we are indeed all components of an emerging ecosystem of change, a massive “movement of movements”.

Who feels it knows it.

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