One of the biggest contributors to a lack of useful action is fear, anxiety and pain. Fear, anxiety and pain create a need in citizen to survive and their reactions become a source of disconnection and distraction. In recent years activism has coined a phrase, “Waking up the masses.” Could it be the masses are asleep as they are in survival mode?
To be successful in a change campaign more understanding into the roots of behavior could be important to understand and consider in creating the campaign. Awareness campaigns have been popular over the years. They focus on the arts, festivals, parades, taking a stand activism and ecology education.
Lifestyle awareness, education and culture is a growing influence. To grow and integrate meaningful action in the lifestyles of the citizens that effect change, perhaps, serious consideration could be given to shifting their fear. This might begin with deeper understanding of fear and that it isn’t necessarily caused by anything that is real and happening in the moment. It can be triggered by a suggestion, reaction or expectation. It can be a permanent chronic state that becomes the filter for incoming information to make a decision upon that result in poor choices. Fear reactions are not only mental and emotional, it is a physical.
Rapid changes are happening on the planet that seem uncontrolled and unsettling and each day brings news of disturbing recent events. To counter balance the disturbing news feel good videos and dream time pictures are being plastered all over social media. The reality that is being feed to citizens is fear based that creates panic and the feel good is a distraction that can go viral.
These changes will shift when culture shifts and awareness campaigns bring education and opportunities to initiate change. However what experiences can deepen the integration of individuals into taking right action. Here are three steps in a traditional model we are all familiar with:
1. Feed the people
2. Educate the people
3. Train the people
Here in the Greater Victoria communities the above steps are being re-vamped into doable concrete actions that may be a new cultural model in the making. Here are some examples:
1. Feed the people – a community plan is being implemented that is called Food Forests. It is land that is being turned into fruit bearing trees, berries, herbs and vegetables. This may be a program that has evolved beyond feeding the homeless into feeding each other. Huge mind shift!
2. Educating the people – roadways are being reworked to include bike lanes to improve safety and public education. As they appear drivers adjust while at the same time they are being imprinted with an idea.
3. Training the people – in the above steps training is include through the integration of the two programs mentioned. It is a cultural shift through experience. Therefore, I would like to suggest that training the people begins with right action leadership.
In Greater Victoria we are experiencing higher qualities in the leadership that is being modeled in our local communities. Perhaps taking right action for the planet and it’s citizens at this time begins closer to the individuals experience – at home with their own Civic Leaders. So the question is, how could we define these three steps in our own individual experience. Try to stay with ideas for your own personal change. How would you fill out each step?
1. Feed the people – ?
I am wondering how sustainability could be translated into individual actions. Could it still be generosity, being charitable and now include; acceptance to replace judgments of right and wrong thinking, sustainability of ones own food to replace personal waste, and getting to know your relationship connection to food.
2. Educate the people – ?
I am wondering what personal actions could be taken to integrate knowledge and model it for others? Could it be becoming more adventuresome yourself and less critical to make space for exploring new ways of doing things? If you ride a bike already this wouldn’t be teaching others why they should ride a bike, but rather, adding something new to your way of experiencing sustainability. For someone who doesn’t ride a bike it may be they begin riding a bike. It is about developing a pattern that can be a model for others. A model that is not being used a weapon of condemnation but rather one that is inviting. If you do have to teach, create an awareness campaign try creating one with no attachment.
3. Train the people – ?
The above two steps touched upon the possibility of becoming a model that you would enjoy yourself. A model of new patterns of sustainable behavior. This requires a set of leadership skills and qualities. What type of leadership qualities would you like to integrate and model?
Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication, Empathy, Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder