Spotting and revealing the horror stories in our culture is step one. A crucial step, but not one we want to get stuck on.
Step two – spotting, creating and sharing the love stories – will happen at the same time. Eventually, it will become the main effort, as the two loops model describes.
We could think of this as being a bit like how a new generation of people gradually takes responsibility from the older generation as both generations age. Only faster.
The love stories – ‘Nature is our family’, ‘Wellbeing is success’ – are showing up in all sorts of places. In many cultures they have been there for thousands of years.
The task now is to help people all around the world carry them, as common sense, so that we can evolve the narrative of interconnection, and design the Economy in Service to Life that will help us all thrive beyond our current crises.
That effort begins with recognising that the energy we need for these stories is abundant.
“Empathy, sympathy and love are limitless resources, energies that never deplete, and at this time of dwindling fuels we should cherish and explore these inexhaustible resources more than ever”
Just like with the horror stories, we’re asking questions here to help us spot and share the things that already carry the love stories, and think about what new things we could create to carry them further.
We’re using the word ‘work’ here in the broadest sense, to encompass everything that we put into the world – you could also call it ‘play’.
“The difference between work and play is only a matter of attitude. Work, fully done, is play.”
How can our work encourage us to love and care for the natural world?
We’re steeped in a story that creates the idea of scarcity, a scientific story of seperation, competition and conflict.
The story plays out.
We remain as inmates, jailed and separate.
This is unsustainable.
Over turn this story.
How many of our leaders grew up with a relationship with nature?
How many politicians understand that the natural world is a gift not a commodity.
How do I feel belonging if I don’t have a relationship with those that provide for me?
Plants provide us all with oxygen, medicine and food.
How can we not have a language to communicate to the natural world? How come we are not taught to talk to the other live beings around us.
We need to invest in plants.
Invest in the soil.
Not in oil.
Invest in the next generations.
Not the renewable technology.
Fight until our cities full of greenery.
Reestablish a relationship.
One where we are humbled and grateful.
Is gratitude the antidote of consumerism?
Does our gratitude soothe our need to externally consume.
Nature is a gift, it is not ours to own.
What can I give back?
The technological revolution is not going to save us, reclaiming a relationship with plants will.
They will remind us of our connection.
“When we must pay the true price for the depletion of nature’s gifts, materials will become more precious to us, and economic logic will reinforce, and not contradict, our heart’s desire to treat the world with reverence and, when we receive nature’s gifts, to use them well.”
How might our work create allyship and connection between our fellow human beings and the more than human world?
How can our work help us recognise the wealth in wellbeing?
“The culture of the old story is so pervasive, especially advertising and consumerism, there is no space for people to breathe and think about a new story. The challenge of creating space is not one to hold lightly.”
How can our work help us imagine a future in service to life?
How might our work help us better see where we’ve been, and imagine where we’re going?
Based on our current understanding, the Earth has been around for over 4 billion years.
Humans for about 150,000.
Heavy industry for 200.
Scale the age of the Earth down to one year, and humans show up around 11:30pm on Dec 31. Heavy industry starts a few seconds before midnight.
This means, even though our current way of life seems to have a sense of longevity, perhaps even permanence…it doesn’t reflect reality.
It’s in our best interests to have another look. To consider whether or not there is a better approach.
“The ROI on an acorn is poor in its first decade or two. Don’t optimise for the quickest return. That mindset rarely builds anything remarkable.”
The prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor
A First Nation prophecy speaks of human society dividing along two paths, following the Eagle (from the North) and the Condor (from the South).
The Eagle is a figure for the path of the mind: for rationalism, the industrial, the masculine. The path of the Condor is that of the heart, intuition, connection to the Earth, the feminine.
The Eagle and Condor prophecy tells that the colonisation of Latin America from the 1490s began a period of about 500 years during which the Eagle people would become so powerful that they almost wiped out the Condor people.
Then comes the next 500-year period, today, when the potential would arise for the Eagle and the Condor to come together, to fly in the same sky, creating a new level of consciousness for humanity.
Again these questions, and these examples of expressions to carry the love stories forward, are just the beginning.
What other examples can you think of?
Share them #storiesforlife #lovestories
What other questions can we ask to help us spot, share and create the work that will carry the love stories forward?
This is the task at hand now.
The role for us as storytellers, to play our part in weaving that narrative of interconnection, and designing an Economy – a future – In Service to Life.
“The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible”
In the final chapter, we offer a few tools, and some further questions to equip ourselves with as we embrace this most crucial role.