Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria – a brief case study In order to deepen the reader’s understanding of possible applications of the Regenerative Culture framework, I introduce a…
Capitalism has created a cycle of scarcity that cripples our capacity for systemic change making. It is imperative that we break this cycle of scarcity in order to support the work we need to do to heal both the exterior damage (on the planet, humans and other species) and the interior damage (historical and current trauma). This will allow us to move from a paradigm of dominance and control to one of partnership and trust, transforming both our concept of ourselves and our ways of working from homo economicus to homo reciprocans.
Regenerative Space is a key component of any attempts to build Regenerative Culture. In order for us to adequately meet our fundamental needs we need access to the earth and her gifts, either directly by accessing the land or indirectly by accessing the means through which we can exchange our time for the products of the earth.
For the sake of this argument Regenerative Space consists of two elements: Place and Time.
Towards a New Story of Economics
Humans are storytelling beings. In fact one could argue that it is impossible to make sense of the world without story. Storytelling is how we piece together facts, beliefs, feelings and history to form something of a coherent whole connecting us to our individual and collective past, present and future. The stories that help make meaning of our lives inform how we shape and re-shape our environment. This re-created world, through its felt presence in structures and systems as well as its cultural expressions, in turn tells us its story.
We live in a time of powerful globalised narratives. We no longer (or rarely) sit and listen to tales that were born of places we know intimately and told by people deeply connected to these places. Ours is a world saturated with information from every corner of the planet, voiced by ‘storytellers’ on television, radio, the internet, mobile phones, newspapers, billboards, books and magazines. It would appear that we now have access to a multitude of perspectives and, with that, more understanding of the different options open to human beings to live fulfilling lives. In reality however, the majority of us have to conform to a narrow set of rules not of our own making: the rules of economics.
“How we need another soul to cling to.” – Sylvia Plath
Since my nine year old son watched a particularly scary episode of Dr Who we have started practising ‘kawa no ji mitai’.
Kawa no ji mitai is not some ancient martial art designed to chase away the bogeymen from under the bed, but it may be just as effective. Kawa is the Japanese sign for a river flowing between two banks. When a child sleeps between his parents they provide the protective and comforting banks that keep the child safe. The child sleeps like a river.
“We can’t change anything until we get some fresh ideas, until we begin to see things differently. My goal is to create a therapy of ideas, to try to bring in new ideas so that we can see the same old problems differently.”
Sometimes it would seem that those of us working for change divide into two distinct categories: Be-ers and Do-ers.