Clearly, in politics, we are not used to politicians trying to summarise what the other has said such that the first person acknowledges that they have a sense of being heard and properly understood. It is only with such mutual understanding that the space opens for creative work together on the next stage of action planning, doing and review. Instead, we often have what I call "biting chunks out of each other" and "negating the other's concerns". People then rally round positions and block out seeing that the other is trying to meet the same universal needs -e.g. belonging -but in a different way.
One group we all belong to is humanity, and humanity is the dominant form of being on this planet. By creating a group called "Extinction Rebellion", when one acts under that banner, there is a camaraderie and strong sense of mission. Of course it would be great if everyone took to heart the change needed to address what, thanks to the April 2019 actions from Extinction Rebellion and the Fridays For A Future actions from school students, even Parliament has acknowledged to be "A Climate Crisis". The laws that prevent climate catastrophe have not followed. The concern I attempt to articulate is that an understanding develops that "Extinction Rebellion" is not the whole of what an earlier American activist, writer, etc - Joanna Macy - called "The Great Turning".
I seek to find ways in which many who shun the idea of belonging to "Extinction Rebellion" still see themselves as active in "The Great Turning". Launching another hashtag has been my default action to try to offer a mission which more might attempt. So I offer up a little bouquet that I know to be inadequate, but it may yet be a rallying point for some? #EveryStreetCarbonNeutral2025
These words on a blog post seem inadequate to me to address that deep need for belonging. What I end with is a statement that I believe in the value of deeper forms of community development work and spiritual work/regeneration than "Extinction Rebellion" represents -with their focus, as I see it, on mobilising 3.5% of the population in the capital to effect change. Yes, they do call for involving a cross section of people in Citizens Assemblies and the local Extinction Rebellion groups operate in a way that cares about personal regeneration for the next challenge. However, until a public discourse emerges that stimulates in more people a shift in motivation and a clear role in "The Great Turning", the three blades* of the (metaphorical) wind turbine will not be harmoniously generating the change we need to see. Help build language, dialogue, imagery, mission, action and camaraderie that works on every street to deepen the caring and sharing that gets us beyond where we are not all turning together.
* Wind Turbine Blade 1 - The Spiritual Ideal/Regeneration/Hinterland
Blade 2 -Talking Truth To Power with NonViolent Direct Action For Harm Reduction
Blade 3 - Deepening of Community (AKA #CommunityDevelopment) e.g. by voluntarily bringing personal posessions/property into collective ownership & taking on responsibility for local care needs with a variant of Heinz Wolff’s Care4Care
I hope you’ll keep the blades turning by reciting a personal mantra honouring all three blades; mine is “Retreat/Regroup - Stand For Generosity - Share”