In the environmental movement (or in any movement for social good), we will inevitably have our differences in how best to proceed. Sometimes, interactions with eco allies who see things differently than we do can leave us feeling beat-up, drained, demoralized, worthless, “less than” some other person or people or group.
But if we keep reminding ourselves we are on the same team, we can minimize conflict and bitterness between ourselves, and mazimize the amount of energy we spend working on the problems we all want to fix.
This can be harder than it sounds. Sometimes you might need to take a break, unhook from groups, step down from adminning a group, make it so you can’t see certain people’s posts, etc. You might also be called to do some work on yourself to get free of your own unhelpful patterns. I know I have had to do all of that at times. You might even realize you need to leave a place and move somewhere else. (I’ve come close to doing that too and may have to actually do it someday, though I hope not.) Do not feel guilty if you need to do any of this. It’s not a failure; it’s just wise use of your finite energy and attention.
Thank you to my permie colleague Mike Hoag, of Transformative Adventures, for this meme cartoon which gets the feeling across so well. A humorous yet deep reminder that at the end of the day, especially when it comes to the issues affecting our very biosphere, we are all trying to move in the same direction. And thanks Mike for your deep wise insights accompanying this graphic. We can transcend the “narcissism of small differences.”
P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please check out the Transformative Adventures group. (“Permaculture Landscape Transformation via Transformative Adventures” on Facebook.) It’s an incredibly nurturing and nourishing space.