Through others’ eyes

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How much of the current crisis – with increased nationalism, hatred and conflict – is a result of fear which has been  stoked up by people who stand to profit from crisis? See the State of Hate 2018 report by Hope Not Hate for statistics on how much hatred of others has increased.

Naomi Klein says “I think the truth is that we spend a lot of time being afraid of what we would lose if we ever took this crisis seriously.” She has written in Shock Doctrine about how corporations and governments take advantage of eco-social crises to impose austerity and more corporate power. She has expressed similar ideas about the role of Capitalism in the climate crisis.

Klein argues that people become motivated to care about others, and to imagine a less damaging way of life, if they are exposed to diverse experiences of ways people live. These experiences include being with people living through economic crises or with indigenous people who are very connected to their place. She asks us to look to people where there are strong values of stewardship.

Looking to these people could be a counter to the influence of the media and campaigners who seek to stir up crisis.

Exercise

Discuss the question: ‘If we can change the world in difficult times, what change are we most inspired to make through our work?’

Thinking from the day-to-day perspective of your organisation, what would your usual response be?

If you consider Naomi Klein’s request that we put ourselves into the shoes of others living in poverty, crisis or in roles of stewardship, would your statement change or remain as it is?

For example, you might want to try to see through the eyes of: 

Indigenous women in North America defending their sacred lands against oil pipelines or Palestinians protecting their ancient olive trees ,

 

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