Laboratory readings: The Proactive Revolution    
 The Proactive Revolution10 comments
15 Jun 2002 @ 00:38, by Martin Oliver

I feel that the factors of technological change and specialisation are causing protestors to face a growing array of causes to get involved in, encouraging a parallel, oppositional, form of specialisation (which I would call the 'one issue' syndrome). While these activists can generally only hope to effect change on a moderately superficial level - the underlying attitudes of those who dream up such nasties often remain untouched - for the time being their work is vitally important.

Accepting the fragmented quality of modern Western society and failing to fundamentally challenge its appropriateness may be a case of doing the future a disservice. Most people prefer to live within their comfort zones, but we need to take risks by breaking down boundaries, to become cross-specialists or 'big picture' generalists.

Concentrating on only one issue is comfortable, but not holistic. Some people in the environment movement may be unwittingly contributing to several other environmental problems in their daily lives by ignoring them, while focussing on just one in a single-minded fashion.

Fortunately, in the alternative-leaning northern NSW region of Australia, there seems to be an increasing amount of the kind of lateral thinking that leads forest protestors to buy organic food, or encourages water quality campaigners to look at the urban development that creates dirty runoff. Everything is connected.

In recent years, Greenpeace and the writers David Suzuki and David Korten have (to differing degrees) adopted a solutions-orientated stance, recognising that most of us know what is wrong with the world, and that time is running short. Continuing to lament problems where we already know the solutions is virtually indistinguishable from self-indulgence.

When taking such a solutions-orientated position there are pitfalls to steer around, the most obvious being taken in by corporate 'greenwash'. Distinguishing between what is 'greenwash' and what is not can be a major challenge, but perhaps a breakthrough is the mushrooming ethical investment movement, which routinely takes apart corporate images and looks behind the scenes.

Do you have a limited amount of time to contribute? What about taking a simple step that addresses most of the world’s problems while requiring no ongoing input? Move your investments into an ethically-screened fund. Do the same with your pension/ superannuation money. (Look sceptically at the 'best of sector' funds, as these have been criticised for their lack of 'negative' screens).

In the same spirit, if you have such an option, sign up with a company or scheme that ensures that as much power as possible comes from renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind.

When we work pro-actively individually or as a team, what we are achieving may seem very small. (For TV-watchers it tends to feel totally insignificant; for non TV-watchers it feels modest). However, the tendency for this work to address numerous problems at once makes it worth the effort. Around the planet, positive breakthroughs are being achieved every day, but because they are generally marginalised by the media we tend not to hear about them.

The key message I'd like to convey is - don't wait around for something to happen. In a non-selfish way, make yourself the centre of what you perceive to be 'the world'. Every day, look at your individual or community input as the key focus of global change. You are making a difference.


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10 comments

15 Jun 2002 @ 01:02 by shawa : Hi, alchemist!
Glad to see such a positive entry. And welcome!  


17 Jun 2002 @ 02:22 by jazzolog : Make a Difference
Thank you for your contribution Martin: starting this Log and making your comments available to the general public. I hope you'll be writing a great deal more here.  


26 Jun 2002 @ 06:24 by maxtobin : Welcome
So beautiful and rare to see common sense expressed!! But I still go to the GE Free meetings and involve myself in the singleminded focused action, while remaining connected to the big picture (oh and for those who don't know what this means, we feel that the modification of the food chain at the genetic level by the likes of MONSANTO in order to feed the starving masses is a bullshit deception of the highest order and must be stopped). Thanks Alchemist you have come to turn us into gold?  


21 Aug 2002 @ 21:41 by worldunity : Fantastic momentum...
hi everyone,
here we stand embracing this major change in our being and our planet, seeing the energies over america being synergized in love, even though the political leadership there is acting with primitive being attitudes, a dearly loved friend just left for america this week to share love and assist many in the new wisdom coming in from great mammals, with highly evolved beings as such, doing and being amazing , i feel comfortable that this transistion will be with great ease as we see the dis-ease separating itself from the unity.

as we pull into this alignment we feel and see our being reaching forwards and boosting upwards and in this motion the darkness separates from our light as we become the purified soul

here in humble appreciation of our heaven on earth!

you guys are great!!! be blessed!!!  



20 Dec 2002 @ 04:19 by altciv : Alternative Actions
Hi Martin -

Thanks for great ideas well expressed. I agree that the "one issue syndrdome" can miss the inter-relatedness of peoples, cultures, environments, etc. I would like to see all interested men and women inventory their own lives and select alternatives for anything that hurts anyone or any environment. We can each replace negative civilized addictions with positive alternatives that we enjoy.
Group meetings can provide brain-storming for new ideas and avaoiding some unintended consequences. We will encounter all sorts of opposition, so supporting each other will be important.

Thanks for your great article. Let's all find and use an alternative, now, with the wisdom and support of other non-conformists.

Bill Clift
important.  



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