What Did You Say?

What is the biggest problem that I have communicating my ideas to people who appear to be listening? They don’t hear what I say (or they don’t hear what I wrote).

We are training the young to know how to win. They want to win. They often don’t hear ideas that do not involve winning. Like. In my previous post (below) how many times did I say that Permaculture is a fine idea that is needed in this world? So is the locavore movement. And also so is the social healing and compassion movement. These are wonderful things.

Did you hear me say anything bad about them? No, the only problem with any of these is that they can not ‘WIN’ single-handedly. Members of a win/lose culture don’t want to hear this. They don’t want to stop a minute and investigate what they can do to make their work more successful. They want to win. Either to save the world or get the hero badge or at least know that they would have won if someone hadn’t said they couldn’t win all by themselves alone. (That’s what a hero is — isn’t it – an admired loner.) Does anyone stop to examine that compulsion to “win” might be our biggest problem when it comes to trying to solve our biggest problems? And it is incompatible with compassion.

What I said in my recent blog about permaculture is that it is a wonderful idea, badly needed, and we should do as much of it as possible. But it won’t save us from overpopulation or lack of compassion for the whole living system. So any person who really wants to win, must factor at least those two problems into their thinking. That’s really hard to do when you were raised on only one thought at a time — what does it take to win, and do that as hard as you can and you will win. Not true in the long term.

But we can all think about these things, and then get together and succeed at growing a culture we can be really proud of. A culture that doesn’t any more care about winning, but about growing food and compassion for the whole system and maintaining the sustainability of the system at a level that provides a reasonable quality of life for anyone who wants it. The results will be very much more satisfying. At least in the long term. That’s my life goal; learning how to do that.

But people get upset with me when I try to learn how to do it by examining all of their good ideas — if I don’t agree that their movement is perfect. And then the next day they tell me I am anti-locavore (or anti-permaculture, or anti-compassion, or whatever good thing they are doing).

Oh, you say I do that too? When people don’t hear what I am saying – I get upset with them? Ummmm — maybe so, but I’m not trying to win, and that’s where the worldview disconnect creates misunderstanding. I don’t believe in winning; they do. I’m trying to find the whole answer – they are trying to impose their answer.

I’m trying to help them to succeed by examining the downside of their efforts. EVERYTHING –every idea, every movement, every success — everything has a down side. We are far more likely to succeed at whatever we are doing if we are willing to address the down side with as much vigor and thoughtfulness as we pursue the up side.

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