Crafting Gentleness

Saturday, July 21, 2007

From Stuart Hill in Sydney ...

Ask of all action – what is it in the service of? – before supporting or copying it

Work mostly with ‘small meaningful achievable initiatives vs. ‘Olympic-scale projects (most of these are abandoned or fail, & have numerous negative side-effects)

Don’t get stuck in ‘measuring studies’: ‘monitoring our extinction’ – often designed to postpone change perceived to threaten existing power structures

To achieve sustainable progressive change, focus on enabling the ‘good’ agendas of others vs. trying to impose on them your ‘good’ agenda

Focus on enabling the potential of people, society & nature to express itself – so that wellbeing, social justice & sustainability can emerge (in integrated, synergistic ways)

Collaborate across difference to achieve broadly shared goals – don’t end up in a ‘sandbox’
Don’t let ‘end point’/goal differences prevent possibilities of early stage collaboration

Outcomes are only as good & sustainable as the people creating & implementing them – so start with the people; and remember that we are a relational/social species!

Use the media – let me repeat, use the media! – such ‘political’ communication is key

Work with business & the public/community; government will always follow, but rarely lead!

Celebrate publicly at every opportunity – to enable the good stuff to be ‘contagious’

Keep working on & implementing – especially with others – your (shared) benign visions

Most of what is remains unknown – which is what wise people are able to work with – so devote most effort to developing your wisdom vs. your cleverness, which is just concerned with the very limited pool of what is known (Einstein was clear about this!)

So always be humble & provisional in your knowing, & always open to new; take small risks to enable progress and experience transformational learning & development

Devote most effort to the design & management of systems that can enable wellbeing, social justice & sustainability, & that are problem-proof vs. maintaining unsustainable, problem-producing systems, & devoting time to ‘problem-solving’, control, & input management

Work sensitively with time & space, especially from the position of the ‘others’

Act from your core/essential self – empowered, aware, visionary, principled, passionate, loving, spontaneous, fully in the present (contextual) – vs. your patterned, fearful, compensatory, compromising, de-contextual selves

See no ‘enemies’ – only feedback from (indicators of) woundedness, maldesign & mismanagement – everyone is always doing the best they can, given their potential, past experience & present context – the last two are the most important things to work with

Be paradoxical: ask for help & get on with the job (don’t postpone); give when you want to receive; give love when you might need it, or when you might feel hate

Learn from everyone & everything, & seek mentors & collaborators at every opportunity


Stuart Hill

Social Ecology at UWS


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