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18 Ways to change our mad, mad world

Bumper sticker quote, “So where are we going? And why are we in a handbasket?”*

Right now we seem to be bitterly divided as a culture to work together for the good of all. The real question though is can we move on creatively? We can deal with our fears, especially once we’ve become aware of our fears. It is much easier to face the known rather than the unknown, why? Because we believe that in this moment, in time, we have the ability as a culture to make a 180 degree turn back to better lives.

Frances Moore Lappe, in her book, Ecomind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the Life We Want, came up with 17 suggestions that we can use to turn our “hate and blame” filled United States, to one that we can be proud of and trust. We need to stop and think about how we respond to those around us, we can and will make a difference.

1. From staying within the limits of Nature to aligning with nature

2. From economies that lead to waste and destruction to those that enhance life

3. We must move away from freedom as “get out of my way” to freedom as power in a Living Democracy

4. We must move from a privately held government to a publicly accountable government

5. We must turn back from one-rule economies that lead to unfair concentration to economies that are kept open and fair via democratically chosen rules

6. We must turn around from “free market” as the free rein of corporations and individuals monopolizing power to “free market” as the freedom of all to participate in the market

7. Move from current economic models that deal from the assumption of scarcity of goods and goodness to the premise of possibility

8. From debating the goodness of human nature to recognizing the goodness in human nature to be tapped for better ends

9. From overcoming human nature to aligning societies' rules with human nature – the good, the bad and the ugly

10. From separateness in which we are either givers or receivers to connectedness in which we are always both

11. From the “blame game” to the assumption of mutual accountability

12. From nature as merely divisible property to life as a commons in our collective care

13. From power as control to power as our capacity to co-create

14. From “random acts of sanity” to conscious acts building our democratic power

15. From democracy as only a structure of government – know as a Thin Democracy - to a democracy as a rewarding way of life – called a Living Democracy

16. From citizenship as simply the act of voting to citizenship as the satisfying lifelong practice of the arts of democracy

17. From calling on others to become “better” people to encouraging and enabling oneself and others to be more creative and courageous

18. From paralyzing despair to honest hope

These 18 lexicons are just a few that were chosen by Ms. Moore. To be sure, if we tried we could come up with different lexicons that could fit each of us, our families, are neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties, states, countries, the whole earth!

*(thanks to Frances Moore Lappe for the quote)