As I was saying last week, the shift we are trying to make in our consciousness is from “Me” to “We.” From the individual to the collective, which is a loaded word, let’s call it the individual to the community. We want to foster the flourishing of our community, as defined by the concentric circles of family neighborhood, workplace, municipality, the regional ecosystem, the country, the human family. We are all connected. When my youngest son was 5 he dictated a poem to me, “Now we are one.” That has a nice sound to it.
So a corollary of the me into we, meness into usness, is that the society to which we are giving birth will be based primarily on cooperation as opposed to competition. Fuck ismism. I don’t care what you call it. I don’t care what theory it does or doesn’t follow. The movement should be led by the connections as they develop between us in the present.
Let’s imagine for a moment what such a society, one based on cooperation as opposed to competition, might look like.
I’m not so interested in utopia. Evolution feels more like it. It won’t be overnight. But the more people cooperate the less they compete. Isn’t even racism all about competition?
It will take years to dismantle the star system that pollutes the arts and culture, but once we do, we will have a flourishing of culture of unprecedented dimensions. Everyone, no longer worrying about whether they have “talent” or not, would tap into their inherent artistic nature. Every person has the capacity to tell their story in a way that builds human understanding, the goal of our existence.
Schools. What would schools be like if cooperation were valued over competition? No more standardized tests, for one, the diabolical instruments that dissect and value tiny differences between us based on our experiences. What if the goal of schools was for everyone to discover their genius?
People seem to be getting into gardening. What if we cooperatively grew our own food, worked in the neighborhood garden say a few hours a week. The vision comes from the same impulse as the so-called sharing economy, though I’m not sure Airbnb and Uber qualify. I don’t think a genuine sharing economy would look kindly on CEOs and investors in such entities making piles of money.
Some of these things we can just start doing. We don’t have to wait until Bernie’s election to start implementing them.
Rather than starting small, with worker’s coops and such – which are great – maybe we should start at the international level. What if one fine day the people of all the countries in the world decided that they were more interested in international cooperation than competition? Competition is wasteful and deadly. I’m just saying. Facebook has us the people pretty well connected. What if every one in the world who wanted world peace would pick a day to gather in their local common. You might say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
So, fire up some Premium Jack (or whatever), put Pandora on to your favorite channel and imagine what a society would be like if its goal was to reduce and ultimately eliminate oppression, the ultimate form of competition. I’d love to hear what you come up with.