Changing the Story

A New Story for Humanity.

One of this week’s activities as part of the Game Changer Intensive (Pachamama Alliance) is to pay attention to the news and identify several stories told from a framework of sensationalism and or doom or gloom. Then using the same facts, to go back and generate a story of possibility and optimism.

I don’t read or watch the regular news and wasn’t in a place where I could easily do so for this blog. However, I was resistant to an invitation from Get Up to donate to help one of their latest campaigns. See the pasted excerpt below. [Bold as per email letter from author]

In shocking new evidence of Pauline Hanson’s political impact, we just learned 49% of Australians now support a ban on Muslim migration, up from 28% in October.1

Pauline Hanson and One Nation are driving our country to a dark and dangerous place of resentment and racial vilification. From sitting down for coffee with Tony Abbott, to receiving a warm hug from a senior Liberal Minister after her maiden speech, Hanson is literally being embraced by the Liberal Government.  

We can’t let this go unchecked. And here’s what we need to do now.

We need a broad-based strategy to fight racism, fear and xenophobia. A strategy that stands with marginalised communities and also works to stop the spread of Hanson’s toxic ideas. It requires in-depth research, a carefully constructed counter-narrative and multimedia production campaign, as well as a plan to assist affected communities to push back against these attacks.

This isn’t just a set of tactics, it’s a whole new campaign to tackle Hanson and the rising tide of racism she represents. So to do it, we need many more people joining our GetUp Crew, who make a regular donation to support our work. (Excerpt from email from – Shen for the GetUp team 23/09/2016).

Pretty gloomy stuff if you are working hard to bring people of all race, gender and mindsets to focus on what we need to do to survive as a species on this planet.

I find it sensational in that it is described as “shocking news”. I think it is pretty obvious that many Australians are feeling fearful that people of a religious group who are dictated to by the clergy representing their God are affecting their carefree lifestyle or their particular vested interests. I am not writing to argue whether that is true or not but to question the need for deep research. I can’t see that finding a statistical number for how many people don’t want a mosque because of the regular loud prayer, or that their values are different will help.

Secondly demonizing Hanson and the ‘political right’ is not conducive to creating a compassionate and humane humanity. And thirdly, lets move away from aggressive words like ‘fight’ and take a peaceful road like Gandhi.

A carefully constructed counter-narrative already exists with ‘please share freely’ tags and could be circulated as #changethenarrative and #livinguniverse. Fortuitously less than 6 weeks ago I clicked on a Facebook ad taking me to Pachamama Alliance. Since then I have been delving deeply and I have developed ‘grounded optimism’. I have only just begun clicking through the pages of web sites documenting great new stories for the way we can move towards a more economically sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet. I had no idea so many great organisations, made up of young children to the very old people, are embracing new ways of being.

I think, save the money on asking why – because ultimately if you watch and read people like Charles Eisenstein and Paul Hawken you will find the basis is belief in the long held stories. These beliefs or mindsets such as the Empire story, the Distant Patriarch story and the Grand machine story plus the Sacred Money and Markets story which has us believe that if they get some there will be less for us, that there actually is us and them does not fit with the world today and where we need to be if we want to survive as a species on this planet.

The more we feel separated as happens when we are surrounded by fear the more people lose trust and start to hate. We just need to change the story from separation to connectedness. Science has validated what believers of mystic religion and Indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years – we are all connected. We all come from the same star-dust and the good news is that we are evolving. There are many signs of compassion and good-will. There are so many people working to restore this Earth and the lives of marginalized people. It is a time to be optimistic. Look at Australia’s history- a White Australia policy existed not that long ago. We should be looking at the number of people who are actually doing something, and asking what helps them sustain themselves as they work in the territory of despair. We need to explore our own limiting beliefs and fears. We can write a new story for humanity and we can unite and take a stance.

As a Get Up member I say lets promote the New Story for Humanity. We don’t have time for further debate.

Here are a couple of short videos free to share – Our Story in 2 minutes


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