I believe we are drawn to this work of building a more diverse, equitable and sustainable world, in part, because we are “super feelers.” We feel not only our own personal pain and that of others we are connected to, but we feel the pain of the world. I have come to see this is a burden and a gift.
We all know what the “burden” part of being a super feeler is like. There’s a lot of turmoil going on in the world and hence way too much to feel. It can be overwhelming. It can even lead to PTSD from feeling so much trauma all the time.
But what is the gift in trauma?
One of my favourite quotes to capture this sentiment is by John Paul Lederach when he challenges us to live not “by the way things are but according to a vision of things not seen.
That vision of things not seen eventually changes the way things are… Dreamers, he claims, are essential for the movement towards (transformative change)... We need to stay so close to the ground that we feel the very soil’s moisture bubbling up from people’s daily life, pains, and realities. Yet we must be so close to our dreams of what could be that we can feel and hear the seeds pregnant with life as they break forth from below the surface.” (The Journey Toward Reconciliation, page 197).
I loved what students from N’Kala school near Douglas Lake, Upper Nicola Indian Band, created to honour these 215 children:
What is your dream and how can you be a seed of change?
What I discovered is that the habit of imposing our worldviews (in our attitudes, behaviours, policies and practices) is at the heart of the problem.
The residential school system is a clear example of how one worldview was imposed on another group of people with devastating consequences. However, this imposition on Indigenous worldviews is not a thing of the past; this tendency to impose our worldviews on others persists. Even in our change efforts. To create the conditions for genuine reconciliation, we first need to become away of this habit within ourselves and our social change strategies. Once we become aware of how we impose worldviews, we can make the choice to change the habit to one that fosters worldview mutuality, respect and understanding.
While you consider how you can be the seed of change, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you can shift what you are currently doing in your social change efforts. How can you include supporting the voice and leadership of Indigenous people and, as a result, contribute to building a genuine culture of belonging in all that you do?
And if you already do that, how can you support the wider community to listen in new ways and practice worldview skills?
Chief Robert Joseph: Engaging Indigenous worldviews
Share your thoughts:
Looking forward to hearing from you.