Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gardening is calmer than politics or activism

Hello everyone,

I hope you are fine and dandy.  

I've been watching garlic growing up through the straw-covered vegetable beds, and there's a lot of dead nettle blooming to feed the early pollinating insects.  It will go to compost or be dug in later when I need the space.  I hope your own gardens and lives are interesting too!

Gardening is a sensible, easy, calming thing to do.  All I have to do is watch things happen, and make a few choices about what to put where and when.  To a great extent, the plants give me hints.  The conversations with the plants are easy.

Political stuff ... that's hard.  

When I'm involved in an organization or activist undertaking, I usually try to use teacher training basics: acknowledge the good points everyone has made and go on from there. 

That's easy to do with individuals and small groups. These days, however, I am not satisfied with any of the three levels of government, and find it hard to start with good points anywhere.

I've got several thoughts that seem at odds, but have to have a way to be reconciled.

1.  As small groups in a community get together for change, we need to more purposefully communicate with and learn the procedures of the "higher ups." We need to learn the most effective advertising manipulation techniques, and all the rules of corporate war. (yes, functionally, this is a "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" strategy)

2.  We small groups need to be kinder to each other, acknowledge our peopleness, have some fun, plan for the victory (as Elizabeth May says in How to Save the World in Your Spare Time).  We'll also have to find ways to acknowledge the peopleness of and to be kind to the political electees.

3. People I talk to in community, environment and special interest groups are all energy-sapped from having to fight the "higher ups" on policy and for funds ...  we aren't taking the time to do the small kindnesses. 

4. I'm leaning - practically parallel to the floor! - toward saying that everything needs to come from people and small organizations first ... do-able project by do-able project ... then challenge the higher ups (government levels) to participate in what's right.

The question is: how to step completely aside from the systems that put all the barriers on progress, while keeping an eye on them to know how they're plotting to stop what you do outside the system?

It's even difficult to phrase.  

I think I'll go and weed grass out of the front gardens for a while.

Very best regards!

Why's Woman

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