Greed and anger have always been powerful forces for change.
Greed is given more or less free rein in our society. It is incentivised. It creates wealth and jobs, it provides products and services. Greed is good. To those that have, more shall be given.
Unlike greed, anger is usually discouraged (‘just play nicely’, ‘stop moaning’) and dulled through engagement in bureaucratic process. Anyone who has tried to make anything better by engaging in a committee of some description will recognise that dynamic. Vision Building process anyone? Participatory budgeting? Citizen’s Panel?
As a society it feels like we TEACH helplessness when it comes to social change.
We design systems and structures that sap energy and will from the angry: that neutralise those who are driven by love or hate.
If we want to see our communities develop then we must
- raise levels of love and hate about the issues that really matter, and then
- provide meaningful and rewarding avenues through which ‘what matters’ can be pursued with power, creativity and compassion.
For me, this means helping people to understand and feel their anger and their love, before building careful associations with like-minded folk.
It is not a question of how we change people, but how we provide a context in which they choose to change themselves.
For me, the most promising answer lies in the provision of effective community coaching using mechanisms such as Local Community Enterprise Accelerators (ELSIEs), supplemented by group learning processes such as Progress School, Innovation Lab and Results Factory.