Sunday, January 6, 2013

Can I change the world? No, but we can do it together!

I had to change the name of my Blogspot.  Although I am passionate about my career as a music therapist, I am also passionate about my kids, my friends, and the world at large.  It was too hard to separate them out.  So now I am just meandering about anything, including music therapy.

As the title suggests, I want to contribute to change happening in our world, and soon.  And I finally worked out how to do it.  It's about having little conversations, insightful dialogues that get underneath assumptions about 'that's just the way things are' and start asking about how 'we want things to be'.

I was inspired to do this when challenged by the question - if not you, who?  If I don't do something, then who is going to?  Gina?  Bob?  Catrin?  Hussain?  Giulia?  Amira?  Ngon?  Well yes, maybe they will.  But not by themselves.  We all have to do it.  If not you, then who?  Who is going to make the changes that you know need to happen?  It's very dis-empowered to assume there is nothing you can do.

There has never been a time like this before.  The world grows more amazing every day in nearly every way.  And yet we seem to think that we should maintain the same old attitudes towards things???  That doesn't make sense does it?  Don't we need to evolve our attitudes to keep up with teh changes, or better still, drive them.

I think we can do little things to start.  So I was talking with my son today about using 'and' instead of 'but'.  We had been to the water park all day and it was great.  Naturally we began to compare it to other water parks we've been too, most notably, the one in Bali 6 months ago which was more than great.  It was AMAZING!

To begin, my sweet son was trying not to be critical of the little Victorian version, so he said it was just as good.  I challenged him to be more discriminating about it, since he is a highly intelligent young man and of course he knows that 17 wild rides (in Bali) is a lot more than 2 (ok, there was also some good mini-golf, archery, a little go-karting track - I mean, it really was pretty good).  So he tried again "The Victorian water park is really quite good, but, the one in Bali was heaps better.'  I congratulated him, and my daughter joined in as we enthusiastically recounted our favourite rides and moments from the day.

Then I took it one step further.  "You know Liam, why don't we try saying this one was good AND the one in Bali was even better."  Bless him.  He took me seriously and considered it.  "But Mum, it just doesn't sound right if you say it that way."  I agreed with him about the sound of it and went on to explain how we need to give up 'either/or' dichotomies of dualistic thinking (inspired by Fr. Richard Rohr) and that sometimes we need to change the way we use language because words create reality and can reinforce dogmas we don't agree with (inspired by Philosophy in general, I suppose particularly Habermas or Freire, as beautifully explained by Daphne Rickson).  Actually, I kept it simpler than that, he's only 8 after all, and the two of them have been known to start laughing at me if I get too full of big words.  But you get the point.  It is possible to perceive many different ways of seeing things and valuing things, and using language that reflects only two possibilities 'either / or', 'right / wrong' suggests otherwise.  So we can change our language to reflect our beliefs better.

So, I didn't really win them over to my argument this afternoon, but it's more about what I do than what I say anyway.  I'm trying to live it.  I'm trying to change the world. I'm trying to create a culture that reflects my dreams about a world that is run through mutually empowered and collaborative relationships so that we all have enough love, food, hygiene, education.  You probably agree right?  Well if you're not going to help me co-create this world, then who?  Will you?  Please?  Let's take little steps together to begin.