The search for long-term broad benefit requires the shared openness and energy of all participants. Competition is part of it but cooperation and mutual aid are the dominant themes. So realize the power of conscious collegiality. Nurture awareness that treats everyone, everything, and every situation as a potential partner.
Related: 1 All Concerns Addressed, 4 Big Empathy, 38 Multi-Modal Power, 40 Nature First, 50 Restorative Justice, 62 Universal Intelligence, 63 Universal Participation
Going Deeper …
This is an edited version of the video on this page.
Long-term broad benefit is not going to be a top-down operation. It is not going to involve one group pulling it all off. If we want to generate long-term broad benefits over and over again, there needs to be a mixture of shared forward energy and orientation – with co-creative and other resources brought together – and there needs to not be a lot of unnecessary resistance, cross-purposes and friction in the system.
This requires a society that is grounded in working together. There are ways in which competition can be part of that. The Olympics is an interesting example of competition supporting collaboration. All the countries are working together to evoke the best performances of their prized athletes. One of the theories of the free market is that competition feeds innovation, efficiency and all the rest. This is good as long as we understand that the fundamental thing we need at this stage of humanity’s development is working together, helping each other out.
That goes not just for our relationships with each other but our relationships with the natural world. Are we working as partners with nature? Do we become an integral part of nature? For example, we have this activity called “recycling”. But nature has been recycling things for ages: there is no waste in nature. When one part of nature gives off something, another part picks it up and uses it. So when we do our “recycling” of various products we’ve created, we are joining and partnering with this larger cyclic activity of nature and its dynamics.
Permaculture principles are designed to help us partner with nature. It’s like: How can we become part of a designed ecosystem where every part is both contributing and benefiting, including us. This is instead of thinking, “This is a dead land that we are going to pour fertilizer on it and extract plant material from it as if we are mining it.” In permaculture there is a sense of not dominating or fighting against nature but working with it at every level and every step of the way.
How can we deal with situations this way? If we have a conflict, for example, we can use that conflict creatively if we work together on it. We can resolve it and, in the process, deepen our relationship, deepen our understanding of each other. There’s a saying that “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” The idea behind that is that there are lessons and capacities, potential gifts, etc., buried in situations. We can be humbled by crises, and we can be gotten out of our houses. A book called Paradise Built in Hell describes how in earthquakes and other local disasters people come out of their houses and help each other and provide spontaneous services to their community. This is a natural response that happens almost all the time in such situations.