I’ve always been a little obsessed about the relationship among personal, organizational, and social transformation. This diagram outlines some of my thoughts as a holistic emotional model.
My early experiences working in human services resurfaced the trauma of many of my own personal challenges. I found a lot of commonality between my life story and that of the people served by the organizations for which I worked. This led to a strong sense of experiential empathy to complement my feelings of generalized or theoretical compassion. I truly felt solidarity with others based on my own past and felt that this made me more effective in my work. Yet, I found myself focusing on the most negative aspects of my personal life story. I became a professional victim.
Focusing on problems is quite common in human service and other nonprofit organizations. It is the modus operandi and the basis upon which organizations justify their existence and promote their case for support.
I feel that acting as a professional victim was psychologically damaging. Rather than learning from and healing my past to move forward, I felt stuck in the mire of my previous lives.
Now that I am more mature, I understand that I can still feel compassion, empathy, and solidarity with others without limiting myself to the most negative aspects of my life story. I can focus on all of the good things we have in common as well as the bad or challenging things. We can engage around our shared dreams for the future.
I have become a provocateur of possibility.
The new, new counterculture is shifting our focus
From dialectical to cooperative
From material to spiritual
From critical to creative
From confrontational to compassionate
The new, new counterculture does not forget the old ways, but rather incorporates them into a greater whole.
How have you experienced the new, new counterculture in your work and in your life?
The Social+ Boutique is now open!
Social+ builds upon the idea of being carbon neutral. People who are Social Positive (Social+) aim to have a net positive social impact by considering the environmental and human impact of everyday decisions and interactions, being actively involved in the community, and expressing kindness and compassion toward others on a daily basis. By pledging to be Social+, you can demonstrate your commitment to positive social change and provide opportunities for increased awareness and discussion with others.
The Social+ Boutique features clothing and other items that you can use to publicly declare your commitment to positive social change. It is a simple way to share a highly complex and very important message AND to remind yourself of the importance of living Social+!
How are you living Social+? Please share your story with us! On Twitter, use #socialpositive to share your everyday decisions and actions that result in a net positive social impact. Send us your picture wearing your Social+ shirt along with a story about how you choose to live Social+ and we may feature you on The Activist’s Muse! Through social media, we can inspire each other to be more aware of, and intentional about, making a difference.