I’ve been thinking about the 2020s as the decade of deep, life affirming change. Tempting to think of it as the do or die decade, but am mindful of Micky’s post yesterday, The Power of Positive Campaigning. He looked at the importance of framing party politics and elections in terms of
positive simple branding and ideas being the cornerstone of any successful campaign. The basic theme is that to win progressives should not move to the middle but should instead seek to persuade through progressive and uplifting campaigns.
Referencing a series of podcasts on progressive wins by Anat Shenker-Osorio, Micky names these key points,
Much of what Micky said seems relevant to action on the climate and ecological crises.
I don’t think this means relentless positivity in denial of reality, but that while we have the discussions about the hard stuff we also need to put substantial energy and focus into what makes people feel good, because this helps people change (and prevents turning off).
Human brains are hardwired to perceive threat and react, and there is plenty out there now that is scary as well as the intentional ramping up of our fight/flight response by MSM, social media, politicians, and pop culture. It takes intention to counter that and provide narratives and pathways that offer people a choice of deep, abiding, life affirming change instead of panic and regression into denial or fascism. Some of us like the argument and have a high tolerance for wrangling with the gnarly issues, but most people still respond better to things that bring them relief, peace, and uplift them.
I don’t know how we do this, but I suspect it’s about finding a sweet spot between awareness of the difficult and proactively framing values and deeds that make people feel good.
At the moment it looks like 20/80 would be the good ratio, but then I’m sitting in southern New Zealand in an eerie yellow gloom from the Australian bushfires that’s starting to hurt my sinuses, and trying to work my way out of the apocalyptic imagery that is scrolling through my twitter feed. For people that are still not paying attention, maybe the ratio is more like 50/50.
So here’s to a year where we choose to make the changes we need by effective strategy. We can argue but we can also be kind. We can point out what is wrong and disappointing, and we can move on to highlight what will work instead. Some of us will protest and agitate, and others will tend the garden and make sure we are all well fed. Kia kaha, kia aroha Aotearoa.
In line with our regular Sunday How to Get There posts,
This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.
An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.
The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.
We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.