Calling all R’s.
Recently, I was lucky enough to find myself in a circle with some inspiring and extraordinary change makers from both Australia and the US. We were brought together to share ways we could see how our society could make the transition to the next economy-one based on fairness, empathy and sustainability.
One person from Oakland, California outlined that to make any transition and to best manage the changes currently facing us, we needed to honour and invoke the 4 R’s- the Resistors, Reformers, Re-creators and Re-imaginers. Each played a role, and each needed to be active. The Resistor seeks to fight against the change we don’t want; the Reformer seeks to work within the current system to change it; the Re-imaginers seek to conceive of new systems that can serve us, and; the Re-creators seek to build new systems and new ways to replace the current one.
Each has its role, but importantly, none must dominate too much. When asked in the circle how this fits within and can be seen within the Byron context, I outlined that in our case, we do the easier two: Resist and Reimagine incredibly well, but are in need of more support for the harder: Reform and Recreate.
Resisting against what we don’t want is a time honoured tradition in the Shire and has ensured we have maintained an integrity and wholeness that other places long for. We should always honour our resistance successes. However, outlining the problem does not and cannot actually create anything or provide a solution. Likewise, here in Byron we love reimagining our future, and we all know of the wonderful conversations we’ve shared about how society could and should be. However, this too, does not and cannot actually make anything or get us to where we need to go.
The two ‘doing’ aspects-reform and recreate-actually take us from thought and idea, into action and change. For me, what our community could benefit from is more microphones in front of reformers and recreators, and more space and support given to these two aspects of transition. If our community focuses on solutions and actions, we have the reformers and re-creators to take us on the journey. They can be aided by resistors highlighting and alerting us to the unwanted pitfalls, with our party shone bright by the re-imaginers. Then, we can truely be that exemplar community who can show others how to manage change and to transition to a sustainable society.
We all generally have one or two dominant R’s and exercise these as default responses when faced with responding to changes in our own lives, and so too, does our community. Our challenge as individuals and as a community, is to balance all 4R’s, and while acknowledging our challenges, set ourselves the task to create our solutions.