Baby Steps to Culture Change

Posted on 17 July 2021

So many practical things we can do to repair our living world. So many things that don’t get done properly when people don’t connect with each others humanity, or every being’s desire to live and to thrive.

“Funktionlust” is a characteristic behavioral scientists talk about all animals sharing: they enjoy doing the things which keep them alive. Animals who run, like running. Animals who climb, like climbing. Since animals need to eat, they enjoy eating. We all feel joy and pain according to how well we are able to function within our environment. Some research suggests various plants have a similar experience.

Humans have a real problem when we cut off our ability to recognise others pain or joy in order to serve a felt need for status and dominance. Other animals indulge in hierarchies. A few other animals have wiped out their sources of food, and thereby wiped themselves out. We are so effective that we are taking down a whole planet with us.

Logic is failing to convince us to do the right thing. We have a tremendous capacity for empathy, because it is critical to cooperation. We even enjoy empathising, which is why we enjoy stories. Re-engaging our empathy is a good way to quieten our dominance behaviour and start seeing things from others perspectives: the first step to start doing what it takes to repair things for everyone.

At least so says the professional storyteller. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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