Want to empower social change? Break bread, literally, with the so-called enemy.
- Alice Dreger shares brilliant advice for divisive times: Break bread, literally, with your so-called enemy. "[S]ee if [you] can have a conversation, and preferably to do it over food or drink, because there is something very primal in us about sharing food and drink that allows us, I think, to open our hearts and our minds."
- If you're passionate about social change, Dreger recommends avoiding destructive tools or methods that would cause a kind of "arms race" in activism—it leads somewhere that no one wants to go.
- Spend time getting to know the issues you care about from a nonpartisan perspective—do descriptive, not normative, research. It will remind you of what the other side may be seeing that you might be missing because you're blinded by your partisan side.
Activism 101: How to balance creativity and mission—and not burn out.
- Krista Suh founded the Pussyhat Project, a bold and powerful visual statement that saw handcrafted pink beanies on thousands of heads at women's marches across the world in January of 2017 through to today.
- Suh advises aspiring activists not to underestimate themselves and the unique talents that can help them launch a big movement. "What are your skills, what do you actually have fun doing?" she asks. Once you know that, it can empower the cause you care about.
- Two common hurdles in activism are feeling ineffective and feeling burnt-out, says Suh. If you feel ineffective, take on more leadership; instead of going along, ask: What cause can I lead? If you feel burnt out, consider stepping back and participating in other people's missions, rather than spread yourself thin.
As long as we fail to name capitalism as a key cause of mass extinction, we will remain powerless to break its tragic story.
The latest Living Planet report from the WWF makes for grim reading: a 60% decline in wild animal populations since 1970, collapsing ecosystems, and a distinct possibility that the human species will not be far behind. The report repeatedly stresses that humanity's consumption is to blame for this mass extinction, and journalists have been quick to amplify the message. The Guardian headline reads “Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations", while the BBC runs with “Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption". No wonder: in the 148-page report, the word “humanity" appears 14 times, and “consumption" an impressive 54 times.
Unlikely allies can solve society's most complex problems.
- Bishop Omar Jahwar has worked beside all kinds of unlikely allies, from Aryan Brotherhood gang leaders to former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
- What is an enemy? A true enemy is rare, says Bishop Omar. "Enemies come when there is true violation, not true rhetoric... sometimes you have to go beyond the rhetoric so you can see the real."
- You cannot solve deep problems from the comfort of an echo chamber—it takes courage. The key to courageous collaborations is meeting your so-called enemy to ask: "What do we fiercely agree upon? And let's work like hell to make it happen."
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
Amongst other things, you can't get away with handling a salmon suspiciously in Scotland.
- While a few of the laws on this list are holdovers from long ago, some laws are as recent as 2011.
- While marrying a dead person or handling salmon suspiciously might sound morbid or hilarious, these laws have historical context.
- Some of today's laws might seem as antiquated as these in 100 years, too.
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