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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/28/15

Bottom Up Decision Making: Holocracy and Consensus a Path Towards an Empowering Future?

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In later life, I took on a career in counseling. I often worked with adolescents who had one foot in the juvenile justice system and one in the community. My job was to help strengthen the family unit to get these kids under control. Detention was costly to the taxpayer, it was said. In Baltimore, I spent 2 or 3 years working with one of the community mental health centers. There I worked with families containing children that were at-risk for out-of-home placement, which included everything from mental health placement to detention.

In that job, I was blessed with a good sense of the powerlessness of many of the lower income folks, both whites and blacks. "Where does crime come from," I wondered. "Powerlessness" was my answer.

Between that and being a lower-working class peasant living on the outskirts of Baltimore, I began to question why there was so much crime in the lower income areas. (I should note I was raised in a lower income white area on the outskirts of Baltimore and was in trouble with police myself. I also had the experience of seeing my friends being thrown against the wall by a drunken father. Those kids were into taking drugs, stealing, etc. Yes, I was one of them (not physical abuse as much as verbal), which attracted me to the work I did as a counselor).

The answer was simple, disempowerment. The question then became: "how do we empower?"

Thus evolved my desire for bottom-up governance.

In the early part of this century, I married (at a late age, 48) and moved to Maine. I remained working with families having at-risk youth. I spent 10 years working there and retired due to a disability at the age of 59.

I must admit, I would often smile at the Maine kids in relationship to the Baltimore kids. I would look at them and smile while saying, "boy, you think you are top sh*t. Hate to tell you, you are not!"

Sorry, in this work, this is how you talk, on the family's and kid's level. Especially in Baltimore! And it oftentimes worked. Upon making such a statement I would look up to find a wry smile coming over the face of a kid. The job had its rough times. For the most part, it was a blast! My biggest complaint was with the system more so than the kids and their parents. The kids' delinquent behavior I realized was from a sense of powerlessness and that mimicked the condition of their parents.

How does this relate to our systems of today? Easy, in our top-down rule, we are creating this mess of crime. It's not just about socio-economic status. It is about our mindset. Consider the criminality of the Supreme Court, of which some of the justices sit and make decisions while being influenced by the likes of the genetic engineering companies such as Monsanto.

Yes, I am saying our "leaders" are oftentimes criminals and that the holographic picture is that our kids are oftentimes doing criminal behaviors because those at the top-rung of culture are criminals themselves. Or, as my father used to say, "the nut doesn't fall far from the tree." This is exactly what he was talking about.

How long do we stay in this rut? When do we move beyond "power over" and instead foster a "power to?" How long do we allow the same-old same old patterns of governance to disempower the huge majority of our population.

The first question we need to ask is how are we seeing the universe? Do we see a top-down "Daddy" in the Sky controlling us? Some of these folks say, "its God's will." What kind of God would have women raped and those of color powerless? (More than folks of color, the issue is also of class. For example, the labor class is seen as a lesser form of humanity that needs to be controlled. Be mindful that labor is ultimately a feminine process (producing from within one's self) that is sparked by a seminal input (an external stimulus). Thus your thoughts about this article are born of the words I write that are seminal to your conception).

Standardized education is the Patriarchy's way of suppressing creative thought. Control the seminal influence (stimuli) and you control the Psyche's of those you teach. (What poses as education is a rape of the Psyche. What is rape if not a desire to control and dominate?)

Some spiritual texts refer to God / Goddess as the All. This makes more sense and speaks to the notion of bottom-up decision making creativity more so than a top down creator. It is inclusive rather than hierarchical, sort of like King Arthur's Round Table.

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Burl Hall is a retired counselor who is living in a Senior Citizen Housing apartment. Burl has one book to his credit, titled "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal our Wounded Nature." For more information, search the book on Amazon. (more...)
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