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Go all the way upstream.....

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Food shortages, subprime credit crunch, housing foreclosures, rising food prices, climate change, lack of health care, the 48 million uninsured, the crashing stock market, the faltering economy....it is easy to list a myriad of problems facing the world.  And each, by itself, has hundreds if not thousands of people working on the crisis and trying to lessen the pain and devastation and if possible, clean up the mess entirely.  All of which is very good–and very necessary. 

But it will not be enough. Why?  Because all of these problems are symptoms, not causes.  In order to find the originating 'cause', you have to go way upstream because all of these problems originate from the same place.  And that place is the value system that overlays every system–family, community, schools, businesses, medical, economic and justice systems.  This value system sets the stage for all of these problems to develop–each cascading down on each other until they are now so intertwined that all it appears we have time for is catching the crisis at it tumbles over the falls.

This "value" that pervades everything is the "dominator" value system. It is the basic  premise that 'domination' is normal–and the only two options available on this planet is to either dominate, or be dominated.  From this 'dominator value system' springs forth the stream that starts in our families–men over women, adults over children, and this merges into a river that sets up economic systems that enables a few to reign over the many–rich over poor, white over black, first world over third world countries. Because we are all acculturated to this system before we even know what has happened to us, we all "accept" this domination story as inevitable.  Then, we start to play the game–either hoping to be in the 'few that reign over the many' or if we are in the many–get our position as high up as possible.  As a result, everyone accepts that 'those below'–those without health insurance, those without food, those without financial resources, those without homes, must accept their lot.  This is such a subtle and all pervasive story that no one actually recognizes it–its just the way it is.

 And then of course, as the crisis' occur, we rush in to fix it.  But unless we change the value system that sets it up in the first place, one solved crisis is at best a temporary fix. Because the value system of domination will continue to be a flowing river of crisis.

Let me give you an example.  A friend was sharing about the good efforts a woman from Rwanda was expending to help the 400,000 orphans that are the result of the Tutsi and Hutu civil war (one group's attempt to dominate another).  She's fundraising for orphanages and of course, this is important. However, one of the biggest blocks for her was the 'anger' of the locals to these efforts because it required the Hutus and Tutsis to forgive and work together–and that wasn't possible because essentially, their value system reflects the dominator story–and each is trying to dominate the other. 

This woman's focus is on the crisis/need for orphanages–but that crisis started way upstream in the dominator value system.  As important as it is to deal with this crisis, it will be more important to go way upstream and show people how they've been taught to be part of the dominator story.  Because without getting to the root cause, without making visible the dominator story–no matter how successful she is at providing orphanages for these children, eventually there will be more homeless children, more cultural fights as one group works to dominate the other. 

It is time to go all the way upstream.  We have to look at the 'story' we've all been taught and recognize that that is all it is–a story. We no longer have to perpetuate it, but we can change the value system from domination to caring.  If we corrected the value system–the needs of these children–as well as many of the major crisis' we're chasing after year after year would be solved.  We have this choice–we can stand at the bottom of the cliff as the roaring crisis river keeps flowing or we can go upstream, change the flow from domination to caring and in doing so, divert the torrential river into manageable streams that stops the crisis altogether.

To start the change, Riane Eisler's book, The Real Wealth of Nations www.rianeeisler.com shows how we can transition the value systems and doing so, create a world that works without constant crisis. www.realwealtheconomy.com

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I'm a Licensed counselor working in OR. I teach clients to build lives based in self-responsibility using a universal model called the Life Puzzle. Its practical, tangible and fills in much of the missing information we never learn in schools. It is (more...)
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