Friday, January 27, 2012

Turn the paradigm on its head

Langer Chickens in Langley Community Garden
I have a vision of what a caring economy looks like. Mine is a vision from the ground. It is not a vision of the whole, it is a vision from inside the millions and billion of caring dyads  in the homes, farms and villages that populate our earth and struggle to sustain life in the ocean, in our forests, plains, lakes, and mountains.

In a family in the industrialized world, a woman gets up with the children, fixes her husbands breakfast, gets the children off to school, cleans the house, mends the clothes, bakes the bread so that her husband can go to work and bring home the bacon. The focus is on the work outside the home; jobs, they say, we need more jobs. This is how we are encouraged to see it. Children are the work force for the future. Our children are our future; they will keep our country strong.
This paradigm is upside down. We can fix this by turning the paradigm right side up.
 In truth, the jobs bring in dollars that support the work that is being done at home; dollars provide, shelter, clothes, food, creativity, ingenuity, compassion that are necessary for this family to continue to live on to have children and grandchildren. Once we understand this we can create a caring economy.
The most obvious example of the depth of desire is the men from Mexico who to their peril, sneak across our border in the dark of night to work in a place that will give them enough money that they can send it home to provide for their children. It is the women who immigrate to the US so that their children can have a better life. While we become emotionally attached to the idea of saving the children, in reality, it is so that these children can grow up and have children of their own; this is how we humans have continued to be part of our natural world. But in order to continue, we must care not only for our children but for the world that is part of them and of which they are a part, to play our part in growing the human family.

This care is passed from generation to generation and when it is denied, broken human beings who are incapable of relationship begin to destroy what is before them. Whole cultures are created based upon death rather than life. It is not our external enemies that will destroy us it is the loss of life sustaining work and relationships that will be our demise.
In the current model, Rianne Eisler identified as the Dominator Model, Woman is the helpmate unto Man. Building the civilization is man’s work, and woman is there to support it in every role. Build this great nation; progress is our most important product. However, we are finally beginning to understand that the continuance of the web of life and not progress is our most important product; then we must not only change the balance of men and women in leadership, we must fundamentally change the way work is done, assigned, and compensated. Women have made inroads into the public arena but only if they learn and are willing to play the game according to the rules in place, rules for a dog eat dog competitive struggle for scarce resources.
If we are to change to a more caring economic way of interacting, then we need to understand, articulate and make known the ways women care. Towards this end I invite women and men everywhere to reflect upon and articulate how they care for a life and how they have experienced being cared for.  I look forward to reading your stories.

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