Questions On the Path of Social Change
May 18, 2011
On the path to creating social change - I realize that I am not really focusing as much on creating value as on 'selling' value. For example a chunk of my day still is to write a funding proposal for a livelihoods project or raise sponsorship for our conference. And we are doing this, since that's what will make our work sustainable. I'd love to put it all to the universe but I do want to have the money not only to do great projects but to be able to compensate great people who want to solve these social problems ... so then do I just create value and hope it will get monetized, or do I market and create simultaneously or maybe just market first ...
In a world where trillions are used up on war and corruption, we are facing challenges being able to raise a few thousand dollars! I sometimes wonder: if such is our world, isn't the Universe actually supporting the 'darker' forces? Let alone the dangers of being good, isn't it far easier to make money dancing to mainstream tunes, fighting wars and accepting bribes? What is the one insight that keeps us from getting to the promised land? Is there even such an insight? Are we perhaps trying too hard?
A part of me wants to get into mainstream politics; not only because it has the potential to create change, but also because it has fame and power. People around me would be really proud to see me making a substantial difference from within the system. And yet is it worth spending time and energy negotiating existing power structures and dynasty politics?
In some ways, I am not being the change when I'm strategizing -- like doing small, random act of kindness. Or am I actually being the change when I am pitching projects and raising sponsorships rather than doing some hardcore grassroot stuff?
While fundraising is a common hurdle for a gift-economy and while CF opts for 'Ripe Fruits Fall Naturally' approach, I think its still possible to be-the-change as a fundraiser. One of my very good friends, Lynne Twist, is one such person -- she wrote the book "Soul of Money", lived with Mother Teresa for a year, and has raised over $900 million for nonprofits. But she would first care about the inner transformation of the person giving, than the money; many times, she has refused major donations if she felt like it wasn't right for the person giving, and similarly, one time, on her way to give a talk on fundraising, a homeless man asked her for spare change and she explained what she was doing -- and the fellow actually gave her some change! The key is to see where you are anchored; if you're anchored in the money, you'll be wading through worlds of self-interest, but if you're anchored in inner transformation, then you'll be changing the world inside-out.