What does it really take to change a society. Here’s an incomplete list: common vision, a willingness to work towards the goal, the accepting of responsibility, dialogue and communication, and a method to deal with relationships when trust is broken.
Common Vision – communal imagination is the thing that allows us to work together without needing specific instructions. We know the goal, and can fill in the gaps as we see others work. We know the frame in which we’re working, and for what purpose. Without common vision there is always friction. The kind friction that breaks down relationships as opposed to strengthening them.
Willingness to Work – nothing comes without work. And so, if a common vision is given, everyone must be willing to do their part. Parts may be different, but all work together for the good of bringing the common vision to life.
Accepting Responsibility – if we are given a particular work, then we must do that work. It is ours and ours alone. We cannot trust that someone else will do the thing that we see needs to be done. Furthermore we cannot trust that someone else is as uniquely designed and prepared for the work set before us. If the work is too large for one person, then we are tasked with bringing people together for the work.
Dialogue and Communication – nothing can happen without dialogue and communication. I’m speaking here more about the stuff that happens between people, rather than the major speeches, campaign slogans, viral videos, and such kind of communication. Dialogue between people is not only about changing minds, but also about learning about who we are talking to.
A Method for Reconciliation – human beings aren’t perfect. Throughout the processes above, we will cause offense. Misalignment of vision will occur, people will not work, not accept their responsibility, and refrain from dialogue. If we have no way of reconciling the offenses, our communities will fracture quickly. Understanding the necessity of a confession, apology, forgiveness, and ultimate reconciliation, is key to building a resilient community.
These are all value based propositions, they are not policy proposals. They are process based, and would be adopted because they add value. People inherently see the benefit. Which mean that social pressure and legislation would not be needed. Could that be possible?