I am because we are. I am writing this blog because a friend called my attention to Blog Action Day. I’m a blogger because somebody invented the blog and Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. I am who I am because countless generations of humans lived and died, transmitting genes and memes to the next one.
How can I begin to give back something to evolution for the gift of being alive in this time of transition, when a better world became possible thanks to millions of women, men, and youth working for it all over the planet? May this blog be one of the new beginnings, hardly perceptible in the grand scheme of things, yet one that can provide nourishment for our journey together.
Every journey starts with a passionate question. Mine is this: how can we grow new practices and institutions to help bring into play more of who we are? Wondering, why is that important to me? Because I long to realize the fullness of what I can be, and am smart enough to know that it’s possible only if we all have a chance for that.
What does bringing into play more of who we are mean? Fundamentally, it’s about participating in the gift flow of Life. Awakening and giving room to more parts of who we are can refer to a watershed event at two different scales.
1. At a personal level, it means breaking free from the dictatorship of one dominant identity, e.g.: “I am a lawyer,” “I’m a mother,” etc and honoring the multifaceted human being we truly are. That can be a “benevolent dictator,” as in the case when we’re truly proud of being a good lawyer or mother, nevertheless if it fills our identity space to the exclusion of others it is still impoverishing us and robbing us of our fuller potential.
2. At the level of social evolution, it means ending millennia of repressive division of labor that defined human beings by their rank in a society of classes or by their job description as a cog in the machine. That game is inching towards its end, and we can see on the horizon an emergent new reality, where our social institutions will be designed to maximize the chance of all to realize their full potential. I’m working for a world, where that will be the new norm in education, production, governance — in all areas of how we organize ourselves.Thanks to my work with the Integral Cities community, I discovered a set of three simple principles that guide my exploration of the foundational question: How can we grow new practices and institutions to help bring into play more of who we are? They are the “Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of This Place” principles and associated practices, pioneered by high school students in Canada. Marilyn Hamilton, a visionary thinker and activist of our emerging Planet of Cities and author of “Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive”, elevated those guidelines to be the Master Code of the Human Hive.
Since I first heard it from Marilyn, it kept working on me and inspired me to make it a navigational device of my life. Of course, the three principles are something that most of us honor to some extent anyway, but naming them, and naming them as the Master Code of the “human hive”, gives access to a new depth of relating to them.
The Code became my meditation object; I enjoy holding it in my consciousness, at least once a day, as a question: how do I live into it today; what is each of the three principles asking me to do and be, today?
Living into the Code starts not with seeking answers to those questions with my left brain, my planning and scheming mind, but gently yet passionately holding and contemplating them till clear answers emerge from my soul’s direction. That is also the beginning of taking care of myself, for the day.
What could become possible if we started practicing the ” Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of This Place” principles? Well, the only way to find out is by doing it. So, I started. While the principles are deceptively simple and universal, the practices are as varied as the people inventing and working with them.
For example, for me, “Taking Care of Myself” also includes that I tune in:
• the demands of an aging body for attention, and find joy in the intimate observation of what kind of exercise can help my shoulder healing a torn ligament.
• the needs of the neighboring niches in the ecosystem of my relationships, to discover which ones appeal me the most and energize my response.
• the awareness of my moods, to rapidly get myself unstuck when that’s what is called for.
• the multiple dimensions of my self, from the biological and psychological, to the social, digital and spiritual, to honor my longing to experience as deeply each dimension as I can.
Practicing “Take Care of Each Other,” for me includes, for example:
• little things, like taking time to look up the URLs to insert in this blog to save you some time of locating those references
• or bigger ones, such as serving those, who serve the most; bringing my talents to amplify the work of changemakers operating at a glocal scale
Finally, my practices of “Taking Care of This Place” are evolving with the expansion of the size of the place I consider my home. They connect me with a nested hierarchy of “these places”, the instances of the “we”, from my home to the town I live to our beloved planet. They all call for a different kind of caretaking. For instance, from turning my office into a work sanctuary, to supporting the amazing wildlife reserve within our city limits, to helping my systems thinker colleagues identifying the leverage points for the transition from our ego-civilization to an eco-civilization…
Most of us are too busy just living our life to observe what I call a “practice:” sustained or regular activity to stop a bad habit or instill a new, helpful one. Paying attention to what we pay attention to, is one of the first practices worth engaging in, with a playful attitude.
I’m very curious about your practices of the three “taking care of” principles. Let’s discover the Power of We through sharing our practices and staying attentive to what may emerge from it. To help the game get rolling, here are three challenge questions to choose from:
A. What will you be ready to do in the next three months to live as deeply into the Master Code, as you can?
B. How will you boost the positive impact of your taking care of this place, 10-fold, in the next 6 months? (Here is a global-scale example from the IC2OC conference, where the Master Code was a core principle in its creation and its impact. However, yours doesn’t have to be at that scale to qualify.)
C. What will it take to move from the current to the next stage on your “taking care of” journey?
If you choose A, list out the actions and their desired impact for each of the 3 scales of the game?
If you choose B, how would you know when you achieved the 10x?
If you choose C, use the map linked from that question to describe where you are and where you are heading.
The rewards of this game come at three levels, regardless which play you choose:
1. Landing smoothly on the next level of you
2. Your augmented capacity to make a positive difference in the world
3. Becoming part of a vibrant community of mutually supportive relatonships with fellow Taking-Carers
Feel free to use this blog as your journey log, or if you have your own blog, post your replies there and come back here to make a link to them. Let’s develop further together the best game on earth, the game of co-evolving consciously through living into the Master Code of the Human Hive.