After more than 24 years working in social change, I have a joyful longing which is bubbling over, a need to disrupt the status quo, a burning desire to do as Rumi suggested, “Run from what's comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I'll be mad.”
I want to talk about love. Love. Love as a social mission. Loving yourself. Love as the gateway to remembering you are ‘of’ the planet and that it breathes you, so your business solutions must be ‘for’ it too.
If we are going to win hearts and minds on taking action for the planet, we need to radically practice the compassion and collaboration that we preach. I think we are all exhausted by the toxic, non-collaborative environments and behaviours, which get disguised and excused under the urgency of an organisation’s compassionate vision and mission. A review into Amnesty International’s workplace culture published this week isn’t unique by any stretch of the imagination.
An economist I know, with his start-up business of delivering poetic messages of love to people, broke this wide open for me, astonishing me awake, giving voice to the very thing that I think I have always been burning to say, giving me the courage to finally say it out loud.
I want to smash numb hearts open with love and joy and awe and gratitude. Because what happens then is the dam-burst of your unique, incredible, exquisite, problem-solving creativity. Invention. Innovation.
Oh yes, also important to mention. I haven’t made this up, it is all backed by the science of wellbeing, particularly the work of Barbara Fredrickson. Positive emotions deepen your connection to your creativity, your resilience and your resources for taking action. More profoundly, they connect you to a sense of one-ness with the planet and those around you.
I have this crazy idea. It’s a bit like the Footloose moment we all dream of having…(a guilty pleasure, maybe just me then)…this delicious urge to dance into your organisations with their social missions, and start talking about love as a social mission, to see the jaws drop open, the wriggles of discomfort, the down-right irritation. I know when I get those moments of resistance that I have hit the nail on the head and dropped in the pebble of disruption.
With our social missions, we are a huge eco-system – from impact investors to solopreneurs and everything in between. If we really want value-added for people and planet, then love is our answer within our own organisations and partnerships.
In the words of Freddie and Bowie which never get old, “love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night and love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves.” © Under Pressure lyrics Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.
Imagine achieving the Sustainable Development Goals before 2030. Do you want that for real? Do you dare to get there by being notorious? Will you take the risk on love?
If you answer yes, you need me to come dancing into your organisation. If you answer no to any of these questions, you definitely need me to come dancing into your organisation.
With processes and practices we’ll work on developing wellbeing and collaboration for you and your teams, so that you achieve your business goals for people and planet.
Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
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