By Molly Brown and Joanna Macy
This is an expanded version of the “3 Stories” described in Coming Back to Life (2014 edition), p. 5
We thank the following people for their help with this revision: Patricia St Onge, Sarah Thompson, Kurt Kuhwald, and Aryeh Shell.
It is deep in the human psyche and the vast panoply of human cultures to tell ourselves stories about our world. A story is the lens by which a group interprets and controls its experience, creating meaning according to the values its members hold and most deeply believe. A story may be largely unconscious and unquestioned, and even assumed to be the only reality, although no story is inherently complete.
We authors recognize three stories commonly held in the industrialized world today: Business as Usual, the Great Unraveling, and the Great Turning. All three are boiled-down simplifications of global realities. Nevertheless, taken together, they can offer a useful perspective on the values and beliefs prevalent in the world today.
We have found it helpful in workshops to present these three stories as all happening right now; in that sense, they are all “true.” Looking through the lenses of these stories can strengthen our understanding of today’s social, political, and economic dynamics, as well as our commitment to collective liberation and the living Earth. [Read more…]