Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why Council?

In the 21st Century, we have Facebook and Twitter, Tribe and Email. We have cells phones and Crackberries and a million tools to help us communicate, so why do we need to sit down in a circle on the land and council to create community and positive gatherings?

I'm glad you asked.

For those who don't know me, I'm not a Luddite by any means. I work in the bowels of computers all day long and have for close to twenty years. It's my paycheck and I'm completely comfortable with technology. If I weren't, I wouldn't have all these blogs and websites and send emails to hundreds of people on a regular basis and spend hours each day tuning queries and fussing over versions of dlls and hacking the registry. Yet, electronic communication only takes us so far.

So why Council?

Because when we sit in a circle with our brothers and sisters under an open sky with the soil beneath our butts, we communicate on so many levels.

Because when we pay attention to our brothers and sisters body language and breath, we are communicating on a non-verbal level.

Because when we hold open councils with lots of advance notice so everyone who wants to can participate, we increase the diversity of viewpoints represented (not just those we agree with).

Because when we council with people we don't like, don't trust, or don't know, we learn how to create peace in the world. Peace fails when people of differing beliefs, backgrounds, goals and desires cannot communicate with each other. Peace is a practice that we participate in when we council.

Because when we council on things some of us already know how to do, we are sharing our hard won knowledge with the next generation and paying it forward. We owe it to our ancestors to pass on the wisdom they shared with us.

Because when we council with fresh faces, we get fresh perspectives on problems we are facing.

Because when every voice has a chance to communicate by breath, words, body language, facial expressions, hand holding, and the sharing of thought, we create a bond, a community in the same way that two people deeply in love share physical contact to enhance their intimacy.

Because we truly have no leaders and the only way to make decisions in an open, respectful and peaceful process is to hold councils on the land and invite all people to participate.

Because when a gathering happens without councils and a decision needs to be made, it will be made by a small group of of people who have known each other for many years and may not consider the needs, desires and beliefs of all.

Because decisions need to be made at gatherings all the time: where to park cars, how to distribute food, how to keep ourselves and our family healthy, how deep to dig shitters, where to gather next month or next year, where do we want our family to be in the year 2020?

Because collectively we have so much wisdom and when we collect ourselves in one time and place to share that wisdom, we can change the world.

Because counciling is a practice just like meditation and practice gives us the tools and the strength to council or meditate when we are loosing our peace.

Because the only alternative to council is governments telling us what to do or how to live.

Because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Because we are the future, and if we can't create peace by respecting the needs of everyone, who can?

(Thanks GB for the idea)


mamasuse said...

... knocked me humble and speechless...i tingle each time i reread it. It's now posted on my wall as a focus, a reminder.

Your clarity is so beautifully woven. Thank you.

With lotsa love and many warm hugs~~s~~

Anonymous said...

Thx Karen for the clarification and rekindling the inspiration - sometimes we forget "why"