Written by: Hayley Stevens
Western European civilisation is built upon a win/lose game. A game which has been exported around the world. In truth it is the lose/lose game. In the long run we never win when we play this game – with our children, our partners, colleagues, friends, neighbours, community… and with the planet. When one side wins, and the other loses… the winning is just the start of losing all over again. This is what history shows us. This is what is playing out around the world right now.
The history of humanity might fill us with pessimism and despair about our ability to change this game. But there is evidence that it has not always been this way. The values and beliefs that underpin this game are only 2,000-3,000 years old - a mere fraction of time that humanity has existed on this planet. That’s 26-39 generations* or 800+ generations dependent upon which calculation you use!
There is hope.
It was hope that I felt listening to Laura Shannon’s talk at a conference in Cheltenham in the summer. It was this hope that lead me to invite her to ‘the big room' in Macclesfield.
But this is not the only story. Nor the earliest. Searching further we find that Pandora literally means all-gifted and all-giving. And that Pandora is probably Goddess Ge or Gaia which is to say Earth.
In Hesiod’s version this life giving deity honoured and revered for thousands of years becomes the downfall of mankind. How and why did this change occur? And what has been the impact?
Whilst these are questions which would take several volumes to address, the impact on our communities and the planet which sustains life is bearing its bitter fruits. In playing the win/lose game with the planet…. we are discovering that we’ve really been playing the lose/lose game.
These posts are written and curated by Hayley and Owen, founding members of the big room cic.