Where do you find yourself in the “Great Turning” to a nonviolent world?The time has come for those of us who are working on one issue or another – or who have not yet gotten engaged in any issue – to join hearts and minds into a diverse but united movement. To help us do this we at Metta have created Roadmap and its Compass – the interactive tool that you’ve just landed on. Here you will find a portal that brings you to resources, a lively conversation with like-minded folks, and above all a way to get connected with them.
A very important development to come out of those conversations will be the ideas and principles for a long-term strategy. In the coming months we (Metta) will harvest those ideas and all of us together can come up with a sketch of that strategy and begin putting it into action.
- Roadmap is a model that displays the inherent connection among the many social actions moving us toward a new world of peace and justice, and a set of tools that enable participants to connect with each other, find needed resources, etc.
- Why Roadmap? Every social movement needs to have two things: strategy and unity. Roadmap is a framework that can help today’s many movements, organizations, and projects to develop both.
- Roadmap tools will enable participants to learn more about some of the sophisticated methods used by today’s nonviolent activists, form community with others working on the same issue, participate in the creation of a Grand Strategy, and much more.
- The Roadmap model and some sign-up options are available right here; when the new web-based tool called “Compass” comes online (in spring, 2013), it will offer educational resources, networking tools, and more.
The explosive growth of science that began in the West with the Renaissance and ultimately led to industrialism on a global scale has brought humanity many benefits, but at a mounting cost. It has contributed to an increasing lack of clarity about who we are, why we are here, and how we are to relate to one another and the natural world. The problems that seem to be rising on every side today, from personal to environmental, can largely be traced to the “story” that made industrialism possible – the underlying narrative that’s implicit in our textbooks, newspapers, and films that makes us think we are material entities compelled to seek satisfaction in the consumption of increasingly scarce resources. If this were true, competition and violence, along with the destruction of the life-support system of our planet, would be inescapable. Happily, it is not.
A shift in emphasis across many fields of modern science, facilitated by the remarkable breakthroughs in physics at the start of the last century, has brought to light a far more encouraging picture of human nature that accords with the deepest traditions of human wisdom. This far healthier human image will support changes in all areas.
- Creating the New Story (research)
- Sharing it (alternative media)
- Passing it on (education)
- Your Project
Millions of people have already recognized and begun responding to the needs of a vibrant, secure planetary environment. In this, the most widely recognized area of challenge and change (so far), we still need — and deserve — a greater sense of belonging, of reverence for and community with the rest of life and the incredible planet on which the human experiment came into existence. We need that sense of belonging that was second nature in some indigenous traditions. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, ‘alienation anywhere is a threat to community everywhere.’ Human conflict and earth destruction spring from the same disorder. They must be resolved together.
- Urban planning
- Local farming and consumption
- Protecting wild areas
- Your Project
We have — so far — avoided nuclear annihilation, only to run ourselves close to the cliff’s edge of ecocide. Ignoring science and their own experiences, many of our fellows cling to a course of sure destruction — for themselves as well as everyone else. Mankind has never had a more urgent need to cooperation on a mass scale for deep change. We have survived many such shocks on smaller scales in the long sweep of history, and must mobilize that adaptive capacity now as never before. We must find a way to live that is more than just sustainable, that allows us to sweep aside the energy of greed and the shortsightedness of the timidity and bring about a step forward in human evolution that will bring us in ever-closer harmony with all creation. Nonviolence is the energy by which we can manage this, as it is for the other categories of change that make up the Roadmap.
- Alternative transportation
- Safe, renewable energy (← 350)
- Your Project
Perhaps the most obvious symptom of alienation in the industrialized world is its economic culture based on the artificial expansion of human wants for the purposes of greed. Desperately needed alternatives are at hand: new ways of organizing business systems and corporations (like the Mondragon cooperatives), small-scale experiments in intentional communities (and not-so-small ones, like Transition Towns), ‘gift economies,’ and above all a refocusing of the search for fulfillment from the consumption of things to the building of networks of service and cooperation.
- Gandhian economics
- "Gross National Happiness"
- Alternative communities (transition towns)
- Your Project
The search for “beloved community,” the long human experiment with building a just and fulfilling social order is faltering, but that is because we have reached a critical point that is a great opportunity to leap forward. Sarvodaya — the ‘uplift of all’ — has come freshly into view with the new level of connectedness that has been realized through communication technologies and the greater mobility of populations, among other changes. People are experimenting with new forms of leadership, community, and even business, all built on a concept of unity in diversity where the good of each complements, and in fact helps to realize the good of all. Old forms of divisiveness such as racism and class discrimination are slowly being questioned. Old forms of social justice known in formerly ignored indigenous traditions are being studied. The yearning for community in which no one’s well-being needs to be sacrificed for that of another, in which every voice is heard, can and must be fulfilled.
- Functioning democratic institutions
- Nonviolent leadership models
- Restorative justice
(replace the prison industrial complex)
- Your Project
The warfighting that stalks humanity today is perhaps the most destructive and pathological of all human institutions. We can end it, in our lifetime. Across civil society and even in national and world governance there are the beginnings of a new order that can bring about stable peace. This shift from war to peace will be difficult; many draw their sense of meaning, their (vain) pursuit of security, and of course enormous financial profits from war. In order to open their eyes we will have to inform ourselves about all the encouraging developments that point to a new way of being and new concept of security, especially the global spread of nonviolence, develop them systematically (often in the face of considerable resistance) and infect others with our vision and courage.
- Peacekeeping (unarmed civilians)
- Peace-building (ending world hunger)
- Peacemaking (creative dispute resolution)
- Your Project
The very core of the “new story,” or new worldview of peace and justice, where nonviolence will replace the current reliance on violence, is the unfolding of power and dignity within the individual person. This is the essential antidote to the dehumanization of modern life, with its emphasis on bigness and externals.
The five points you see in the “Person Power” core of the Roadmap are designed to help any and every one of us not only to tell, but to live out the new story without the need of an organization or movement – though the more we can empower ourselves the more effective will be any organization or movement to which we contribute.
- Distance ourselves from the violence and vulgarity of the commercial mass-media
- Learn everything we can about nonviolence
- Get a spiritual practice (if we don't already have one)
- Be personal when we interact with others
- Find your passion--and tell the new story!
When we have worked on our own empowerment (“Person Power”) and begun building, with others, the world we want (“Constructive Program”) we will be able to take up the time-tested methods and spirit of nonviolent resistance with great effect, when the occasion arises. And it will. Much has been learned since the days of Gandhi and King about how to carry out nonviolence resistance more safely and effectively. We know that is cannot rely too much on mere symbols or empty protest, that a successful nonviolent campaign needs courage and strategy no less than a conflict waged with conventional means. We hold, as Gandhi did, that nonviolence is not the best way to overcome the reluctance to compassionate and rational change: it’s the only way. And it will not fail us in this great struggle.
— Arnold J. Toynbee
It is not often recognized that nonviolence is a deeply creative energy which can be harnessed toward the creation of constructive solutions to the challenges facing us — to “cooperate with good” as much, or even more than “non-cooperating with evil.” Whatever issue or issues you care the most about, ask yourself ‘how can I build what my community needs instead of waiting for someone else to give it to us’? For example, if violence is an issue that you care about in your community, what about starting a nonviolent peace team? Constructive program, though it may seem undramatic, is often the overlooked element that can give great power to social movements, lofting them from failure to success.