Thursday, January 31, 2013

Incremental Change

Metabedu Incremental Change
Ways to change yourself, then your community and neighborhood, then the world.

graffiti by Banksy

A fundamental concept at Metabedu is changing things through the changes you make in yourself that leads you to action.  When one is educated about where one can become empowered, one may choose to become empowered and then action and empowerment are one in the same.    

Many times we belong to well meaning groups centered on change of some action such as fracking, on some issue, such as who gets taxed how much or some societal malady such as homelessness.

It is clear that in most examples, surely the ones mentioned previously there are identifiable reasons dis-eases exist and reasons they haven’t gone away.  Many issues exist because often people allow them to exist.  Some would say they are part of the problem if not part of the solution. 
There are pages and pages of websites about changing and listening.
I would like to challenge you to listen to yourself, the inner being and make decisions toward change, some incremental some perhaps more radical.

What is it you don’t like that you participate in?  What is it you like that you can reinforce?
I once caught myself tsk tsk tsking the grounds around a local middle school as I entered.  I made the decision I could be part of the solution and now I pick up a piece of trash or two when entering places; just a piece or two and not every time. It changed my outlook and added to my empowerment.
Incremental change is not completed in a vacuum ever.  We may not see the ripple but there is a ripple internally and many times if not always externally. 

The Ripple

A few days later at the same school I saw a child’s glove on the ground. I know my daughter’s mom and I work hard to provide for her and to replace one glove is to replace two.  One more pair of gloves goes into production then and all of the resources in making, distributing and marketing those gloves. I got out of my car, picked up the glove and hailed two students walking into the school; “are yall going into the school,” “ yes,” they replied.  “Will you take this glove to the lost and found?” they looked at me like I was a nut and took the glove.  Apparently they walked some distance away and threw the glove back on the ground before entering the school because I saw it the next day.  Now two ripples are set in motion.  The first was my moving from “litter police” to lost and found pariah.  The second ripple was two young people gently being confronted with a value apparently not their own and making a decision.  How many confrontations before they take the glove to the lost and found?  Maybe they never will.  Maybe next time they are honest explaining that it is too much trouble and they are late for the basketball game and tell me where the lost and found is.  Maybe they will endure a twinge of guilt talking to a gloveless classmate whose parents couldn’t buy another pair, and have an epiphany about our connectedness.  To be clear this is not about picking up trash and replenishing the lost and found it's about little moments of involvement that add up, really add up.

I told a colleague about my zeal for picking up trash, it’s not that I’ve not done it before, but now I looked at what prevented me from doing it on so many occasions.  My colleague suggested having a box of those surgeon’s gloves on hand, cause ya never know what you are touching, something to consider.
You may be wondering what was going through my mind when I picked up the glove on the next day.  I didn’t pick it.  I’m working on me too family.

Principle 5 - Incremental vs radical change

The Power of Incremental Change Over Time | Michael Hyatt

1 comment:

heldenlehrer said...

Part of the trouble is "it's not my thing" - maybe the biggest block to change, incremental or otherwise. That glove isn't mine, and I don't know how it got there, so I'm not doing anything about it. I didn't put that trash there, whoever's responsible for it needs to do something about it. I have to go to work, I have to get home, I have to go to this appointment....and then on the larger scale, if somebody down the street from me gets robbed, or somebody I don't know gets attacked - it's not my thing. Maybe I have some empathy, but I don't get involved.

I find myself doing that all the time, and it's honestly embarrassing. Only way to change it? Incrementally-