- Jodie Harburt
We are Stitch (Let's be Lilo!)
Stitched up as we are I figure we can Lilo it out of here.
Recently I read another article about how it's now considered fact; we are all doomed and sadly no one has a real solution. (Though George Monbiot had the best shot at it apparently so I'm reading the recommended book.*) Then, with my mind still on impending apocalypse I sat to have our film slot with Mia, my four year old daughter. She gets to choose. 'Lilo and Stitch'* is a fun film and portrays the relationship between the duo and how eventually the little girl Lilo assists the alien Stitch in overcoming his innate destructive programming. There are two essential rehabilitation methods employed here; first the absence of cities upon the island means he's lacking in material to destroy and second, Lilo responds to his every misdemeanor with patience and love.
These kinds of film often use such feel good methods to cure the wicked, but they are loosely based on real psychological principles.
Having just been immersed in the gloom of our inevitable self initiated demise I could not avoid seeing myself in Stitch. All of us, humanity summarized in one alien creature that is hell bent on destruction. However unlike Stitch as yet we have not run out of things to destroy and despite the fear, or rather because of the fear we are still going full steam ahead. You could call it a form of chicken run. We also don't have a loving Lilo to nurture us back to sanity. Unless, maybe we can all become Lilo.
We criticize each other on the micro and macro levels, we dish out blame and we act in violence yet call it self preservation and defense. We are self righteous and judgmental. These are appalling traits and despicable behaviour, but like Stitch, at our essence we just don't know any better.
You ask how can I categorize everyone as "we"? That's precisely the point. If we could all show the patience and compassion of a diminutive Hawaiian animation character, if we could feel love and treat each other with a mutual understanding of our shared grief we could be our antidote and cure. We are each like the single members of an utterly psychologically disturbed species, a family that has been abused since before we were born; we all deserve a chance to be reprogrammed. By offering ourselves and each other the kind of consideration, patience and benefit of the doubt that we would ordain fit for a disturbed and exploited person we can jointly find our way home to our true selves. The delusional individualistic approach has had it's day, we need to start sticking up for each other. I'm not saying it alone would work, but by perpetrating the thought that the world is beyond hope and that everyone else is at fault we render remedy impossible. By projecting patient hope and faith upon every other person, by showing that we believe in each other we can become the game changers. I despair when I see someone dumping litter and I despair when I hear racist remarks or I read of abuse and exploitation. So how can I show those who perpetrate such atrocities any compassion? How can I express faith in them? Hard job ..tough call... I know, but to me it seems like one of the only things that might contribute to the deep, psychological healing that can eradicate the polarization and fractures between us and our planet. Maybe we can glue us all back together with a metaphorical gold bond as with the Japanese art of Kintsugi.*
The deeper levels of methodology are subject of further consideration, but let us just start by imagining it. We have the power, we are connected, we are all in it together, the planet belongs to all and none of us, we can be free, our history does not own us, we can allow ourselves and each other the space to explore our capabilities, we are indeed just each an ordinary, everyday, miracle member of our species that happens to have evolved into having pretty extraordinary capabilities that, as yet we have not quite figured out how to utilize... we can though.
Let us all imagine a time when the imposed belief that we need to always be better off and ahead is replaced by our essential quality of collaboration and community. Let us imagine a time when to remain somehow impervious to the fate of our planet and other members of the masses will be over and obsolete. Aware that we are all parts of the same mass ... finally able to say: "Ohana... means no one gets left behind!"
For ideas as to how we can implement this into our lives see Nurture Culture and Action.
* George Monbiot. How Did We Get Into This Mess