Step 6: We Need to Build Strong Communities

We’re one, global people, folks. And it’s time we started acting like it.

The forces driving us apart are numerous, intense, and relentless.

We’re divided by nation, by age, by race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion, politics, disability, language, geography…

I truly believe we’re living in a time when defining people and discriminating against them based on these categories is finally starting to be seen as the dumb, ridiculous, harmful sham that it’s always been. But we aren’t at all at the end of the road yet.

People are resisting. Because in a rapidly growing, rapidly changing world, people want to use those categories to make sense of what’s happening around them. They want to feel like they know who’s on their side, and who isn’t. They want to feel like they can reduce huge swathes of billions of people to a few neat, tidy, simplistic labels, like “good” or “bad.”

But we’re one, global people, folks. And it’s time we started acting like it.

Because increasingly, our challenges are global. We could get away with pretending we aren’t all in this together before we started building nuclear weapons, before we started turning our planet into a pile of garbage.

But global problems are going to require global solutions. And we aren’t going to get those solutions without a massive step up in global cohesion and coordination.

That may sound overwhelming, or impossible. But the fact is, we already know how to build strong communities.

We already know how to create diverse, tolerant spaces.

We already know how to build bridges, and connect people with different backgrounds and experiences.

We already know how to create authentic, supportive, tight-knit communities.

We already do it, on a small scale. Now we need to do it not just on a scale of dozens, hundreds, thousands, or millions. We need to do it on a scale of billions.

That means we have to be inclusive. We can’t exclude people because they don’t believe exactly what we believe. We have to permit a wide range of beliefs and opinions.

So often, we insist that people have to believe what we believe, before we’ll let them into our communities. But the only way we’re going to build a strong, truly global community is if we develop the community first—and then work on sorting out our differences.

 

This is the 7th in a series of over 150 videos about how to create real, lasting social change. Click here for a list of all titles, videos, and transcripts.

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