Seeking the trim tab – on Ferguson, Mandela and systemic change

So many people want to change the world. I might be one of those.  However I find myself in the question of exactly what that means and if our actions do more harm than good.

Millions/billions of dollars have been raised to help feed the hungry, provide water, health care, immunization. And yet time and again these actions fail to do what they set out to do. Fail really badly. Good intentions, not so good outcome.

I watch from a very long way away the explosion that is Ferguson Missouri. It is obvious to so many people that the system is a failed one.

As Marianne Williamson writes ;

But a system that incarcerates on average one out of every three African-American men, keeps 500,000 non-violent drug offenders locked up, is fraught with police brutality, and has the largest mass incarceration rate in the world, has a lot of nerve telling those who complain about this to be peaceful and non-violent. The system itself is laced with violence. The polite kind.”

What the events in Ferguson, and with Trayvon Martin et al are doing is making it impossible to ignore an issue that has been ignored for too long.

The change that is being called for is a systemic change. Re-arranging the deck chairs will not do it.

I have thought a lot about the work of Polly Higgins. Listen to the interview with her here.

What Polly is doing is creating a trim tab. A very small but incisive action that will have massive consequences. It is so elegant and so right it is remarkable.

My life has been about seeking the trim tab. And finding others who are doing the same.

Trim tabs do not necessarily require massive funding. The illusion that we need billions to solve some of our global problems is part of the mythology that keeps them from being solved. We give up before we get started.

Some trim tabs are completely accidental. Nature of course is a master of trim tab technology.

But if we are seeking to find/design a trim tab, then a prerequisite is to start with the Universe first…the biggest view we can possibly hold.

Back to Ferguson, to see this as one injustice against an unarmed man is to miss the systemic issue that underpins everything that lead to the tragic incident. It is an historical story that is asking for the justice system to be re-written.

Nelson Mandela was a trim tab. The trim tab could only be enacted by 27 years in prison. Neither the man nor the imprisonment can be separated as a harbinger of change.

I find some solace during this inquiring time in my life by being guided by Bucky Fuller’s intentions in all he did.

“To do what is spontaneously arousable from within, for the highest good of the highest number of people, and to do this synergistically, which always means…start with Universe first.”

Photo credit: fixedgear via Compfight

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*