New Story, New World

The New Story Flourishes in Circle

I’m an optimist. And I feel empowered. I know I can make a difference in the world around me.  Many of us share this sense, even as we recognize the need for “a New Story”, as Jean Houston and others remind us. Joanna Macy points out to the following three stories all existing in our time. The old story, Business as Usual, no longer holds power and meaning for many of us. A New Story is needed to reinvigorate those losing hope or feeling overwhelmed by the painful realities of the Great Unraveling. Joanna joins (Yes Magazine founder) in describing the third, New Story, as The Great Turning.

Chico, our Brazilian friend from Olinda and Sagi, speaks from a need for a new story: “The world is a tumultuous place. Every place I turn, people are having many problems.  There’s nothing I can do about the chaos. I just do my best each day. I have no idea what the future will bring.” [And yet this retired veterinarian has just refurbished a small house in town, now available to rent to a young couple with a new baby.]  He takes capable action in his life. Yet he sees only chaos in the larger picture and simply gives up any idea of effective action.

“Yes, Chico, I understand; I too feel the pull of the powerlessness and futurelessness.  Yet I believe it’s essential we cultivate a vision of the world we want. I find support to do so in my circle, where we encourage one another to envision the world we want.  Then today, here and now, we take our stand: I can do one thing, one thing now. Which is also a reflection of that new possible world I want to see. We can each do one thing, something we are passionate about, something we are capable of.” Collectively we act to bring this possible world into probability. Together in circle we include the New Story in our storytelling. Our stories beget actions. And our actions are stepping stones of the Great Turning.