We’re going to need truth and reconciliation committees when we acknowledge the consequences of our actions

May 30, 2024 by Joshua
in Addiction, Nonjudgment

Most Americans and residents of industrialized countries do many things daily that hurt other people through the environment. They act and talk as if they don’t know their Starbucks cup has anything to do with ocean plastic, but they know it.

How do I know they know? Because they get defensive (or offensive) when someone brings it up. If I tell people I like oatmeal for breakfast, no one gets defensive. If I tell them I don’t fly or take years to fill a load of trash, they respond defensively immediately.

They knew what they were doing.

What knowing means

Knowing they’re violating their values means inner conflict. They can suppress and deny it, but the only way to make it go away is to stop violating their values. If culture makes that too hard, they keep doing it and increase the inner conflict, suppression, and denial.

I’m doing all I can to change our culture from polluting, depleting, imperial, and addictive to sustainable, abundant, and free. As culture changes, people will find less support for their suppression and denial. Their inner conflict will arise. They’ll recognize they knew they were hurting people. The voices of the people they hurt will become more prominent.

A sizeable fraction of industrialized nations will feel its guilt and shame emerge. One of the few ways people resolved such turmoil and torment was South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committees after Apartheid.

We’ll need them to help people face their demons. Ideally we stop polluting, depleting, and supporting imperialism, which is necessary when we live beyond our means. I recommend starting moving toward living sustainably as soon as possible.

Why wait to stop hurting innocent people? Just because you want takeout and an SUV?

Nelson Mandela

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