Re: [holistichelping] Values, assumptions, subcultures
- Dear Andrius
I have just seen this.
I appreciate your willingness to take on board the opinions of others, to reflect on what has been done, to share your thoughts and to learn by doing.
Thank you Janet, Rachel, Kennedy, Ricardo, Barbara and all for letters
regarding our Pyramid of Peace last year in Kenya and my wish for
I've made some changes to the website at http://www.pyramidofpeace.net
I've removed explicit references to Ricardo and Agnese's names and
replaced them with initials. I've also removed any reference to my wish
A chat on Thursday would be good. Ricardo, what time is good for you?
I plan to call Rachel, Kennedy and Dennis. Rachel, thank you for your
Janet, would you like to have a conference call? We have access to a new
video technology where we could talk for free on video, much like Skype
but better. We would have to download software onto our computers. It
should be a good technology to try out and apply. We could do that in a
I ask us to think about a "mosaic of subcultures". It's one of Christopher
Alexander's patterns that Franz Nahrada thinks is key for global villages.
I think it's natural for each of us, as a leader, to create a haven that
nurtures the subculture that we'd like for ourselves and others as well.
Our haven (like Janet's Holistic Helping) can reflect our own (Janet's)
deepest value and ever make explicit our many assumptions about human life
that go along with our value, with our understanding of love. Projects
hosted by such a haven should contribute to that culture.
We're finding that we all have different "deepest values", but that
actually helps us understand each other better, look at life from each
other's point of view, and consider each other as one and the same.
Similarly, I think that we gain by allowing for different subcultures, in
some ways, incompatible subcultures. Each leader should have their haven
where their subculture is appreciated and encouraged, even as it has a
space, large or small, for any constructive person. I think we're
discovering what it means that "we wish for every individual to succeed".
I've been working further on the WorkNets charter
My goal is to make explicit my (and hopefully, our) minimal expectations
(such as "we wish for every individual to succeed") for a culture of, by
and for independent thinkers. It's a culture that encourages each of us
to use our own best judgement.
I ask us to consider that many assumptions which we'd like to make may not
hold for all of us. For example, Janet writes beautifully how we acted
out of love. Except, that might not be true of me - or at least, it may
be a very different kind of love. I acted not of feeling, but of moral
requirement. I was not giving, but investing. We were able to work
together without agreement about these things. I know that I got involved
only because Agnese, Sasha, Asif and Janet tugged at me to do something.
I know that Ricardo cared for Samwel's health with a personal, private
attention that was needed and that set our priorities. Agnese responded
to personal misfortunes of Tom Ochuka and others. I myself tuned into a
particular problem of organizing a structure for averting genocide based
on the idea "love your enemy" - that was my work and my personal
motivation. My assumptions were quite personal and different, sometimes
incompatible, with that of other people.
As our letters inspire me to reflect, I see that I caused a conflict by
centering my activity at Janet's group Holistic Helping. That was sure to
set up a clash between my values and hers - and, unfairly - but perhaps
because of the emergency, and the resources and people she had attracted -
I allowed myself to ignore her values and "move in" to her space - and
disrupt her culture, shake the fruits off her tree. I would like to avoid
that in the future.
In the long term, I believe that we'll all discover deep agreement. But
that may come after our different trees bear their fruit, and not before.
I think we should be able to take our different approaches and share what
we learn from them, and from each other, rather than try to agree on
everything ahead of time. There are some things that we do need to agree
on regardless in order to be able to learn from ourselves and each other,
learn to use our best judgement, and that's what the WorkNets charter
should express. A key point, as Janet and I realized when we met last
month, is that our leaders of our havens should shape what that means in
practice, the principles and policies they might agree to, in this vision
that I'm authoring.
I want to pursue further my own approach to peacemaking as I have in the
past. I don't think that I should do that at Holistic Helping. Janet, I
encourage you to write a charter for Holistic Helping, as you suggested
when we met, and that will help me understand how to support your culture.
Your loving and inspiring letters are great steps towards that.
Certainly, it can be a shared activity, as ever you like.
I'm writing this week a proposal to do a European Union Grundtvig workshop
in Lithuania for adult learning, and my goal is to create Public Domain
learning materials and a handbook for "fighting peacefully", drawing on
experiences from Kenya, Palestine and Israel, Chicago, Lithuania and
inviting especially EU citizens who belong to diasporas of troubled
regions, as well as independent peacemakers.
It's due February 20. It's not the new approach that Janet fosters for our
work in Kenya, and so I will pursue it separately, but where there's
overlap I'm sure we'll be supportive of each other.
I'm also writing a proposal to NordPlus for about 40,000 EUR to write
Public Domain mathematics learning materials
I need to find partners in Scandinavia and/or Baltic countries, I suppose
I can write the materials but I need partners to help try them out. It
should also relate to climate change which is their theme this year, so
I'm thinking of "Math lessons for changing global realities". I wonder
what group of self-learners might be most interested? I'd like to relate
it to sustainability technologies as Jeff Buderer has encouraged.
I also invite our ideas about what would be useful for our websites. I
have started remaking our main page http://www.ms.lt (nothing set in
stone) and have a diagram of the interfaces that I'm building
Pyramid of Peace suffers from our clash of cultures, even though we did
achieve so much together. I therefore suggest that we develop new names
or structures where in each case it's clear whose values and assumptions,
whose subculture is the norm.
I apologize for not doing that last year.