Strategy for Wholeness
What is cultural strategy? I was asked recently, by Nayantara Sen of Real Food Real Stories. After honoring the many brilliant people who have trail blazed this work, here is what I said:
I think culture is basically about our relationship to the universe––to the ecosystem of humans and beings. So, what is our relationship to our ecosystem, and how do we behave in our understanding of that relationship … What is our relationship to each other, and our ecosystem, and our universe, and what are the behaviors and practices that are then shaped by that?
A strategy is a collective plan through time and space and conditions to accomplish something, right? Like, we want to do this, and collectively here's how we're gonna do it. So I would say that if you're trying to do something collectively to achieve something, you're never not doing cultural strategy. Either you're aware of it or you're not aware of it, those are the two options––either you are deluding yourself that there isn't a cultural aspect going on, or you're trying to figure it out and trying to move with it… Every strategy is either deluding itself that it's not, you know, reinforcing the cultures that are pushing humanity off the cliff, or they're developing something else.
Healthy culture...is about wholeness, right? And wholeness in that relationship to your ecosystem...I'm sure you could do a cultural strategy for fascism, but that's not what we're talking about, right? So, cultural strategy in the direction of wholeness needs to really center people who are yearning for wholeness and have an insatiable desire and taste for it.
As Real Food Real Stories summed up: “Our strategies can either intentionally account for how culture affects our conditions, or we can miss crucial opportunities to work with culture to change our conditions … Because cultural strategies encompass the myriad ways in which relationships transform, the inroads to cultural strategy are everywhere … Sometimes it reaches mass audiences through pop culture, and sometimes it works through the small, intimate ways in which we socialize norms and behaviors in our families and communities."
May every strategy grow wholeness.