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A Win For Humanity – Bringing Consciousness to the Stories we Tell.

Here in Victoria there has been a significant win for humanity. Yep humanity.

The government has withdrawn from logging in the Central Victorian Highlands years before they had scheduled. It was an unexpected development and put a huge smile on my face. Such a great news story. 

It is a true cause for celebration, not just for the animals and plants that live there but for the people that depend on it for their water supply and their livelihood.

I rushed to read what was in the media only to find a desolate landscape indeed.

The headlines were grim. But wait! How could this be a bad news story?

And that’s when I got mad.

It serves as a real life example of narratives and a chance to take a good look at which narratives we back.

At what point are we culpable for the narratives we support and even create?

If after careful consideration you are aware that the story you are part of, or perpetuating, is not in the best interests of the wellbeing of your community what should you do?

This is sticky human stuff. It is not easy but it matters.

Each one of us buys in to a story, in fact many stories, everyday. And each little voice adds up to a big voice.

Are we prepared to step outside of conventional wisdom and add our voice (power) to something that will ultimately benefit all people?

The notion carried within the word humanity is underpinned by the collective and speaks to what it is to be human, it alludes to qualities of kindness and compassion.

There’s not much traction in that story is there? But society is changing, sometimes in imperceptibly small increments and then sometimes in a gush. 

And of course there is those days when even the more progressive voices run right back to the ‘safety’ of conventional ideas.

It can wind even the most resilient amongst us.

Each time one voice says, no wait up, this is not what everyone HAS to do, there has to be another way, that collective voice gets louder.

The well and truly outdated and past-its-used-by-date narrative that we can take from the planet and not give back needs to be knocked on the head. Everyday, and without hesitation.

When news media runs the story of the negative and unfair impact on small town communities of stopping logging in native forests it kind of sucks oxygen out of every other effort under way to preserve our liveable planet.

Who is invested in that story?

Your reliable water supply? Nope. The ongoing viability of those forests to supply income to those communities? Nope. A world class reputation for intelligent management of resources? Nope again. An offshore paper mill with no investment in your community? 

If we accept narratives as beyond question then we are in real trouble indeed.

Two questions I was taught at university to ask when reading media narratives. Who is saying it? And why are they saying it? I have found these questions very handy when reading a brand narrative too.

This is not an attack on media agencies. I feel the same about all sources of social narrative. What stories are you buying when you reach out for your next purchase?