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Inspired & Inspiring

When the world seems dark and the work too heavy, come here to find us – you are not alone.

This section is a free space that is intended to nourish our hopes and beliefs that social change is possible for the human species. We will post your stories, riffs, ideas, innovations, poetry and quotes that help us see that we are part of something very large – the emergence of a 21st century worldview that acknowledges we belong to a whole living system in which we collectively create society based on the sum of our attitudes, beliefs and actions. We are being challenged to use our power and privilege for the forces of good – the common good. The main lesson for the new world - we sink or swim together.

Things to Celebrate

  • We have a feminist Premier in Ontario who has publicly identified with social justice and gender equality
  • We have a provincial sexual violence and harassment action plan that is clear in condemning misogyny and the rape culture as root causes of violence against women
  • The Premier has established a permanent VAW Roundtable
  • We have a new Prime Minister who has identified as a feminist and has made domestic violence a priority issue. PM Trudeau has committed to moving on all of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • The Prime Minister has also committed to a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women

First Riff - Welcome!

This is an exciting time to be on the planet. We are living through the end of the industrial era. The unjust and unsustainable dominant values and beliefs of patriarchy and capitalism that have formed our hyper-individualist Western reality over centuries are in question and are being challenged on many fronts. Our work for social change matters and is making a difference. It’s important to recognize our efforts as being meaningful and to make clear choices about how we contribute to the creation of our shared society. Little things can make a big difference. Small actions ripple out. What have you done today to help us along? Pay attention and feel good about it. Not to minimize all of the legitimate reasons to be angry and frustrated, but if you are a hater, stop hating and join us. It is so much better to be on the side of creation.

It is the end of the world as we have known it (goodbye Stephen Harper and his death grip on maintaining the status quo). Understandably, there is much chaos, conservative clinging to the old and of course fear, because the new world is still emerging. As Weird Al Yankovic, said many years ago, “everything you know is wrong.” Celebrate not knowing, the unknown and the emergent. Certainty is a dream of the past. It is a bad time for control freaks. We are moving to a more holistic worldview that recognizes the value of all life and appreciates that while our world is abundant, it is also finite in its resources. It is up to us to find the courage to leap or to be dragged along, kicking and screaming, holding on to the past or embracing possibility of the new. We are the first generation of the new world and the last generation of the old. Where do you want to put your feet down?

The work for a more just and sustainable world is hard work that needs to be shared and distributed across the whole population. Isolation is a key factor in violence and abuse that runs right through the system. We all have a role to play in making positive social change and we need everyone to participate and contribute their unique gifts and talents. The earth is both flat and round. We are both one and one of many. We are moving from an ‘us and them’ dog-eat-dog stupidly simple view of reality to one that acknowledges there is only ‘us’, interconnected and interdependent. We are puny humans in the vast universe and we need each other and the rich diversity of our perspectives and experiences to design solutions to our most complex issues. In creating solutions, especially if we focus on making the world better for our children and grandchildren, we can heal ourselves.

Margaret MacPherson
BBWON Coordinator