Helping People Get Through This Great Disruption
"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." - Margaret Mead
The US is in a time of unprecedented chaos and crisis.
What's happening right now in 2020 puts Americans everywhere at risk. What happens this fall and winter may determine much about the future of this country. Our lives, the people we love, the places we live, what our lives look like - everything is impacted. Most everything is changing, or could change soon.
We're in a great disruption.
We Can Find Ways Through
"Because the world... depends on it." - Ghost Vitruvius, in The LEGO Movie
A new nonprofit has launched recently here at Counterfear.com to help us through that disruption. It's called Shift the Country.
The mission is to help people help each other through several crises happening at once, to get voters engaged, to hold civil society together in this country while we get through, and to make structural transformation along the way.
Pretty much everything at Counterfear.com has shifted in the past month (July, 2020) to support the Shift the Country mission. Because that mission and that strategy can help Americans can navigate this incredible moment.
The counterfear work has always been about fairly and honestly seeing the risk landscape, and then taking action to mitigate or deal with that risk where that's possible. People's eyes tend to glaze over when you talk like that. Risk can sound daunting and unimaginable.
Yet here we are in the greatest set of risks this country has seen in a century - if not in its history. It's definitely unimaginable. We are also in the greatest collective trauma in at least a century - and that is no small thing to get through and take action in the middle of. Things that can help us counter fear can also help us act in trauma.
There are ways to get through chaos, disruption, disaster, trauma, simultaneous crises, system interruptions, and cascading effects without having everything fall apart. Without devolution. Without collapse.
We can find them. The Shift the Country five-part strategy is built exactly for that. Deliberately. Carefully. Intentionally. Thoughtfully. It's informed by research and experience, too. It's a strategy to help us deal not only with the out-of-control COVID-19 pandemic in the US, but also with the urgency and risk of emerging tyranny and increasing oligarchy.
The Principles Work
"Light up the darkness." - Bob Marley
We get through this massive disruption with the principles we've always followed on this site for navigating disruption; updated slightly for the moment. The principles are: connection, community, inclusiveness, resilience, and problem-solving.
We can help people help each other through several crises happening at once, get voters engaged, hold civil society together in this country while we get through, and make structural transformation along the way. (Again, that's the mission).
We use those five principles to find ways through. To light it up. To shift the country. They come from years of experience in disaster work, and knowing that we'd need them "when the big one hit." The big hypothetical catastrophe - whatever it would be. Now we're living it, and it isn't just one thing.
This Site Was Built For This Moment
"Luck favors the prepared." - Edna Mode, or "E," from The Incredibles
The world was never going to get simpler. Wicked problems abound. We have a growing world population living in high-hazard zones, on a finite planet. We have a worldwide community not taking enough significant action to mitigate the impacts of climate change. With the coronavirus pandemic and the likely shift away from the US' status as a superpower, we will also likely have a massive shift in the world order. That could be messy.
As the coming months unfold, there's going to be more disruption - not less. That's not written here to scare the daylights out of you. That's written to be honest; to help us all get ready.
Getting through overwhelming crisis, chaos, and catastrophe is no small feat. This site right here and everything on it is designed entirely to help, because this disruption was not unexpected. The specifics are a little mind-boggling, but this disruption was definitely not unexpected.
The US was not going to be ready for multiple catastrophes or a pandemic. Understanding that back in 2011 led to the work here. This post on Why this space was created has more, plus there's a collection of back stories that inform this work. Now that this great disruption has started, there is a possibility that it can be a great transformation.
The Shift the Country initiative, the 15 tools to make shift happen, the 25 focus areas for navigating disruption, the counterfear toolbox, the counterfear blog post tools, the services we offer, and the blog are all built to help with the chaos and crises in front of us.
We can start anywhere. If you need a nudge in a direction, not panicking is as good place to start as any. Or, have a look at the 15 tools to make shift happen. There's no right way. We all have to find our own lane.
"Have faith, but tie up your camel." - Arab Proverb
We can believe that we will get through, too. To keep the faith - in whatever it is that we have faith in. At the very least, faith in humanity will be absolutely essential.
There are ways through. We can find them. This site is anchored in that belief.
We need the belief. We need the practical, too. The best approach to counter fear - especially in a time of such massively increasing chaos - will be a mix of both. Belief + works.
We can make good happen. We can find ways to survive. We can find ways to thrive. It can be done. When we're looking honestly at the challenges before us, we'll be better ready to take them on. We'll be even better if we're connected to good people. If we've got community. When we're inclusive. When we're resilient. And when we're solving problems - with all of that.
Every one of us can contribute in our own way. Always. Anytime. Every little thing we do in the world that does good reverberates. We cause a shift; with even the tiniest of actions.
When we put all of that together, we get synergy. The tiniest of actions - and the combination of very many actions - lead to bigger action. To big shift happening. That's what we're here to foment: getting through, and spiraling up. Creating a phenomenon. Believing that we can.
We will make some big shift happen.
We intend to Shift This Country.
We already are.