Enough of Us vs. Them

Hello Open Minded One That Can See the Forest for the Trees,

There is nothing more disruptive to the progress of the green movement than separating the so-called good guys (environmentalists, activists, green businesses, etc.) from the bad guys (corporations, capitalists, conservatives, etc.). After over a decade of being entrenched in green marketing and environmental work, I have seen enough barbs thrown at “them” – and where did that get us? As polarized as our government, that’s where. I must confess I too took shots in the early days. But like a one-night stand, it feels good in the moment, but leaves you empty in the morning.

The truth is we’re all in this together. We all breathe the same air. We all want our children to be happy and healthy. Why can’t we start there? Why can’t we come from the premise that we are one human family? Sounds too lofty? Not really…

The last few years, I have had the unique experience of consulting with a corporation some love to hate. What I found out is there are deeply devoted people inside working hard for the environment in every way they can. Go figure?

Nelson Mandela once said, “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”

Poet, David Whyte, ostensibly agrees, “…high quality conversations, held skillfully at the right time with the right people, are the foundation from which leaders are able to navigate complexity, stakeholder agendas and accelerating change. When a leader’s bright ideas, forceful edicts, and clever strategic plans fail, conversational leadership can open the gate for the emergence of cohesive and relevant possibilities.”

Here’s my advice: If the men and women in leadership positions (on both sides of the fence) can soften their hearts and drop their egos enough to sit at the table and listen, I mean really listen without holding hard and fast to their position or try to persuade the other to agree, then maybe, just maybe, together we can find a way. A middle way. By talking with one another to get clarification. By exploring possibilities that we can all live with. Not forever, but for now.

After all, the Russians love their children too. (Sting, 1985)

Note: My dad is Russian.

With respect, Carolyn
Founder of Women Of Green
CEO of Mind Over Markets

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