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Thoughts From Meg Wheatley Events

Dear friends,

The thoughtful note below from Scott Hess was inspired by a meeting with Meg today. Last night I heard Meg say some similar things, plus other wise points I've noted here. The statements in "quotes" are her verbatim words or very close to it. The other statements are my understandings or reflections based on what she said.

-- "In the absence of trusting relationships we will get nowhere. Our proper focus is on the quality of relationships we have."
This is manifested in Russia's threat to not coooperate on Y2K because of NATO's Kosovo bombing; it shows how poor the underlying quality of our relationship with Russia has been. It is latent in the veneer of civility in our cities, which could be peeled away by Y2K disruptions. We are being strongly called to build (and maintain) trusting relationships -- lots of them, at all levels, everywhere (including forgiving those who reject our urgent communications about Y2K, including reaching out to those who live 'on the other side of the tracks'). A phrase that to me summarizes this and Scott's note below is this: We are here to heal our interconnectedness, to come home respectfully to 'all our relations.'

-- "I used to say that there's no one to blame for Y2K because it is a systems problem. I don't believe that anymore."
Perhaps this was true at the beginning, when it caught us all so unawares. But people in power are now making conscious decisions that are dangerous to people's well-being. And then there's the idea that 'we [the US] will make it but the rest of the world will go down the tubes.' What do you suppose those countries will feel towards us? "There is a difference between an act of God and an act of Greed," Meg pointed out. In the first kind of crisis, people pull together. The the second kind, they are outraged at the perceived source of their problem. "If other countries are outraged at us, they are right." After all, it was we who brought them the technology and economics that may destroy them.

-- "Y2K is a teacher of how the world works that we don't want to know because it calls into question our whole way of life. We are awakening to things that are very painful, like the fact that our way of life is not sustainable."

-- "There's still time. I can't tell you why, but I definitely feel this."
Meg feels that Koskinen is really getting it about community preparedness and some of the other things we in the Y2K movement talk about. The federal government is trying to have preparedness materials in use in every community in the US by this summer. Meg believes the whole 'avoid panic' thing is a stage powerholders are going through, and will be over soon. The Y2K movement's faith in the goodness of people (which underlies all our community preparedness work) is having an effect at an invisible level of the public psyche. She doesn't think there will be mass panic.

Another thought came up at the meeting, that was revolutionary for me: At the meeting publisher Byron Belitsos spoke passionately about the fate of programmers who are being (and will even more be) overworked in efforts to remediate Y2K and, to the extent they fail, may well be blamed for the problem in the public mind/media. He stressed that it is the managers, more than the programmers, who are at fault. To which I would add the bottom-line stockholders and the whole short-term profit system, which brings us a good deal of the problems we have. I suddenly thought of the way Vietnam vets were blamed by anti-war Americans for the tragedy in Vietnam; they were often called "baby-killers." And I wonder at how we managed to get through the Vietnam era without seriously transforming the systems that led to it -- largely thanks to the blaming of low-level individuals. Will the same happen with Y2K?

May we have the courage to build lives and cultures that are true to the depth of our interconnectedness.




>Subject: Here and Now
>Date: Wed, Mar 31, 1999, 12:14 AM

>Y2K is a strange enigma. I just came from a meeting in San Rafael, CA
>featuring well known speaker/writer/organizer Meg Wheately. After she
>spoke there was a chance to interact within the group. When the question
>came up re the public's seemingly slow response to the awesome Unknown that
>awaits us, Meg offered the thought that the thing people were resisting was
>a deep recognition our total Interdependence with everyone and everyplace on
>the planet. We really don't want to meet some of our reflections and some
>(possibly many) of our fellow beings in any real, mutually vulnerable,
>and/or intimate way. This is precisely what Y2K will have us do. We will
>have to cooperate to survive. The higher and more coherant the level of
>cooperation the more heavenly we will become. The less the cooperation the
>lower we go mentally and possibly physically. It seems like, once again,
>Love is the bottom line. All of our relations are important and
>exceedingly relevant to the mystery of ourselves. Will we transcend our
>primitive envy, jealousy, scapegoating and violence- to find our unity in a
>higher order? Hopefully.
>Scott Hess
>Petaluma, CA