Note: this post was guest written by Paula Kahn, a consent and anti-oppression educator and founder of CosmoVisiones Ancestrales. Check out her work here!
Yesterday, we reflected on how we can transform our participation in consumerism into acts of regenerative creation. This had me thinking about how we live in a culture that individualizes ownership and consumption, which means we are constantly exerting energy to preserve what we “own” and to make purchases to accumulate more for ourselves and those we share resources with… but what could life be like if our ownership and consumption models were coordinated collectively with those in our community?
Living in a student cooperative in Berkeley with 124 inhabitants showed me that shared resources created a culture of mindful, intentional consumption. Sharing resources and purchasing food together, for example, taught us to exercise moderation and practice communal accountability so that everyone could enjoy a slice of the pie! Can you imagine how collective-cooperative models could transform our local water or gas consumption?! How about local transportation?!
Let’s visualize what we have, what we need, and what we desire (material and non material). What is it? Can your objects of desire be enjoyed collectively or individually? Visualizing what we desire is important for what comes next!
Next, let’s contemplate our capacity to give up something we have to expand access to collective enjoyment. What can you trade in or share with others? How does this play out in your learning or work environments? What does it look like in your family or friendship structures, especially when we replace the material with the behavioral? What powers do we have that we are willing to give up to equalize the spaces we co-inhabit? How does sharing material resources teach us to move away from power-over to power-with?
Thanks for all that you are,
Paula & Kelly