Here I sit, in my climate controlled office, processing how to express my thoughts in a concise manner. Those of you who know me know why this is problem. My thoughts are like a hive of swarming bees. There is nearly zero continuity of thought. I am Jack's undiagnosed Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. But I'm sitting here--laughing--as I realize the last couple years of my life seem to have all pointed to this moment. Me, sitting here, and writing THIS... a stream of consciousness that springs forth from the necessity to solidify my experience and thought into something codified and productive for others to replicate. My efforts alone aren't enough. Why? Because what is needed is more us and less individual output.
So what is this problem? Them. "They" are the problem. I've often lamented that "THEY" are all the world's worst assholes and "THEY" are constantly striving to ruin my hard fought efforts. It's the long running cry off the American enlisted man and likely most anyone who has ever tried to actually have an impact. But how does this manifest itself? A broken democratic process I have no connection to or ability to change? Racial tensions that most of my fellow majority members don't really want to admit even exist? A hierarchical "meritocracy" that is based on lineage and social position more than true merit?
I think these are all constructs. Red herrings. Distractions. We let others define the narrative but the truth is that these unseen, impersonal boogeymen only exist to divert us from our purpose. These are abstractions that deny us of the one thing that we need more than anything else as members of the human race: a purpose born from belonging.
So if I tell you "screw Washington, screw educational systems, screw corporations, and screw capitalism", you will call me a Communist hell bent on destroying the system and replacing it with anarchy. What if the problem isn't in spite of market efficiency but because of it? What if the very advances we've sweat and bled to create have rendered us irrelevant to the economic machine? What if the system we've labored to build makes us all feel unnecessary? Our society has become so streamlined and purpose driven that many feel like a skin tag on a much larger organism. An afterthought or, worse, a flaw waiting to be removed. We don't feel a kinship with our fellow skin tags because we are all equally bereft of purpose.
I am starting to see a really encouraging trend amongst revolutionary thinkers, one that has long driven my choice of career. They are eschewing the traditional models of consumerism and accomplishment based satisfaction. They are seeing that people are lonely and just want to share their life and what they have with others.
I have pursued careers with strong identities and stronger support networks: the oil field, manual labor jobs, and soldiering. In all these fields ownership, participation, quantifiable but relative effort, and purpose are all very heavily stressed. My fellow travelers are important in these career fields, but not just in these careers... they are important everywhere! Without the support and nurturing of a community we all suffer from a lack of identity and purpose. Some may choose sports teams and social labels to bolster a sense of identity but still feel very disconnected. I firmly believe that this sense of connection is a choice and a series of self-determined actions.
There is community for all of us. We are all fundamentally the same, Homo Sapiens. We have created tribes to foster a sense of identity, but have only succeeded in becoming more fragmented.
You might be asking: if "They" are the loosely identified problem and "community" is the solution, how do we create a sense of belonging and community in a world where friendships are lost over internet arguments that involve ZERO human interaction?
I bring to you the Dead Rabbit Society model of community engagement. Based off of the lessons learned by the United States Army Special Forces, it is designed by intelligent, gruff, and direct folks to leverage relatively small groups of strangers and develop those groups into effective weapons of community building and goodwill. Somewhere along the line, I realized that I have always been surrounded by an amazing community of people. I have had a biological family and an extended one in all my efforts and Special Forces was a natural extension of my previous life experience. I have been treating life as a community engagement exercise from the time I was very young. The Unconventional Warfare process is a PERFECT way to understand your desired community, build relationships, develop rapport, and create a sense of purpose amongst angry and fragmented people.
There are 7 steps to our philosophy, I'll address them more as we continue talking about them but let me outline them for you first:
The Dead Rabbit Society is a test bed for this theory right now. When it first started I had NO idea what we were doing, so I reverted to what I knew... and this time tested, battle proven model kept popping into my brain. I quickly referenced it anytime I was unsure of what our process should include. Then I realized that it was a perfect fit.
Over the next few weeks and months I will return to these phases and talk about how they translate to everyday life, our roles in our communities, and our purpose to engage with our fellow travelers and foster in them a sense of purpose. You matter. Your life matters. You DO belong to a community. I am passionate in my belief that this model of community engagement addresses a real need and if applied can be successful.