The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Is It Any Wonder?

There are constant moans and grumbles about the behaviour of individuals in modern western society.  Drugs, violence, theft; all symptoms (apparently) of a society in decline.  We can blame the individuals in each case, but are we really doing anything to curb the underlying causes?

Is it any wonder?
That: children bully others at school,
When: politicians yell at and verbally abuse each other in parliaments.

Is it any wonder?
That: women are the primary victims of domestic abuse and violence,
When: men make and tolerate sexist comments and jokes.

Is it any wonder?
That: people on little or no income steal,
When: transnational corporations avoid tax through spurious loopholes.

Is it any wonder?
That: young men readily resort to violence,
When: the nations of the world regularly go to war.

Is it any wonder?
That: young people take drugs,
When: the liquor and tobacco industries are two of the world’s largest industries.

Is it any wonder?
That: people end up in debt,
When: the advertising industry is constantly bombarding us with messages to buy, buy, buy.

Is it any wonder?
That: rates of anxiety, depression and suicide are on the increase,
When: so much of the entertainment media idolises celebrities, status and self-glorification.

Yes, it can be easy to look at the behaviour of individuals and place the blame for their behaviour upon them. But, every individual is located within a wider environment.  If we don’t take that environment into account then we will often end up just putting sticking plaster on the problem.

We can offer drug rehabilitation programmes, anger management courses, jail sentences or financial counselling.  But, if we just send people back into the same environment can we really expect any real long-term or inter-generational change?

This is one of the major challenges for community development.  How do we change social conditions rather than trying to change the behaviours of individuals?  The first thing for a community development worker to do is to be able to see the bigger picture.  A community development worker must be able to look outside the square, and challenge the cultural and social mores and values that are the cause of many of the behaviours that individual display.

As a society we are quick to condemn the young person on ice, quick to condemn the bully at school, quick to condemn the father stealing to provide for his family.

Before doing so, perhaps we should be asking:

Is it any wonder?

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