It might sound dramatic to say that capitalism is killing us. The real drama we are living is much more insidious.
We are chronically bombarded with messages that reinforce this. In fact, our current capitalist structure relies on our disconnection from others and our perceptions that we aren’t good enough.
Gabor Mate, a thinker I trust and respect, believes that healing our social systems is impossible under capitalism. The problem I see with this is that we are functioning under capitalism. Does this mean we are incapable of healing?
The aspects of capitalism that thrive on our disconnection and struggles with self worth are stuck, but not inevitable. These aspects of capitalism are not inevitable because we have the power to choose to heal ourselves.
Can we have healthy communities, live in deep connection with our ecosystems, and thrive under capitalism?
If we want a chance at this, we have to start with acknowledging the places we engage with capitalism that are harmful to ourselves and others. We have to acknowledge that the dominant model of capitalism we are living right now requires things of us that are in direct opposition to health and justice.
We have to acknowledge that the life we are living of consumption and disconnection, of not enough and do more, is literally killing us.
We are living in service to rules that most of us as individuals don’t value. We are living in service to capitalism rather than choosing our values first and letting capitalism serve them.
We don’t have to live this way.
Current capitalism kills us by relying on our perception that we are not good enough as we are. But capitalism isn’t a living entity. The rules of current capitalism can only continue if we as collective individuals agree to live by them.
When we recognize that the chorus of not enough is deeply embedded within our minds and bodies, when we accept that truth, then we can write a new line for our chorus.
We stop capitalism from killing us by choosing a new chorus. A chorus like, I choose health, I choose justice. We stop it from killing us by putting our values first. And we do this by first understanding what values we are living by that aren’t truly our own.
This, like all healing, starts with a decision to be curious and ask questions. When we do this, we do the important work of building a story that connects us with others. First, we train ourselves to get comfortable with digging deeper into our own story.
There is paradox in this. On the one hand we need to pull ourselves out of being engaged with only our own story. On the other, we desperately need to know our own story better in order to realize we are missing parts that we need in order to be whole.
Work with me to find the lost parts of your story.