feed them

From the Open Space list…I dismissed it at first, but it’s actually pretty darn compelling….

From: Chris Corrigan
Reply-To: OSLIST
Subject: The answer, according to my daughter
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 02:57:36 -0700

My daughter Aine and I were walking in the woods today playing a game.
She was pretending that there were monsters in the forest and that they were coming to eat us. We had to be vigilant. We had to defend ourselves.

I asked her “What is the plan? What are we going to do if we see one of the monsters?”

She replied, “Feed them.”

“Feed them?” I said.

“Yes,” she said. “If we feed them they won’t want to eat us.”

I think she has the answer there. Imagine if George Bush took that $40 billion that Congress gave him and used it to feed people. Heck, take $20 billion to fix up US security and clean up New York and use the other half to feed people. And not just feed them with food.

What if we decided that people’s spirits needing feeding too? What if we chose to take $1 billion and build the biggest, most beautiful mosque in the world, right in the heart of Kabul. And what if we gave it as a gift, no quid pro quo, as a place for people to feed their spirits?

What would the reaction be? What do we want the reaction to be? We have choices.

Seems we could bomb innocent people to death and celebrate, mirroring the images of this week, and thereby satisfy our thirst for vengeance. But what would that get us? A world that so admired the West that it wanted to emulate it in every way and celebrates it’s way of life? Or would a large part of the 5 billion people that don’t live in the west see things differently? Would more people feel as if  vengeance was the only possible response, and figure out more simple and effective ways to terrorize? We can have that kind of world if we choose it.

Or we can take Aine’s advice and feed people. And what would that get us? There is no better way to rob the world of it’s anger and bitterness, jealousy and hate, than to feed people unconditionally…feed their bodies, minds and spirits. Build places of learning, places of spirit, places for healing and nourishment, places of community.

Take that $40 billion dollars and spend it in every neighborhood in the world. Put the world to work growing food, healing people, restoring land and water, building communities, creating the thin fibres of connection between peoples, families, communities, cities, nations….

“If we feed them they won’t want to eat us.” Can you think of a better form of security?

Love to all,


Consultation – Facilitation
Open Space Technology