Commonly popularized business approaches in the modern day typically fail to account for the real needs of communities, especially people experiencing the effects of multi-generational, intersectional, and unrecognized oppression, injury, traumatization, and disablement.
Marketing methodology for the economics of "how to do business" frequently harms, inhibits, and erases disabled community members who are most actively and effectively addressing issues necessary for the thriving of the whole community body (not only those with the privilege of seeming to benefit from modern business practices).
When our communities rightly want to receive the life-honoring nourishment survivors of these intersections bring to the community body, we choose to support one another in truly presenced relationship — well beyond the mainstream systems that have caused such problems to families and communities in the first place.
Projects that center this kind of relational integrity are profoundly worth funding, not only to assist where funds have fallen short, but to grow greater stronger root systems so that more of the people being supported through this work can also bring their gifts into community through economic exchange — and celebration of the abundance that results.
When the people whose expertise the world most needs are the very people experiencing harm from mainstream economic systems, we all must bring our best efforts to bear in raising up little known voices, fueling intersectionally revitalizing projects, and making sure that our community members doing this work can thrive in a natural system of true relationships.
We had a Intuitive project space for a long time, ages ago, that invoked the tricky territory of “handouts.” I’ve been trying to remember the title so that I could search for the archives.
Hardship & handouts? Hard times & handouts?
I think I’d have to search hard drives that aren’t currently accessible. (If you’d like to help us access some of those hard drives, read this page and reach out.)
One-sided arguments about what constitutes “handouts” seem to be popular in certain circles, but I and others have tended to find these arguments wanting for balance, clarity, and extended respectful dialogue.
There are many common privileges in a business landscape that can be thought of as “handouts"; and many forms of outreach for support that can be characterized as “seeking a handout.” Especially when a project is experiencing economic challenges and is much-needed by the community.
But the use of the word “handout” seems to operate primarily to dismiss the value of the people and projects asking to be supported.
In a world where trauma, disablement, and neurological injury are rampantly limiting many people’s cognitive functions for how to ask for economic flows to reach them and exchange with them, declaring something a “handout” would seem to serve mainly to suggest those people and projects are not already showing up with tremendous value for those around them and for those who might facilitate further exchange.
When we examine these situations more closely… we find out they are.
The value is there in abundance.
But can we recognize it?
Business people using the usual business approaches are receiving investments from colonial imperialist infrastructure all the time that are never recognized or framed as investments, but have significant financial and economic effects on the people who have access to them.
Those are not so often characterized as handouts, but they sure could be if we wanted to spend more time talking down to one another.
(Not the best use of our time, I think.)
When our communities are full of individuals and families who have not had the benefit of such investments… or who have been actively (or violently) disinvested by the establishment… it is on the community to make sure nutritive and life-giving projects thrive; to make sure we are in relationship with one another and not dismissing one another on the basis of the stark capitalist systems that have caused such extensive harm.
That's not a handout. It's common sense; it's respectful regard for the living beings in our community body; and it's fundamentally necessary to survival in this day and age.
If we really care about the survival of the whole community... and not just cut-throat competition that leaves destruction in its wake... that's what we do.
I do, and I know that many people here also do.
The language part of the brain is damaged when a person experiences trauma; even trauma that is not at that time recognizable or comprehensible to them or those around them.
Consistent relational integrity and steady rehabilitative resourcing are required for the repair of verbal and relational parts of the brain after the physical injury of traumatic experiences, visible or invisible.
This means that as language functions are progressively destroyed — by many forms of trauma, including the ubiquitous ambient neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors we are all daily swimming through — a person may have a more and more difficult time anchoring the verbal structures that allow them to speak with confidence and clarity about the value of their most meaningful work in the world.
They have not necessarily forgotten it.
They might know it in their bones.
But they’ve lost the ability to say it.
That neurology must be repaired in collaboration with the caring collective body.
Everything we do and understand, as verbal beings, is in some way verbally connected.
If we can’t say something, and no one will help us repair the parts of us that function to say what is true for us…
…we can start to lose our contact with it. Even if we knew it before.
If the traumatized person does not have steady rehabilitative resourcing or others around them to assist in relational neurological repair, including repair of those verbal structures…
…talking to them only in terms of the distastefulness of handouts, without anchoring the verbiage necessary to show the value of their life and work, literally programs them to think less of themselves, to expect less of themselves, and to despair about their value in the world.
When popular economic languaging erases the vocational strengths of emotional labor and basic relational integrity...
...thereby erasing the imperative relational functions of a living collective body...
...we lose sight of the diverse, massively impactful capacities of the people around us whose needs and experiences are not embraced by the popular economic languaging.
This hides layers of the economy — hides whole economies of invisible (mischaracterized, scapegoated, abandoned) people — from those who prioritize that languaging.
That’s when the problems compound. That’s when beautiful, loving, powerful people are destroyed and discarded.
Because they did their best in a challenging environment; and they were not recognized or included in belonging for the honorable vocations they were already inherently building for their families and communities.
I have a deep well of feelings about this.
(Maybe about everything right now? We could test it.)
I will sometimes use very different languaging to talk about these intersections. These past few days, this is how it flowed out of me. (Do feel free to mention your own insights about language-bridging in the comments.)
Part of what I'm noticing needs to be brought forward... from my camp, and from all who will collaborate in it with me... is to support and teach communities and leadership how to recognize the tremendous skill and worth of those who have been mischaracterized as wrong, bad, useless, confusing, weak, incapable, lost causes, bad at business, too much trouble, too far-gone for manageable assistance...
…because those are our neurologically-injured community members, companions in our interconnected ecosystems, to whom we have a collective responsibility as much as we have a responsibility to the living environments of the Earth that we honor and tend.
The problem is not in the living beings who are thought of this way. The problem… if there need be any problem at all, my beloved language co-creators!… is in the very restrictive languaging being used to describe what success is in the greater society.
It’s in the ways that “success” is popularly marketed, and in the ways communities are inculcated to believe in some kinds of success above all others.
It’s in the tangle where we’ve declared living beings as failures and cut them off from resource access, creating problems where there weren’t any before.
That greater society I mentioned is not as great a society as it can become; will become; and is indeed in the painful process of becoming.
We have a say in this. I say we change it.
Intuitive Network is in the business of revealing the amazing proficiencies developed by survivors of front-line trauma, violence, oppression, poisoning, malnourishment, and disablement.
Many people don't know how to read the signs of these proficiencies, how to interpret the languaging used by these survivors, or how to weave together the collaborative benefits of knowing and working with one another in such conditions.
Yet, we are all having to learn this.
We do it because it raises these hidden economies out of the depths, brings them forth from beyond the veil where they had been obscured from recognition.
And suddenly, in every community, in every family, for every project and for all our solutions implementations — we have immense collaborative and practical resourcing we had never realized or accounted for.
Do you see this?
Will you bring your strengths to the table, and work with us on it?
The world is a challenging place to be in.
Together, we rise fruitfully to these challenges.
That is a very big win, to me.
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Our successes are only possible because you care, because you strive, and because you bring your own crucial vitality into collaboration with us.
Thank you for being here. It matters.