To do this work, we will need to build our historic and systemic understanding, be able to cultivate emotional courage and support, and acquire skills and tools. This assessment suggests the value of the following competencies for contributing meaningfully to social change efforts that can address root causes of the crises we face.
Without emotional intelligence, we become isolated from how we feel, from others who feel the same way, and from doing the things that could make us feel better. Emotional intelligence is the ability to acknowledge and address our personal stake in social change and to cope with the world as it is without retreat and without compromise.
Knowledge of current and historical root causes
In this “information age," superficial “facts” are easily accessible to many, but the root causes of events often go unknown and unexamined. An understanding of the causes of a problem open up possibilities for addressing them.
Assessing complex information about how our societies work is a skill to practice and learn like any other. We learn how to identify missing information and specific ways we can contribute more effectively. We learn about the processes of change, learning and growth we participate in, as individuals, and as members of groups of all sizes.
A sense of responsibility
Having "response-ability" creates hope, possibility and resilience. It makes us available to participate, and opens up ways of learning how to do that more effectively.
Our collective well-being is built upon the ability to work together as groups. It is through engagement with others that we shape the world, make mistakes, and learn in the process. History shows that the relationships between the Self and Other a culture embodies also shape the building blocks of its future sciences, spiritualities, social systems, and human systems. Individualism, although cherished in many ways, also diminishes empathy and distorts our ability to understand how our individual and collective well-being are organically linked.