Status Unquo: presumptions, tribalism, and emergence

I have been writing for months that both Brexit and the deep divide in America reflect the end of one “status quo.” I believe that the emergence of a critical mass of citizens unwilling or unable to inquire, question their beliefs, learn, and adapt, has resulted in these folks adopting a new narrative. A narrative that is arguably false, but nonetheless powerful. A narrative of victimization by “them” and “other,” that can only be set right by elevating authoritarian leaders, and diminishing “otherness.” The very significant differences between this new narrative, and the prior dominant narrative, have broken the agreements and patterns of civil discourse. The presumption of relative stability for the existing status quo contributed to that status quo being less resilient and robust than expected, and susceptible to major disruption. We have gone over the Cynefin cliff from the relative stability of the old status quo, into a new time of chaos.  
So, in this chaos, I believe people will – already are, I think – forming tribal or guild-like affiliations and networks. Over time, these clusters and networks will put out their own new and revised narratives. Pockets of coherence will emerge. With luck, a new narrative will emerge that is sufficiently compelling and resonant, that a new set of agreements will form for a new and far-reaching civil discourse. But when, how, and if. . . are not knowable.
So what do we do right now? I take some comfort in advice I got from Margaret Wheatley way back in 2002. She told me then – fourteen years ago – that she saw troubling signs on the horizon. She said she would “look for fellow tellers of the new story.” Put another way, what do we believe? What are our core values? What is our purpose? Who shares in our values and intentions?
The status quo for here and now becomes seeking our tribe, and doing the work we believe in, with the people and resources we have here and now- the core of the Asset-Based Community Development approach.  
As I wrote five years ago after a retreat on a mountain ridge with a group of remarkable people,
“We journey alone, together.”

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