Awesome Nay asks, “I see so much advertisement and campaigning for becoming aware of and/or stopping many things in our world. Cancer, hunger, texting while driving, government problems, etc. Like the breast cancer awareness campaign, with pink on any and every product you can think of. A similar example is hunger around the world. I can easily see how awareness and funding can be important for finding and treating.
But now that I know so much more about LOA, I have to question what it is accomplishing. Does this stuff really do what it intends; help to make things better? Or is making people more aware of these issues creating more of those problems? I have some of my own ideas on this, but would like your input to see if I can get another perspective.”
Hey Nay (sorry, couldn’t help myself),
Your intuition on this is spot on. Continuous focus on the problem does, indeed, perpetuate the problem. So, am I saying that all those pink ribbons are actually doing damage? Well, it’s not such a cut and dry answer. Here’s why.
Problem Oriented Awareness
Let’s say that you come across a problem, like a disease. You find out that loads of other people have this disease. And you feel like people should be aware of this disease, because, well, folks have a right to know. So, you start a campaign to raise awareness of the disease.
And by doing so, you get everyone focused on the disease. “Look”, you say. “Look at all these suffering people! Someone should do something!” And everyone agrees. Someone should definitely do something. And as everyone focuses on the disease, more and more sufferers seem to come out of the woodwork. “My!” everyone exclaims. “This problem is much bigger than we thought!”
Now, even though your intentions were good, your awareness raising campaign has actually gotten more people to line up with the disease by getting them to focus on the problem.
Solution Oriented Awareness
But, let’s say that you come across a disease. And you find the solution to that disease (either in real life, or you’ve envisioned one). You want people to be aware of the disease, but only so they’ll also become aware of the solution. What’s more, you want as many people to focus on the solution as possible, so that its energy continues to grow and attract more of those who are asking for it. You want it to become so big that anyone who is even slightly in the vicinity of the solution will be sucked right in and will benefit.
So, you get everyone focused on the solution. “Look”, you say. “Look at all these people who are being cured! We are doing something!” And everyone agrees. We are definitely making a difference. And as everyone focuses on the solution, more and more of those who have benefited from the solution (or can offer ways to implement it) seem to come out of the woodwork. “My!” everyone exclaims. “This situation is even better than we thought!”
Now, true to your intentions, your awareness raising campaign has gotten more people to line up with the solution.
Focusing on a solution that doesn’t yet exist
“Ok, ok, Melody”, I can hear you saying, “that’s all fine and well if there’s a cure. But what about if you see a problem without a solution?” What about when people are dying of an incurable disease? What about when people are dying of hunger and no one seems to be doing anything? Shouldn’t we cry out and make people aware?”
Yes, you should if you feel inspired to, by all means. But if an apparent solution doesn’t yet exist, you can still create one. You are a powerful creator. Let’s flex those massive focusing muscles! I mean, what do you think you were given your imagination for, if not to create that which does not yet exist, eh?
So, let’s say that you see some starving people. You know what the solution is – you want them to be fed. You don’t want them to be hungry anymore. You just don’t yet know how you can make that happen. By focusing on the hunger and getting others to focus on the hunger, you may inspire someone to eventually focus on them being satisfied and healthy, which will allow them to come up with a solution. This is generally what happens and it’s the slow way to go about it. This system depends on someone out there being willing to go against the grain, and against the considerable momentum you’ve built up by focusing on the hunger.
If, however, you were to focus on the solution – we want these hungry people to be fed. Even if you don’t yet know how, you’ll get others to also focus on the solution (fed people), which means that you’ll get answers and ideas flooding in from multiple sources, as more and more people line up with specific solutions (the HOW of how it will be done). Now, your system doesn’t just depend on someone out there going against the grain. Your system allows all those who are even close to the vibration of the solution to be swept up by the flow of energy you’ve created, and to come up with their own version of an answer. Now, you’ll have loads of solutions to choose from, some maybe better than others, but at least you’ve got everyone thinking in the right direction.
When you don’t know the solution, get people asking “How can we solve this?”, rather than “Oh how terrible, someone should do something.” One feels empowering, while the second feels powerless.
- Focus on health rather than disease.
- Focus on happiness rather than misery.
- Say, “This is what we want. Who will help?”, rather than “This is what we don’t want. Who will help?”
- Get people to focus on the problem only long enough so that they understand it. Then, ask them to focus on the solution.
- Show people brief images of the tragedy and then images of what you want. Inspire people to share ideas rather than making them uncomfortable with ever more depictions of what’s wrong.
Raising awareness isn’t a bad thing at all, as long as you raise awareness for the solution rather than the problem. I realize that our media isn’t very good at that, and that suffering makes for more powerful headlines than happiness (at least for those focused on suffering. Personally, it’s the happy headlines that catch my eye). But it is possible and every once in a while, someone gets it right. That’s when miracles happen.
Oh, and one more thing: Don’t limit yourself to one solution, even if you already have one. All those concerned people out there have brains and collectively, those brilliant brains may come up with far greater solutions than you can imagine. Actually, there’s no maybe about it. Count on it.
So, are all those campaigns doing damage?
From my view, not really. Solutions will still be found by those willing to go against the flow, it’ll just happen much more slowly. Also, so many ribbons have been created and so much problem oriented awareness raising has been done, that the public, in general, has become desensitized. A lot of people don’t really pay that much attention to yet another ribbon. This is because problem oriented awareness raising is uncomfortable. It feels powerless. And, as is our nature, we will always do our best to move away from a feeling of powerlessness. This is what happens when people ignore the ribbons or make statements such as, “Oh God. Not another cause. I’m so sick of all these do gooders!” They’re not sick of helping, they’re sick of being made to feel powerless.
So no, I don’t think the ribbons are doing much damage, I just don’t think they’re doing nearly as much good as they could or were intended to do.
What do you think? I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments.