The New Sovereignty

Sovereignty is associated with autonomy and individualism. It is rooted in ideas about self-reliance. According to Merriam-Webster, sovereignty is:

Note how often sovereignty is tied to political power. A secondary definition is about autonomy which means the freedom to act and decide independently of others. We need to see if there is a new way to look at sovereignty so we can adopt a new way – one that is easier to live with.

Point#1: In nature, each creature has its own sovereignty.

A tree does not need permission to be a tree. A bird does not have to be a giraffe because another creature assigned that role. In nature, each creature takes its place in the scheme of things as itself. There is no approval or disapproval for being yourself. 

Is that the way human culture works? Should we change it?

Point #2: Survival of the fittest is not the truth of nature.

The model for life is not war which the concept of survival of the fittest represents. 

Just because war has been a model for life in the human world does not mean the rest of the universe and nature go along with that definition of life. The model for life is aliveness and thriving, which we humans need to find a way to adopt. That means putting down the weapons. 

Point #3: Sovereignty and control are not the same.

We all have to do our part, but that does not mean we have to live in torturous isolation to fit a model of autonomy where we do not need anyone or anything. 

That model was made popular in works by Ayn Rand and others, but it is not reality.

Point #4: Sovereignty requires connection.

The world is interdependent; we are interdependent. Healthy sovereignty celebrates the good and unique in each person and finds ways to invite diverse gifts to contribute to the whole. This is how nature operates. Each creature, plant and animal, is supported and contributes to the whole. Diversity and difference are valued and contribute to the thriving of the whole. 

This ecological perspective can benefit us as a way to integrate human diversity into our cultural systems. 

Point #5: War and fear are not the answer; joy is

War and fear shut people down. They cause people to hold back and shy away from connecting with others. We need a way for people to co-create together, which is what an ecological approach to life is about. Joy as a practice and anchor creates space for cocreating because it invites and supports the good in all people and in life. 

We can shift from fear to joy.

We need a way to live and create together better. We need a culture that celebrates the good in each of us and honors the legacy of good created in the past. We need a way to restore and protect the common good. A joy-focused approach to life will do that for all of us. 

Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

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