Here at the beginning of 2017 we find ourselves on the cusp of change. Whether or not you like the direction things are heading, there has been a significant impact on people. Through last year’s deaths, political upsets, media frenzies, and conversations about what behavior is right or wrong, we’ve had a lot of opinions, arguments, and fear. So what next?
Lots of answers to that question. Mine… practice consent.
This may seem an odd answer, but hear me out. Change creates anxiety. Anxiety stresses the connections and interactions between people. Stressed people tend to be reactive and less likely to pay attention to others. In doing so people are more likely to engage in nonconsensual behavior which creates distance, anger, and hurt.
In this time of change we need the opposite. We need connection, compassion, and healing. Practicing daily consent does all of this. When we respect the boundaries of the people around us we foster connection, mutual respect, and a sense of safety. When people respect our boundaries we are more likely to trust, engage, and share ourselves. By practicing consent in our daily lives we start to create a Consent Culture that can grow and support our communities.
It is hard to know what’s going to happen next in our world. Whatever it is, I know that facing it connected is important; that we are stronger together than we are alone. Building the practice of consent will foster connection both within communities and between communities. If we can listen to and respect one another we will counter anxiety and distance.
The practice of consent is one of the things that grows the more it’s used. I practice with you and you feel better. You practice with someone else and they feel better. And so forth and so on. Each link forges new connections and increases safety. We collectively build a better world.
So if you want to save the world, whatever that means to you, start with the practice of consent.
Join me at www.consent.academy
Sar Surmick – Director of the Consent Academy and Marriage & Family Therapist