Satisfying our true needs

Seán Dagan Wood

Introducing issue 89 of Positive News magazine, which explores the possibilities for society when we give attention to what is desired rather than what is feared

What would happen if we learned about sex through talking about pleasure, instead of what could go wrong? A flip in mindset can have a profound effect, as the cover story of the new issue of Positive News magazine reveals. We report on the ‘pleasure pioneers’ who are reimagining sex education.

How much attention we give to what we want and how much to what we reject, is a dynamic that’s also playing itself out in politics.

In the magazine, we meet the former neo-Nazis who challenged their own hate-filled lives, and who now help others to leave right wing extremism. Why do people join such groups in the first place? Our interviewees say it was an attempt to meet their needs: to belong, to feel heard, to be part of a community.

At a time when the identities of many nations feel volatile, maybe a renewed idea of citizenship could help guide us. In our Reframing the facts section, our guest columnist argues that we’re moving into the age of the citizen: a more creative and participatory society.

At a time when the identities of many nations feel volatile, maybe a renewed idea of citizenship could help guide us

Meanwhile, citizen action continues, as our round-up of people-powered responses to President Trump shows. We also talk to the US army veterans who, in a profound moment amid the protests at Standing Rock, sought forgiveness from indigenous people for the injustices enacted upon Native Americans in the past.

From the Ethiopian art photographer with a new perspective on Africa, to the Londoners who want to reclaim the word ‘foreigner’ as a positive, this issue is packed with proof that society is capable of healthy self-reflection.

As one identity disintegrates, it opens the door for a new one. Perhaps pleasure can be a compass in renewing our societies. The more we satisfy our true needs, the more pleasure we can create in the world.

Seán Dagan Wood is editor-in-chief of Positive News

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