‘It’s time to unleash our potential’

Editor-in-chief Seán Dagan Wood introduces issue 88 of Positive News magazine, which considers whether we are heading into a time of breakdown, or breakthrough

What happens now? Marked by the surprise political events of the Brexit vote and Trump’s election, the past year has been a tumultuous one. Divisive voices have been prominent.

In the new issue of Positive News magazine, we publish a compelling call to hearts from writer and activist Charles Eisenstein, who cautions against allowing hate and fear to drive what happens next. He believes that within uncertainty and the breakdown of ‘normal’, there lies an opportunity to break through to a society of empathy.

Culture is reflecting and nurturing this. As our feature about comics reveals, new everyday superheroes are emerging who are more diverse and relatable.

Empathy is also a basis of More United, a project crowdfunding support for MPs who commit to values such as tolerance, irrespective of their party. From disrupting party politics in this way; to the banks that are flipping the sector on its head to work for social benefit; and the global solidarity that was shown to the indigenous peoples at Standing Rock – in the new issue of Positive News magazine we signpost towards some of the things that might come to replace the systems, institutions and mindsets that are failing to serve.

Beneath the destructive behaviours that arise from our wounds and fears, we are predominantly a cooperative, social species, with a universal need for connection

“Our models for human organisation are designed on a completely flawed basis of what human beings are like,” says George Monbiot in our interview with him. Because, beneath the destructive behaviours that arise from our wounds and fears, we are predominantly a cooperative, social species, with a universal need for connection.

A sample of Positive News readers who were recently interviewed for a positive psychology master’s thesis, said that too much negative news led them to see the negative in others and to feel isolated. Reading Positive News, they said, increased their sense of community and belief that they could contribute to society and make a difference.

So we can share a new story of what it means to be alive at this time. A story that will unleash human potential instead of drowning it in a sea of anxiety and cynicism.

As Monbiot says: “We’ll only re-engage people if we have a positive, propositional politics, rather than just reacting to all the bad stuff that’s thrown at us.”

This year, Positive News will continue to uncover how we can thrive as a society and leave no one behind, answering the invitation made by Eisenstein to “speak hard truths with love”.

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