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Tiny Acts of Doing-It-Differently are Culture Making

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Written by Kelly Diels

Our entire society and status quo — our culture — is a web of cooperation that we make and remake every day.

Every conversation we have with friends. How we treat our family members, acquaintances, even strangers. Our workplaces. Our interactions with government workers and civil servants. The way we consume media. What we share and who we share it with. How we line up for buses and trains. How we behave at the doctor’s offices and at home. It’s all culture making.

Each and every day, we make a million tiny agreements to go along with our culture and make things run smoothly.

Culture isn’t ‘out there’ or something that’s set in stone and unchanging.

Culture is living and organic; it’s in us; it acts on us; it moves through us and uses our lives.

A lot of the times, people disagree with the demands and dictates and practices of our culture, but swallow their voice and say nothing.

Even in that moment, in the internal dissonance and the absence of action, when what’s happening externally goes against what they internally think and feel, they are culture makers.

In that moment, they (we!) allow the over-culture to continue as it is, unimpeded. We let the voice of culture speak through our mouths and use our bodies and lives. That’s how it stabilizes and regenerate itself.

And so every day, whether we are conscious of it or not, we are making and remaking our culture.

But we can choose how to use our culture-making power.

Instead of letting an unjust culture flow through us, we can interrupt it — and we can make a new one.

You can do that with tiny, consistent, acts of doing-it-differently.

Tiny acts of doing-it-differently are culture making.

Tiny acts of doing-it-differently dislodge the web of cooperation that the unjust culture requires in order to continue functioning — and creates something new, instead.

For the future, and for right now.

And so we, the culture makers, have the power to disrupt it, reimagine it, and make a new one in which everyone flourishes.

Now and always. We are the culture makers.

Let’s use our power deliberately.

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