THE 'WE' SYNDROME

While interviewing supporters of the movement, we decided to ask the following 5 questions:

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.
  2. How did you get to hear about The Zeitgeist Movement?
  3. What is your understanding of a Resource Based Economy?
  4. Why did you decide to get involved in this movement?
  5. What are your plans to make a Resource Based Economy a reality?

Whenever it came to the 5th question, we found many people getting stuck with the “WE” syndrome.

When people watch Zeitgeist Addendum, they get inspired to join the movement on the website. They might even find a local chapter and meet fellow supporters to discuss ideas. They also join discussion groups on Google and Facebook to participate. And then they make heavy use of the word “WE”. Here are some examples:

  • We should set up a…..
  • We need to create a….
  • Why don’t we conduct a….

We didn’t notice this in the beginning, but then we started observing the pattern and it’s flaw: Using the word WE is meaningless. Who is WE?

Most people are unaware of this and use it unconsciously without realizing it’s implication.

Our understanding is that the word “WE” is very passive. It removes ownership and rids us of a sense of personal responsibility.
Replace “WE” with “I” in the sentences above, and it’s a whole new ballgame!

  • I should set up a…..
  • I need to create a….
  • Why don’t I conduct a….

This changes everything. Suddenly the mood goes from being preachy to showing potential.

The Zeitgeist Movement is not an organization. It’s a movement. An organization has employees and people are paid a salary to do a job or function. With a movement, each individual gets to decide what he or she wants to do with the information presented. Personal action speaks louder than words, and spreading awareness in any form is “action”, even if it means you are explaining the ideas of a Resource Based Economy to others over a causal chat, screening a film, handling questions, not opinions etc. But in the discussion, watch out for the “WE” syndrome.

When you understand and resonate with this, you may consider engaging in conversations like:

  • I wanted to get _______ done. Does anyone have any idea on how I could get started?
  • I wanted to know more about ________. Does anyone have any idea on where I could get __________ information?
  • I want to know how to get off the GRID. Has anyone in ______ (city) managed this, and willing to share their story?

This will help trigger ideas and invite ‘active’, not ‘passive’, participation.