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Power-Fear Environments and the Mechanisms of Hope

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

Lessons from the Hunger Games and Arab Springs

Please read The Three Colors of Worldview first if you are not familiar with Power-Fear environments.

The mechanism of hope is the best antidote to fear in Power-Fear Environments. A leader in a position of power in a Power-Fear Environment who wants to change their situation can employ hope as a shrewd mechanism to empower people. Let us look at a few examples to explain.

The Hunger Games Movie provides a fascinating post holocaust society, which is very sophisticated, almost roman empiric, decadent and extravagant, protected in a bubble and governing 12 districts, which are ruled by fear.

The Hunger games is a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to compete.

The mechanism of hope in this Power-Fear environment is very well played out when the president in the movie discusses “hope” with the event manager. Something has gone wrong with one of the participants from district 12 and the result is too much hope is being created.

In order to suppress a people you have to continue to give them a little hope but you also have to suppress them enough so that they don’t create too much hope as that will only lead to revolt.

This can be seen in many real-world examples. The last few months have seen significant rioting in mining communities in South Africa. Where people have started to voice concerns about living conditions and education, there has been aid and support, but also the creation of unlimited hope resulting in riots when people aren’t receiving what they feel they should have. The mechanism of hope needs to be managed carefully so that people are allowed to grow into their blessing and the benefits they receive.

Working in Sudan we discovered when giving 100’s of refugees jobs that the only true way to improve their lives was to give them enough hope to move forward, but not too much too quickly as that they were not able to make room for it in their lives.

How to give these mining, farming, construction communities enough hope that they can make room for it in their lives, in the form of improving living quarters, a little cooperative for shopping so they can get produce at a good price, in the form of teaching people to read and write or opportunities for kids to get educated, transportation, better workloads, better equipment presents a real challenge.

And when it goes wrong the outcomes can be crippling as we've seen with Arab Spring events.

When too much hope is giving too quickly, people do not know how to make room for it in their day-to-day and social lives. Too much hope too soon creates situations of revolt; such as we have seen in Indonesia, Egypt and Libya, where they are so hopeful they have overthrown the governments. The challenge now is that they have fallen into a huge gap and are not able to find a peaceful way forward.

Sadly enough if you look at Egypt today as an example, President Mursi follows the same pattern of rule Mr Mubarak did. There was too much hope too soon without considering how to make room for it. We need to learn from our mistakes and avoid getting into the same situation again. But how do we ensure collectively that the ruler does not become the next dictator that oppresses through fear?

We can help you to use the mechanism of hope in a responsible way in order to enable you to gradually grow hope so that people are able to make room for it in their lives.

If you want to empower your people in a responsible manner and diminish fear in your organization, Contact Us to find out more.

To begin your culture learning journey, Contact us or get our mini-ebook: Inter-Cultural Intelligence: from surviving to thriving in the global space.


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