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Power-Fear Environments and the Mechanism of Hope

Updated: May 4, 2023

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 authority 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 of Panem discusses “hope” with the Head Gamemaker. Something has gone wrong with one of the participants from District 12 and the result is that too much hope has been created.

In order to suppress a people you have to continue to give them hope, but only just enough to keep them going and never enough that they believe they can incite change, which leads to revolt.

This is seen in many real-world examples. The last few months have witnessed significant rioting in mining communities in South Africa. The people voiced concerns about living conditions and education and then began to receive aid and support, giving way to unprecedented hope and resulting in riots. The mechanism of hope needs to be managed carefully so that people are allowed to grow into their blessing and the benefits they receive.

While working in Sudan we discovered when giving hundreds 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.

However, getting these mining, farming, and construction communities enough hope that they can make room for it in their lives presents a real challenge. Improved living quarters, fairly priced produce, literacy, education, transportation, better workloads and equipment are all things that begin to bring hope, but prove difficult to implement in stages.

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

When too much hope is given 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 ends in revolt, such as we have seen in Indonesia, Egypt and Libya, where the people have become so hopeful that they have overthrown 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. It's imperative that we 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?

KnowledgeWorkx can help you to use the mechanism of hope in a responsible way and 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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