This week we talk to Peter Block
Peter Block is an author, consultant and citizen of Cincinnati, Ohio. His work is about empowerment, stewardship, chosen accountability, and the reconciliation of community.
Peter is the author of several best selling books. The most widely known being Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used. In addition, he has published Community: The Structure of Belonging, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods, and The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters
The books are about ways to create workplaces and communities that work for all. They offer an alternative to the patriarchal beliefs that dominate our culture. His work is to bring change into the world through consent and connectedness rather than through mandate and force.
He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops designed by Peter to build the skills outlined in his books. He received a Masters Degree in Industrial Administration from Yale University in 1963; he performed his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas.
Peter serves on the Boards of Directors of Cincinnati Classical Public Radio; Elementz, a Hip Hop center for urban youth; and LivePerson, a provider of online engagement solutions. He is on the Advisory Board for the Festival in the Workplace Institute, Bahamas. He is the first Distinguished Consultant-in-Residence at Xavier University. With other volunteers in Cincinnati, Peter began A Small Group, whose work is to create a new community narrative and to bring his work on civic engagement into being.
His latest book is called: An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture
In This Interview, Peter Block and I Discuss…
- The Wolf Parable
- His book, An Other Kingdom: Departing the Consumer Culture
- “I shop, therefore I am”
- The 4 pillars of the free market consumer ideology under which we live: Scarcity, Certainty, Perfection, and Privatisation
- If we believe in scarcity, then it’s “I win, You loose” or “You win, I lose”
- The scarcity mindset is a lie
- We are drawn to leaders who give us the feeling of certainty
- “A high control civilization”
- The longing for perfection, or “Is something wrong with me?”
- Privatisation, or the implementation of Scarcity, Certainty, and Perfection
- Privatisation says that you cannot trust the collective
- In order to live the first 3 pillars, it’s me vs the government
- Perhaps, rather than happiness, freedom, and meaning are the point
- The importance of having a purpose
- Have we rendered our youth and the elderly purposeless?
- The problem with consumerism is that no matter how much you have, it’s never enough
- The creation of modernism
- Neighborliness and Covenant
- His book, The Answer to How is Yes
- That questions bring us together and answers alienate us
- That sadness isn’t a problem to be solved, rather, part of being human
- If someone can convince you that something is wrong with you, they have control over you
Peter Block Links
A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed
The Tale of Two Wolves is often attributed to the Cherokee indians but there seems to be no real proof of this. It has also been attributed to evangelical preacher Billy Graham and Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw. It appears no one knows for sure but this does not diminish the power of the parable.
This parable goes by many names including:
The Tale of Two Wolves
The Parable of the Two Wolves
Which Wolf Do You Feed
Which Wolf are You Feeding
Which Wolf Will You Feed
It also often features different animals, mainly two dogs