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exploring human nature: part 2

By January 12, 2017transformational, WEL
warriors for embodied liberation (WEL) is an apprenticeship program developed and lead by universal partnership's principle, rusia mohiuddin. WEL is a 2-year training program in which the students learn and practice the core methodologies for embodied training and coaching. as a part of their studies, students explore, learn, and develop pieces on their understanding of many things related to change work. one of the first points of entry, into understand the work UP does, is human nature. what is human behavior and how does change happen? this is a five-part series. each piece has an accompanying audio file for those who prefer to listen to each article on their way to or from work. a playlist will be included at the end of part five.

how does change happen in the context of human nature?

by elena conte

Human nature tends toward suffering because of the illusion of a separate self. This takes on many different forms in small and large ways.  At the same time, the tendency toward suffering is the layer that interferes with us accessing the perfect, inherent goodness of every person. So, human nature is also perfect, inherent goodness.

Change is the process of waking up to that inherent goodness through compassion for “self” and “other” and manifesting it in community and in harmony with nature — experiencing that we are not really separate, but completely interdependent.

Change comes from within, and through the way that we are transformed and transform others in the power of relationships.  As we strengthen our ability to know and love ourselves, our ability to love and know others is enhanced, and from there collaborations are built that form communities, organize ourselves, and create institutions that support the values of justice we want to see in the world.

There are counter forces that are deliberate, and rooted in the deep, unexamined and unhealed suffering of the perpetuators of violence, greed, de-humanization of the “other”, environmental degradation, etc. There are parts of all people that have the ability – and inclination – to cause harm to others. There are lots of ways, personal and political, to wake people up and interrupt those processes.  Reconnecting with one’s humanity and helping others to do the same are at the heart of the “waking up” process.


elena conte

Author elena conte

A lifelong New Yorker, Elena has been working at and to support community-based organizations in collaborative advocacy campaigns that link local organizing, urban planning technical assistance, and policy change since 2003. With experience as a coalition organizer, facilitator, and planner, Elena works with organizations based in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods to advance equitable land use, accountable development, environmental justice, and transportation equity. Her enthusiasm for coaching and facilitation springs from a passion for working alongside people creating their own pathways toward healing and liberation.

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