Leela holds a fascinating conversation with Mina Raver, host of the Forging Fortune podcast and creator of the 2000 Days Project:
“I realized that a lot of the ideas that we have about how to really make change, simply are not made to work.”
Mina Raver is a for-purpose business strategist focused on helping visionaries bring their ideas to the market so they can realize the change they want to see in the world. She’s the founder of TiCIV, inc, an impact business consulting agency, and director of the 2K Days Project, a self-paced incubator for for-purpose and impact entrepreneurs.
When she’s not building companies, you’ll find Mina playing 90’s RPGs with her husband and three children, gardening, or deep in her research.
“That’s what 2000 Days is, we’re going to change the world in 2000 days. In five years, it’s gonna look completely different. And we’re taking control of that.”
Also, check out Leela’s appearance on Forging Fortune!
Leela Sinha 0:01
Hi everyone, and welcome to Power Pivot. Today is one of our bonus episodes, we'll be talking with Mina Raver, who is a fantastic firebrand, brilliant, brilliant thinker, a visionary who actually puts things into action and, and who, who brings to life, the values that she has. And you all know that I'm all about power and ethics and community and values. So that's what we're going to talk about today. And I'm gonna give her the chance to introduce herself rather than me trying to encapsulate her into like three sentences. So without further ado, Mina, please tell us who you are and what you do.
Mina Raver 0:39
Leela, thank you so much for having me on. I'm Mina Raver. I live out in the absolute middle of nowhere in the woods in southwest South Dakota in the Black Hills, with three little Fae babies and three wild dogs and my cat Persephone and my best friend and partner who works at the Crazy Horse Memorial, there's a plug for those guys. And I run a company called Ticiv and have a project a special project that we're doing through that company called the Two Thousand Days Project, which actually came from years, a lifetime of politics, activism and entrepreneurship. For all of that, I realized that a lot of the ideas that we have about how to really make change, simply are not made to work. And so we have the Two Thousand Days project instead. Oh, and most importantly, I'm also an intensive.
Leela Sinha 1:42
Yes, yes, you are, which I love. So thank you so much for that intro. You all are gonna love getting to know Mina. And she has, you know, we got to know each other because there was a Facebook conversation and there was a comment chain underneath that Facebook conversation. And we were kind of like it looked like we were disagreeing. But I was pretty sure we weren't disagreeing. And she was like, Do you want to, you know, get into it. And I was like, let's just have a conversation instead. And so we got on Zoom. And I think we talked for like, what, like two hours?
Mina Raver 2:13
Oh, my gosh, yeah, it was a while.
Leela Sinha 2:14
And then we were like, maybe we should record this. So I was actually on Mina's podcast. Mina has Forging Fortune. And that was an incredible conversation, I had a great time, you should definitely go check that out, I will make sure that the link to that episode goes in the show notes. So you can find it easily. But I do recommend that you listen to all of the episodes, not just the one I'm in. And go ahead and follow that project because it's a good way to get to know more people. You know, one of the things that I'm doing here is I'm trying to build connections between people so that rather than one person at the hub, and all these other people connected to that one person who is me, I want everyone connected to everyone in you know when it's useful when it's appropriate when it's a good match. And so I'm running around making connections between everyone that I can everywhere, and that includes promoting people's podcasts. So I'm so delighted that you're here, will you give us a little bit more about like who you are, where you are, like, you are not the kind of person that I would have expected to live out in the middle of nowhere. But you do?
Mina Raver 3:18
I do. And that's really just because I need a lot of space and a lot of quiet. Between... Well, first of all, I'm synesthetic. And my synesthesia is tied primarily to scent. And so one of the reasons I have a really difficult time living in cities is because with synesthesia tied primarily to scent, but also to sound, sometimes rapid changes in those things, kind of conflicts with the with my PTSD, and I can have panic attacks. So living out in the middle of nowhere is a really great way to and I have found has been a really wonderful way to regulate. And so I can go and I can visit the cities as much as I want. But when I visit the cities, I'm always at my best.
Leela Sinha 4:09
Yeah. And then you can kind of crawl back into the quiet places where the lights actually go out at night. i Right now, a lot of you folks know that I'm living in Berkeley, and there's a lot that I like about living in Berkeley, but one of the things that I absolutely detest is the amount of street lighting we have at night. I want the lights to go out when the lights are supposed to go out if I'm awake at night, it should be because it's a full moon.
Mina Raver 4:35
Yeah, I know I can't sleep during full moons either. But it's a great time to think it makes it makes a huge difference. So my background I came from the kind of poverty that people don't realize still exists in the United States. And being the only mixed child in my family and the oldest. I was in a lot of dangerous situations really very early. I got sick of being hungry around nine or 10 years old. And that's when I started my first business. And single handedly moved my family, you know, out of the projects and into a real apartment for the first time in my life. But during the years of trial, after my mother left, and my dad got sick, I had to work in some really dangerous places. Like, I did a lot of migrant work, I would, I would go to people's homes to clean their homes. And so, after years and years and years of really buffering, the dangers for my brother and sisters who still don't realize that we were poor because of my work. Once those things settled down, and I, you know, started living a peaceful life, that's when things really started to come up, I started having blackouts, I couldn't sleep, I went through years of trauma therapy, and that kind that kind of redevelopment on top of the various neuro divergences that I am blessed with means that I need a lot of space to regulate in order to do what I love most which is analyze.
Leela Sinha 6:11
Tell us more about this analyzing?
Mina Raver 6:13
well, I love systems, I love how things are tied together. And I love to apply what I see in nature, or in physics or wherever else to how we function. ultimately, the things that we create, look like how we are. And that's because each of us is kind of our own. Each of us is our own world. And what I mean by that is yes, we have our inner world, but also there is an actual physical representation of billions of years of almost social contracts between various living organisms that have worked together to make us function as a whole system. There are many, many things that have come together to make us what we are, that secrete the same neuro chemicals, or secrete, you know, they, they communicate with us, and with each other within the greater whole of our bodies. So when, when I say I love to look at systems, and I love to analyze, it is one, because my life's mission is to help us reach our our peak to help us reach our full potential as individuals, but also as a species. And in order to do either, we have to be able to analyze, break down and rebuild systems that nurture bringing the best out of us at any given time. And we have to also know what that is, or we won't know what to build.
Leela Sinha 7:56
So how do we do that coming out of out of, you know, not really out of out of but but as we are mid pandemic, and we're all dealing with that level of strain and stress on top of whatever else we already brought. Because, you know, your story is unfortunately not particularly unique in the world right now. And and so how do we teach ourselves what being like in nourishing interconnection with our environment feels like?
Mina Raver 8:34
whew, this is such a fun question, because of how I kind of gotten on the right path with it. So the pandemic hit, actually in the middle of collecting signatures for my congressional run. And
Leela Sinha 8:51
okay, then you can tell it, let's, let's talk about that, too, because that's a fascinating part of your story.
Mina Raver 8:56
Sure, I did. I ran for Congress, I just, I believe so wholly, in our potential and what we deserve that I thought that one of the ways to, to achieve that or to achieve the systemic changes that we need, was to participate in politics. And I said that I started my first business at 10 years old. Well, at the same time that I was going door to door asking people to let me mow their lawns. I was also encouraging them to go out and vote. I was also carrying voter registration forms because I was too young. Right? I absolutely lived on C-Span and Lucky Charms at that point. And pickles and pickles with chili powder.
Leela Sinha 9:44
Okay, I have this image of you. Sitting in front of a TV on the floor cross legged the way we did in those days.
Mina Raver 9:52
Leela Sinha 9:52
with your bowl of Lucky Charms and your spoon like rapt.
Mina Raver 9:56m rally, held by Van Jones in:Leela Sinha:
Of course he did. Oh, are you volunteering? This is excellent.Mina Raver:
Yeah, I had no idea. And that was that was a legislative run. And I lost. There's no, no. A Democrat hasn't run in this or hasn't won in this district since FDR. And so later on, I ran for Congress, and it was the same deal.Leela Sinha:
But we don't have we don't have a political system if we just go, oh, well, we can't win. And we stop talking. Because even if you're out there knowing you can't win and talking and talking and talking. Or if you're out there, like maybe we could win and talking and talking. You're You're broadening the conversation, you're widening the Overton Window, you're changing what people are, you know, you can change the conversation just by bringing something up, because so many times people aren't even thinking that probably or they're stuck in that rut of like, oh, we can't do that. Nobody will like that the funders won't, you know, depending on your context, right? The funders won't like that the red people won't like it, like whatever it is like, like,Mina Raver:
We have to talk about it. We can't just not talk about it, because somebody said they didn't like it was that's not gonna get us anywhere.Mina Raver:
Right. Exactly. And that was what I thought when I went ahead and took on this run for legislature, but when I ran for Congress, it was a little bit different because now I'm not just dealing with my state right now. I'm not just dealing with my neighbors. Now I'm talking to people who are you know, funding the presidential campaigns, right. I talked to Kamala Harris's. Her her finance person and I just I talked to all of these people, challenged ____ _____ to a push up Contest, which I'm still going to cash in on. But the thing with this is, is when you get to that point, you realize you really realize that our system isn't actually developed for ideas. ideas won't get you anything. Your job when you run for office, especially at that level is to sit at a desk 40 to 60 hours a week and call people and ask for money. And now when you call people and ask for money, what you learn is that every single one, one of them expects you to say something. And every single one of them wants you to say something different. And when I realized that this wasn't it, because I didn't actually have an interest in running for politics. I didn't wake up one day and say, Hey, I'm going to run for Congress. No, I got letters, hundreds of letters of people asking me, would you please do this? And so I did. And it's just not what you think. It's not about ideas. It's not about people. It's not about what we can do. It's about whether or not... so there's a correlation in tokenism. And with my background in gifted and talented and and being a mixed race, black woman, one thing I have always been invited to, is to be a token. But when you're called to a table that has typically excluded you, usually it's because you and the people you represent are on the menu. And so I was used to being called to, hey, we have this thing, we need you to go to people who trust you because of how you look and how you sound and tell them to get on board with this thing. And more than anything, I realized that that's what politics is. As much representation as we have in politics right now. what it costs to get into a place of power within politics means that, yeah, we need the representation. Yes, we need young people to look up and see, oh, my gosh, there's an indigenous woman I can run for my nation or, you know, black children seeing Oh, my gosh, yes, there are people who look like me sound like me, came from where I came from, who can do these things. Now that barrier is lost, and we need to have conversations about how we now need to hear different things.Leela Sinha:
Right? Right, we need to emerge from the tokenism era into into actual representation.Mina Raver:with it, what I did with the:Leela Sinha:
Small business as protests, I love that.Mina Raver:
really is because we can build alternative systems. And the power of building alternative systems is this. When we take our protests to our leaders, as they were, they can argue our needs on the basis of theory, they can argue our ideas on the basis of theory. And so what we ask for keeps dying on the floors of governments as the sacrifices to disingenuous debate. And even historians believe that the difference between a movement that succeeds and one that fails is violence. And that simply isn't true. If you want to pinpoint one, one bit of evidence, just the adoption of capitalism was pushed through violence many, many times before it actually took off. So the difference between a movement that succeeds and one that fails is not violence. It's whether or not there's a popular alternative. And what can we do on the market that we can't do through protest? Or through government? We can... exactly we can build, test, optimize, prove and popularize our alternatives, and slide them right in as the others fail, because they consistently do.Leela Sinha:
And the beautiful thing about doing this in a context of business and entrepreneurship, is that the startup world is absolutely chock full. Absolutely, like riddled with stories of we've always done it this way. And then the disrupter comes along, right. It's one of the few environments where disruption and intensiveness are glorified, if you can, right. People are like, oh, you can't possibly put a camera in a telephone. Tell that to Samsung with their, like 16, phones and iPhone with their billboards. I don't know if you all have this out there. But here in the Bay Area, we have billboards that say at the bottom shot on an iPhone, because what they want to show you is how many data points are being captured. And the only way to do that is to blow it up to the literal size of a billboard, and then hang it over the highway and be like, look at is. Yeah, I don't even know how big a billboard is like, you know, hundreds of feet wide. I don't know. It's huge. They're huge. And they've got the original. It's the original image. They haven't enhanced it. It's just there. Yeah. That's their whole head. Here. We took this picture. Everybody said it couldn't be done.Mina Raver:
Exactly. And so that's one thing I run up against on a regular basis now, right? Because I can't change everything. What what I have done? Hmm,Leela Sinha:
I said, Damn it.Mina Raver:tle part. And that's what the:Leela Sinha:
And that's so needed. And I'm going to tie this back into the question that I asked before we got off on politics because human systems, human body systems, human internal systems, need some measure of predictability in order to feel safe. And so what you're doing in part is creating safety around change. Yeah, which is this desperately needed and very difficult thing to do. Most of the time, I will tell you, I'm an intensive my audience should that by now and and as an intensive I walked into system after system after system and I and I know I know without thinking about it, where to push so the whole system moves. I was saying to somebody last night, I create change in pretty much everybody that I spend a significant amount of time with because I generate in them longing for what would be better.Mina Raver:ry, very quickly, that's what:Leela Sinha:
But once it feels better, it's very hard to reject.Mina Raver:
And impossible, but it's hard.Mina Raver:
Exactly.Leela Sinha:You've mentioned the:Mina Raver:been fixed or closed yet. The:Leela Sinha:
That's amazing.Mina Raver:
right? It's just a matter of looking at things and being able to break down systems. And that's what I do. So doing this singularly wasn't enough for me. intensive. So I startedLeela Sinha:
I'm shocked.Mina Raver:I know, right? I started the:Leela Sinha:
You want to do more? Are you sure?Mina Raver:make it. Right. Right. So the:Leela Sinha:
Don't watch Elon Musk's Twitter,Mina Raver:
just get the transcript.Leela Sinha:
I mean, I think that I think that a lot of people are like, I don't read the economist. I don't watch. I don't read Forbes, I don't. And I'm like, but you need to, though you don't have to read all of it. Because you need to fill your brain with other things. But, you know, I just dropped my subscription to The Economist, because I didn't want to pay for it this year. But, but I do i i literally keep up to date with what folks just not focusing on the extreme, not so much Elon Musk, but like folks who are who seem almost reasonable. If they seem almost reasonable. I want to know what they're saying. Because that's the slippery slopes zone, to me, is what it seems like, maybe, but it's also slippery, my way. It's a flat, plain slippery. And I can slippery it this way. If I know the conversation that's happening if I know itsMina Raver:s inside of a group, like the:Leela Sinha:
It puts us back in that room. Exactly. We can't do that. Exactly.Mina Raver:So the:Leela Sinha:
So who is in? Who is who is they? Who was we? Is everyone a business owner?Mina Raver:
Yes, right now we're right now we're all small business owners, because these are the people building systems. But a lot of I mean, almost all of my small business owners are protesters, they're activists, that's what their companies do.Leela Sinha:
So they're doing things like desegregating classrooms that are designed for neurotypical children, right. They're doing things like outfitting disparate populations with their own health care, so they don't have to rely on Western aid. And that's going to grow into government's not being as easily exploited. There are people who are changing what branding sounds like who are radicalizing content creation, right? Just anybody who has an idea about how things should be to promote well being there, they're in their early educators, there are some early educators in there as well.Leela Sinha:
I bet there are really education, a lot of it is kind of a mess.Mina Raver:. And so you are ripe for the:Leela Sinha:
And what kind of training are you giving people like how are you supporting them and changing the world? Because they're all doing different projects? Right?Mina Raver:
Exactly. Yes, they're all doing different projects. But the process of building an impact business, or a systemic alternative business is the same. And that's what I actually learned in my research after my campaign, when I really fell back and really had to figure out how, who am I? And why am I so serious about getting this done? Because if I'm so deeply moved to do this, then surely it must be done. And I found that every system that has been built, the process for building and implementing these systems has gotten tighter and tighter over decades or centuries, really. And there are six steps to this process. Where number one is an idea An idea is locus to you. It's fun and exciting. But you can't rally people around an idea. So you hone it into a vision. And when you turn your idea into a vision, you create something on the basis of the experiences of, say, your allies, and your potential sympathizers, which when you turn this into a business, your sympathizers become your audience and your customers. As your allies and your customers come in, you together, start building a system. And remember I said a system is just a process for producing the product of your vision on a predictable basis. How do we have so many inner city kids that are going straight into the prison industrial complex anywhere from third grade to 12th grade?Leela Sinha:
We have a system designed to do thatMina Raver:a greater structure, like the:Leela Sinha:
So we've got idea, vision, system growth, oneMina Raver:
structure after system,Leela Sinha:
system structure growth, one growth two. Is that all six?Mina Raver:
that's all six, and then you have yourself a systemic alternative.Leela Sinha:
That's brilliant. And what do we do? Because I think we are running into this more and more, what do we do? When we get to that point, where we have data, proof of concept, it's all built, it's right there, it's working. And the leaders become willing to say out loud that they don't want a better outcome.Mina Raver:
Well, then now we're having another conversation right. So on the other side of that is the the self policing hierarchies. self policing hierarchies are the socio cultural stratification of mostly working class and middle class people that are developed to keep small portions of the population policing other portions of the population. What purpose does patriarchy serve? Patriarchy puts a sentry in every home, it puts a sentry in every home. Now, if you have women and children who have a mind for change, their policed by an empowered male figure, whose social emotional needs are systematically through toxic masculinity systematically denied to him by his beliefs about what a man should be. and meticulously though barely satisfied by his place on the social hierarchy as a man. Racism follows the same structure. classism follows the same structure. So why developing these systemically developing these systemic alternatives really does is puts us in a position where we're having social debates where we're having public debates, and people are exposing themselves as wanting or not wanting. on the on the basis of of we'll not go into abortion but health care, say public health care, right? universal health care,Leela Sinha:
You either want people to live or you don't.Mina Raver:
Exactly. And right now we can disguise that conversation still behind bullshit about cost and, and all of these other exactly all of these other things, which we all know are disingenuous,Leela Sinha:
y'all can't see me but I'm rolling my eyes so hard, they're gonna fall out of my head.Mina Raver:
But it's all disingenuous. When we create these models, though, and we put them out there now people have to start saying I just don't want that. And we've seen that actually happen, we've seen that become very prevalent in the discussion around immigration, where it used to be all these immigrants are stealing our jobs. And we need those jobs. Exactly, exactly. And so now they're having to be very, very open about I just don't want those people in my neighborhood,Leela Sinha:
or in my country, or I don't want to support them. Or why should my tax dollars support somebody with brown skin is really what it's coming down to a lot of times,Mina Raver:
exactly. And so while they're more vocal about their prejudice, there's also been a shift in support in favor of immigration, and loosening immigration laws. So some people are going to dig their heels in, they're going to be very, very open, because they have nothing to hide behind anymore. But many, many more are going to move into another place. And we're going to start seeing new leaders rise from that.Leela Sinha:
So my parents are in their 80s. And I would never have expected to be saying this out loud, like 30 years ago, I just wouldn't have believed it. But they are very, very right of center. Democrats, like they didn't start out that way. But their fear. I don't think they actually want this much right of centeredness. I really don't. But I was talking to my mom, I don't know, six months a year ago, her fear about what is possible, is driving her to vote for people who do not really want what she wants. They want something more conservative than what she wants.Mina Raver:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's again, why,Leela Sinha:
how do we how do we support people in moving out of that fear place enough to change, enough to change?Mina Raver:
we can't rely on them, I'm sorry to say we can't rely on them. But we do have a responsibility to make them comfortable. And part of that is not bothering them with it. The models for if you look at the law of diffusion of innovation, this was used by Simon Sinek to show you know how to permeate the market. The thing with that is, you know, you've got your 10 15% of or 2% is innovators. The next 10% is early adopters. The next 35% is I call them crowd surfers. Once those early adopters are in the crowd surfers are like hey, that's where the cool kids are hanging out, I'm going to tie my identity to being part of that crowd. And then you have the next 35% who just come on because you know, everybody's doing it. And that's what's most available. And then the last people who will move over when there's, you know, no, absolutely no other option,Leela Sinha:
when their hardware will not run the old software anymore. The new software anymore, they will finally buy new hardware.Mina Raver:
Exactly. And so when I think about this, and I apply it to politics, because it is because it's still about ideas, what we see is that we have, you know, us, the innovators, the demanders, the fixers, and then you have the people who have been advocating for change, but they haven't known what to do, and they're going to be the first ones to come on. And then you have the next 70% that really could go either way on any issue. And you know, you know these people because they'll say to you and like it's really important for them to say to you. I don't think either extreme is okay. But I lean this way. Right and it'll be liberal or conservative, but they really want you to know that they don't want those extremes. And that's about power. That's about not wanting to get into an argument that's about not really trusting, and really just wanting to get along through life without having to deal with politics. And on both sides of that line,Leela Sinha:
those are the expansives.Mina Raver:
On both sides of that line, you can move them into an alternative, because the decision around their alternative is really whether or not there's already enough strength there. Because they don't want to be in a position where they're stuck having to defend. They'll move it, they'll do the work, they'll go door to door, they'll come sign petitions on either side of that. They'll post stuff on social media, but they do not want to be at the forefront. And that is okay.Leela Sinha:
Yeah, not a you know, they're and even, even intensives, like some people are cut out for like, frontline confrontation, and some people aren't. And you know, the thing, the thing at the heart of a lot of the work that I do is, is Let's not ask people who aren't good at the thing to do the thing,Mina Raver:
right. That's it.Leela Sinha:
whether it's make eye contact, or keep their desk organized, or go door to door or speak on a stage. Like if if somebody wants to do something like when I went to seminary, right, I wanted to be able to preach. And so I had to go a very long way from I'm scared to talk in front of more than three people to get to, I'm willing to stand on a chancel in a robe and say things that I made up by myself for 20 minutes.Mina Raver:
But that was because I had an internal motivation to do that. Right, I wanted to do that. Nobody was making me become a preacher. And in fact, there are pieces of parish ministry that were not a fit. And that's part of why I don't work in parishes in that way anymore. Now I do consulting and coaching and preaching. And part of the reason that I'm successful in that is because I'm not asking myself to do things that I'm not really good at. Every time I try to do things I'm not really good at there's a problem, right? So asking people not to be, you know, giving people the opportunity to not be on the front line, if they don't want to be on the front line. But still to do something still to have an impact still be part of a movement is vitally important.Mina Raver:
Absolutely. And then on the flip side of that, you can also predict the behavior, right, we see a lot of people who you wouldn't expect to be, you know, right of center, who are moving or left of center who are moving one way or another. And you can quickly find why the instant you look at where they spend their time, a lot of a lot of elders elderly will move right of center. Because the right has typically represented people of means people of means have had better access to health care, they've had easier jobs they've had old, so they live longer. And they take their ideas with them. And then as you get older, of course, you cling to things that you remember. Otherwise, you're just disoriented, you're completely unhinged, in a society you don't recognize, especially with as quickly as things move now. And so it makes sense, for elders to be one; uncomfortable with change, two; cling together, regardless of who's leading the path. And three; to look for who is strongest, that's human behavior, it's perfectly natural. And so if we really want change, we have to one be sympathetic to that and then move on and actually create alternatives. That is the power of an alternative, versus a debate versus a theory versus, you know, expectations, build places for them to go instead and still feel safe.Leela Sinha:
Right, I think I think that's the key right there is that if we create an experience, a lived experience of comfort, that comes out of a different system. Or, or or even a nascent different system, even the buds of a different system. Right? It doesn't have to be a whole, you know, national level government implement implemented system. I mean, that's part of why, for all the challenges, I know, California is not perfect at all. But one of the things I love about being here is we have enough of an economy to be a pilot project. Yeah. And so every time I see California take a step towards something that I would like us to be doing at a national level. I cheer because we are this like microcosm proof of concept with what I don't know the sixth largest economy in the world or something. Yeah. And so, so. So the people who are here are having a lived experience of comfort that comes out of something different. And when we can give our elders that experience of comfort, that experience of being helped that experience of safety out of Have something other than what they think is the only way because it's the way it's always been done. Then the transition is easy.Mina Raver:
it's a level, it's a level step. It's not a step up.Mina Raver:
And here's the other thing that we are just going to have to be okay with is that transition is silent. It's silent.Leela Sinha:
I don't need them to say I'm right, I just need them to let us do it.Mina Raver:
Exactly. One of the groups of people that I have been studying for a very long time are people in the center, who are making a decision about which side to go to. So we have some very fine propagandists. on the conservative side, whether they're calling themselves liberal or conservative or not, we have some very fine propagandists who advocate for corporatist conservatism. And right now, it's wonderful because we have places like YouTube, where I can go and I can peruse the comments. And I can gather study groups out of the comments of these things, and track them and watch them in other places. And you'll see that one of the things that, that people on the fringes of a decision do regularly and a lot of these, believe it or not, are white men in their 40s and 50s. Is they'll take what they're hearing and one of the entry points for conservativism is, well, what's the alternative? And so they'll take that this is just one example. They'll take that what's the alternative? And when they're at, you know, Thanksgiving dinner or whatever else, they will target whomever they feel is the weakest. And ask them that question. You've got 14 year old Susie, who says that, hey, trans people should be able to use whatever the hell bathroom they feel is safe. And, you know, here's, you know, Old Joe, who just got through listening to one of our, you know, famed world, world acclaimed propagandists who's like, well, you know, what happens when this happens? And this happens, and this happens. And 14 year old, Suzy or whatever I named her doesn't have answers, because she's fucking 14. And he'll go back to the comment section and go, Yeah, well, I sure showed her. You're absolutely right. They don't know what the alternatives are, they don't know. And they start moving deeper and deeper, one, one, and they're isolating themselves from family and friends and in the relationships that every human being needs. So social isolation, is one of the most important tools in developing self policing hierarchies in our society. And they move deeper and deeper into these new communities, where nobody's really giving each other really good feedback or anything, but they're all angry together. And that's the closest thing they're getting to relationships. In order to undo this alternatives had to be have to be make. And one reason that people like you and I are so fucking terrifying to these people. Is because dude, which alternative would you like to hear about? Which option would you like to hear about?Leela Sinha:
Right? I have ideas all day long. You got problems? I got answers.Mina Raver:
Exactly. Exactly, including to your social isolation. So we are terrifying, because we're evidenced that Suzy is going to grow up. Susie is going to figure it out. And Susie is going to write the fucking laws. And Susie is going to organize the communities. And you're not safe anymore. But if youLeela Sinha:
And the louder
people like you and I are the more Susie at 14 can find usMina Raver:
where Suzy at 14 has mentors and people to look up to and doesn't have to feel isolated, even if that means that she doesn't actually plug into anybody in her family of origin. Because they're all going that same direction together. And as soon as you have the option of chosen family, you destabilize so much of the structure that you're talking about that kind of holds us in rictus.Mina Raver:
You're absolutely right, making sure that Susie has a place is vital. But what do we do with Old Joe? As we start making these shifts, as we start getting louder as we start commanding messaging density, and they're confronted with the fact that yeah, there are real alternatives and your people lie to you to get you where you are.Leela Sinha:
From my background. I say he needs pastoral care. He needs he needs somebody to sit with him and be like, yeah, that's pretty scary, but you're gonna be okay. He needs community built up for people who are like him who are going I don't really like where this is going, but I don't know where else to go. He needs it. He needs a community and he needs support services, and it's gonna feel weird to him unless he feels like those are spaces of power.Mina Raver:
Exactly. And that the people who are developing these ideas and administering this care are strong, because ultimately, Old Joe's fucking terrified. He's terrified. All he ever actually wanted during that decision making process is to figure out where he could go to be safe. Where are the toughest people at? Where am I most likely to be okay? And when he asked Susie for an alternative, he realized that those were the weak ones or so he thought. And these propagandists are very beautifully set up to, to really stick that idea to him. And so we ended up over here, but he's miserable. He's socially isolated. Not only is cousin Susie not talking to him, but neither are his fucking kids. He's probably divorced right? He's socially isolated and needs more. And as he starts making the transition into a new place, or becomes alternative-curious, that's a silent endeavor, he's not going to sit there in front of his community and go, well, actually, I just heard about this alternative when I was thinking, maybe it's never gonna happen. And when he comes into theseLeela Sinha:
no, because that community is so violent about alternatives.Mina Raver:
Exactly. And when he comes into an alternative, the first thing that he's going to do is run his damn mouth. Right. And in for two reasons, one, looking for proof. This isn't tolerant, y'all aren't actually tolerant, I'm safer over there, I was never wrong. And two, to see if there actually are alternatives. And once that checkpoint has made, whether he goes back or comes here, everything else he does is going to be silent, until it gets far enough into it, that he's embedded enough into it that he's safe. And then he'll start shit with his old people, or they'll come start shit with him. But when I say that the revolution is going to be silent. That's what I mean. It's going to be those people reintegrating into their personal societies. It's going to be those people calling up their exes and going I'm so sorry. Calling up their kids and going Can I try again? It's not going to be "you're damn right abortion is health care." It's going to be "Hey, Jane, I left when you were 12. I'm so sorry. Tell me everything. Also, I'm glad you made your transition." You know, it's that's what that's what it's going to look like. We'll only see the shiftsLeela Sinha:
And those people who are making those changes are on tiktok. They're on tiktok. Tiktok, with their extremely astute algorithm and massive data collection about what you watch and what you skip. Those people are on tick tock, those redemption narratives, From my perspective, redemption narratives are on tick tock. And so I think that we have to be conscious of what the various platforms are, are teaching us about what's possible?Mina Raver:
Yep, absolutely.Leela Sinha:
Because I know tick tock has a bunch of security problems. I'm not arguing necessarily in favor of Tiktok broadly, but but being aware of how it what it feeds us is different from what Facebook feeds us is different from what Twitter feeds us is different. Because we, especially we who perceive ourselves as marginalized, or underdogs, or who are starting out from a position of having to think consciously about accruing power, rather than just having it handed to us. We need to be thinking about which narratives, we are feeding ourselves what stories we are telling each other, are we telling the story of Uncle Joe, who one day late at night, half drunk, ran across a YouTube that made him think differently? And then he started to do his own research and discovered that the YouTube was like a gateway to a whole bunch more information. And then he suddenly ended up going, Oh, maybe? Like, are we telling that story? Is he out there telling that story? He's out there on tiktok? But who else is telling the story? Right? How are we spreading those stories among ourselves so that we have not just a map? Not just proof of concept, but also hope?Mina Raver:
Right? And this is a story of the history of messaging and power.Leela Sinha:
Yes. And like it's like the pamphlet wars from the 18th century, right? Somebody got their hands on like their own printing press and then it was trouble. YouTube Tiktok social media are all versions of that. Now, there's, you know, very there varying amounts of control over who gets "published" in quotes, who gets published and and how that publication is edited before it goes public, and who reads it, or who watches it or who listens to it? And in some ways that makes this a very generative era and in other ways It means that we, if we want to continue to move forward, we have to control our own narratives to some extent, we have to control our own narrative environments.Mina Raver:
And when in doubt, just remember that possible is a limiting belief. We, I mean, the self help arena is absolutely replete with half truths about, you know, co creation and manifestation and all of these things. But the fact of the matter is, we have the power to contribute components to any reaction in the cause and effect equation. And if you do that consistently, and if you build systems to do that consistently, you will eventually and probably not very long change the ultimate effect. That simple co create manifest to your heart's desire in the process of contributing your components to the massive component of what already is, and changing the outcome. Cause and effect.Leela Sinha:
Anybody who's ever done chemistry knows what happens when you add an unexpected, unexpected element to a known reaction. Anything's possible.Mina Raver:
Exactly, exactly. Because the laws of our peers all came from the same wavelength, they all came from the same limited components that you have, in your brain, the physical and chemical representations of an idea.Leela Sinha:
I have this image of like, so when I was a kid, my mom was absolutely committed to developing my creative imagination, which meant that I had no representational toys, nothing that looked like anything. When it came into the house. I had Bristle Blocks, I had Legos, I had tinker toys. But Legos didn't come in kits at that time. They were just like, colored blocks that you could stick together. You couldn't the kit that I had was a little box, and you couldn't even build the house that was on the cover with the stuff in the box.Mina Raver:
Oh, no.Leela Sinha:
So it was my mom was was really devoted to this idea that everything that I did, everything that I created would have come out of my imagination, or out of my life experience, rather than coming out of somebody else's imagination, there were no dolls. I mean, I had some stuffed animals that were given to me as a as a young young kid, but I didn't really have dolls, I didn't have absolutely no Barbies. Like, it was very, very it's almost idealistic, you know, like this, this idea that we're gonna, we're gonna create an environment that fosters fosters, you know, new neurons and your new thoughts. And well, she did it. For better, for worse she did. But, you know, I have this image of all of us being given similar, not identical, but similar sets of completely nondescript, like, we got the threes and the twos and the ones, and like a flat thing to stick them on. And some of us have more, some of us have fewer, some of us have more range of colors, others have fewer ranges of colors. But that's basically we all the inside of our brains all look like that. And what are we going to build? Are we going to look at each other's work and like, try and build with each other? Or building? Are we going to just sit there and stare at the sky and try and make a cloud? Because that's what we're looking at it? Like, what's going to happen? What's the input? And then what's the output?Mina Raver:
I think we really get to decide. And there are mediums for expressing a wide range of experimentation, right? We have the arts, we have literature, we have so many opportunities to express, however we want that relationship to feel. But when it comes to building the systems that will choreograph our lives. It really needs to come from relationships, and a commitment to fostering the most content and even basis for those relationships.Leela Sinha:
I absolutely love that. And that was a perfect segue into my next and last question, which is, what is the world you're dreaming of? What is the world you're aiming for? If you're wildly successful, what does that look like?Mina Raver:
a socially, actualized world. the work that I do is actually fed by the work that's already being done by people who are racing for space. Since the very first moments that we came out of our caves and our canopies immediately, we started searching the stars. We've always known that we're going to space but right now, as as it's happening, it's unfolding before our very eyes. Our latent potential to become a spacefaring civilization. But everyone's focused on the mechanics of it. And society is a technology. It is the technology that first gave us the stability to even cast our imaginations into space. I'm dreaming of a world that is so socially stable, that nurtures so much of our individual self actualization journey, that we can catch anyone who falls through the cracks, that there's infinite opportunity for individuals to express their individuality, for ecologies to express their fluctuations and flows. Because the societies and the systems that we've built are so stable, that nobody gets left behind. I know that that is the kind of stability, the kind of foundation that whoever makes it into space is going to need, I want us to go and find new worlds because we're curious, not because we're desperate.Leela Sinha:
I'm Just like taking that in. What would it feel like to my nervous system to know that we had that kind of the stability I'm envisioning is like a, like prairie grasses, right? It's not that they stay stiff in the wind. It's not that they stand upright under three feet of snow. It's that they harbor an entire civilization in their roots underground, and that they bend and flow and stand and fall over and stand again. And that's how they're sustainable. And that's how they're healthy. I was reading an article about one of the major earthquakes that happened, I think, about 10 years ago on the South Asian subcontinent. And this one guy, people were like, interviewing him because he lived through it. Well, he lived through it because he was with his school, and they were out on a field, away from all the buildings sitting on the ground. There were no trees, there were no buildings. So his whole class was just fine. Because it was I forget some major events, holiday thing. And they were all watching a presentation sitting on the ground. Nothing was there to follow for nothing was there to crash, nothing was there to crumble? How can we make a society that feels like that? Oh, yeah, there was an earthquake. That happens.Mina Raver:
Yeah. So we systemize the product of the vision. We know that our education systems worldwide are producing mental illness. We can just stop doing that. We know that many of the institutions that we have in place, re traumatize people who are seeking services, people who are should be rehabilitated for crimes but are actually being re traumatized over and over to the point where many of them cannot reenter society, we can just stop doing that. We know that the systems we have in place right now are, are antisocial in their product. And a lot of that gets chalked up to the human condition. But the human condition is contentment. Our bodies are physically and chemically built to try to reach homeostasis. Fear is outside of that. Anger is outside of that all of these heightened senses are outside of that homeostasis. So with the systems that we are creating, are knocking us consistently outside of homeostasis, then we can't say that, that anger or fighting or whatever else is the human condition, we really have to start looking at the systems in place and restructure them to produce more humanitarian outcomes. Now, the world is not going to be completely devoid of trouble. It's never going to be there's never not going to be a breakup. There's never not going to be a fight. It's whether or not the system is producing the conditions for that. It's whether or not we have institutions in place to make it possible for people to re attain homeostasis right now. We don't. Right now with a consistent retraumatization people were producing stereotypes and then marketing those stereotypes toward other people who are supposed to maintain their place on a self policing hierarchy. It's not that individual lives will be without trouble and things to make us stronger It's that the systems in place will make it safe to heal from those events, make it possible to heal from those events and consistently produce people who are better for themLeela Sinha:
and make those events less damaging. Yeah, when we give people really good communication tools, we end up building bonds instead of breaking relationship. And the more of that that's out there, you know, yes, breakups will always be challenging, but they don't have to be as damaging as they are.Mina Raver:
So you have said, so many so many brilliant things today. I've got a couple of things that I wrote down, that I definitely want to hang on to and chew on for longer. If, if you want to leave our listeners with one, one takeaway one like thing that you want them to turn off this podcast and go chew on and be like, I can't listen to another podcast right now. Because I just need to digest this for a minute. What would that be?Mina Raver:
Oh, my change makers. Don't fight. You do not have to fight for change. Fighting is high manifestation energy. And when we're fighting, all we will attract is more fighting. Sit back, find your contentment and build from that place. Find your contentment and build from that place. And you will find that you will attract more people who want what you're building. And you will repel people who are afraid that you won't fight with them. Fighting is a distraction and distraction is the only failure.Leela Sinha:
Thank you. So if people want to find more of you, on your podcast and your website, wherever else you'd like them to find you. Where should they look?Mina Raver:v.com. Or you can look up the:Leela Sinha:
Thank you so much. This has been such a delight. Folks, this has been Mina Raver, she is all kinds of brilliant if you somehow ended up tuning in in the middle if you hit like hit the button and ended up confused about where you weren't go back and listen to this whole episode because every drop of it is fantastic. I will make sure that all those links get in the show notes and if Mina has anything else that she wants to make sure that you get that will also go in the show notes. We do produce this podcast with a full transcript. So if you need to read it, if you want to go back and highlight it, you'll be able to find the transcript on the site along with the recording of the episode itself. Thank you so much for tuning in. It's been a pleasure. Talk to you soon.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai