As 2021 comes to a close, I feel inspired to write about an often forgotten yet critical aspect of our work: Love.
Some of you may be aware that the phenomenal feminist author and activist bell hooks passed away recently. She has written dozens of books, ranging from manifestos on gender, race, and feminism to meditations on love, sexuality and spirituality, to children's books.
One of her more recent books, "All About Love: New Visions" (2018), provides new ways of thinking about love beyond our standard notions of romantic partnerships. In this book, she asserts that there is a place for love in resolving conflicts at the personal, community, and societal levels. From my own PhD research, I have found that this is an underdeveloped area in the behaviour and social change arena (both in theory and practice). I think we could all be a bit more reflective about the reasons why we do the work that we do, and make sure that our processes and programs reflect those reasons. Since there is a strong element of strategic management in behaviour change work, engaging with our "target audiences" (I prefer the term "priority group") as human beings with inherent value, potential and agency is of utmost importance.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and relaxing holiday with your loved ones, and may we all grow in Love in 2022.
"Love is an action, never simply a feeling" -- bell hooks