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Making the implicit explicit

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I’ve been reading “The Whole-Brain Child” lately as Owen rages through toddlerhood. One concept it talks about is implicit and explicit memory. Explicit memory is made up of events that we can easily recall and re-experience. Implicit memory is made up of events that we are storing and reacting to unconsciously, that are hidden from us.

So much of personal growth is working to make implicit memories explicit. We revisit past repressed traumas so they don’t act on us unconsciously anymore. 

But social change work is often the same. It’s often about making social traumas that have been ignored by wide swaths of us explicit, whether it’s our history of racism, homophobia, patriarchy, or environmental destruction. Only when we acknowledge and understand these social traumas can we truly reckon with, integrate, and address them.

What social traumas of ours have still not been made fully explicit in our collective conscience?

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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