Beware ‘fight drama’


There seems to be a lot of drama in city life. There’s the kind that fills our theatres and tells us wonderful stories about ourselves, helps us see ourselves. This kind of drama spreads insight, reveals our culture, challenges priorities, questions assumptions and can simply entertain.

There’s another kind of drama that shields us from insight and awareness. I call it ‘fight drama’.

There are times, in danger, when we need to put up a fight. When a flood threatens our homes, we fight. When a plant closes and we lose our livelihood, we fight. When the well-being of our loved-ones is at stake, we fight. When something we believe in is threatened, we fight. Often, the fight is needed as we battle for the improvements we need in life. There are other times when we are in fight mode without even knowing why, caught the momentum, the drama.

I have been caught in the drama.

When I returned from travelling at the end of May, I plugged back into my community and a meeting with the City about the physical infrastructure renewal that will be undertaking in our neighbourhood. My neighbours are upset about our choices for new streetlights and I plugged into their fight. I was attracted to the momentum of being a part of something, especially with my neighbours. I was attracted to the energy generated by a fight and I wanted to be included, and contribute.

I realize now that the fight isn’t mine.

The fight, and its energy, means a lot to some of my neighbours. They are stepping up to declare what they want their neighbourhood to look like. They are actively working to shape our part of the city. By doing something about what they care about, they are contributing to the city-making exchange.

I have a choice about where to put my energy.

Fighting for the sake of fighting is fight drama. It shrouds the real issues. It hides what really matters. It helps us pretend that something matters when it doesn’t. It allows us to hide what we really want. The danger in drama is that it is distracts us from what we really want, and it keeps us in a downward spiral away from our fullest potential.

There are things to fight for and we must, at every turn, confirm if we are fighting for what we want, or caught in the momentum of fight drama. As a citizen, I have a responsibility to notice if I am actually in the fight I want to be in, or caught in the drama. I owe it to myself and my city.

I choose to put my energy where it matters. To me.

What matters to you? What are you really fighting for?


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This post is part of Chapter 8 – The City Making Exchange. Here are some plot helpers of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities, the book I am sharing here while I search for a publisher:

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