The Bento Society #24: Week in review

Sup y’all from The Bento Society. I’m Yancey Strickler. How’s everybody doing today?

First, this week’s schedule:

Weekly Bento
Sunday October 4
12pm EST

The Weekly Bento is space for priority making, goal setting, and connection with a group of diverse people from around the world. All are welcome!

RSVP for Oct 4 Weekly Bento

Weekly Bento
Sunday October 11
12pm EST

RSVP for Oct 11 Weekly Bento

The week in Bento review

Now Me

This week I’ve been reading Jason Hickel’s book Less Is More about post-capitalism and degrowth after checking out his post connecting degrowth and Modern Monetary Theory. The book and blog post are compelling arguments for transitions away from growth as an idealized behavioral model. Both are recommended.

Related: Doughnut Economics, the most widely embraced post-growth paradigm to date, launched a new Doughnut Economics Action Lab this week to welcome a wider community into the project. Congrats to them. Excited to see where it goes.

Now Us

This was a milestone week for the Bento Society. This week seventy (70!) people from around the world were part of the first cohort of our new twelve-week Bento Groups project

Some notes from participants afterwards:

“Yesterday's experience was really powerful for me... Not only to reflect on the wholeness of my life, but then to quickly share those reflections with someone else and the group.”

“We had an incredible session yesterday. I had never told my life story to someone in that much detail, and found myself tearing up at something I never expected I would, and bonding so deeply with a total stranger. We all had so much shared trauma. Powerful exercise. This is unlike any community I've ever been a part of.”

“I was the first one in our group to share, and right away I saw compassion in everyone's face. Something that is a benefit of having these on Zoom is there’s nowhere else to look except right at the screen. After I went, I noticed how everyone's story was similar, we all shared the same milestones at certain places in our lives. Amazing. Shows how we are really all connected, no matter our background, social economical class, where we’re from in the world, our education level, career path, etc. We all have the same struggles, worries, but also positive moments in our lives too.”

I’m also a member of a group and completely agree. The experience of becoming so deeply connected to such a dynamic Us has been special. Registration for this Bento Groups cohort is closed, but you can sign up here to join the next cohort starting later this year.

Future Me

In every Weekly Bento, my Future Me tells me the same thing: be courageous and unafraid to use my voice. Practical translation: I should tweet and talk more about the work we’re doing here and why.

To date, I’ve let my insecurities stop me from fully doing this. I have no issue being fully open and myself with this group, but I still get intimidated by the wider Dark Forest of the web. I let my anxiety get in my way, stay quiet, and then move into a downward spiral of self-criticism from there. Fun! 

Because of an exercise we did in our Bento Groups this week, I’ve started to see this differently. Instead of seeing this tension between my Now Me and Future Me as my failure (as I sometimes do), I instead started to see it as me resisting my “growth edge.” There’s a thing that I need to become, that I want to become, and that I am becoming. But Now Me is resisting it at the same time.

This shift in perspective changed my mindset this week. My inner battle is far from over — we don’t become our Future Me overnight. But I felt a leap forward in my transition when I turned my perceived failure into a Future Me growth edge that I’m moving towards instead. More on this in Sunday’s Weekly Bento.

Future Us


Yancey Strickler @ystrickler
Learning and teaching simple tools that expand how we define our self-interest, like the Bento…

The Long Now Foundation @longnow

How do we make long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare?

Sure it’s one tweet, but it’s progress!

My favorite note this week

From a Bento Society member email:

“I remember reading in your book about the future of the Bento, having a Bento Society center in the former place of the Mars Bar. And to be honest when I read that I was doubtful, but God, I really see it as a reality. And it's incredible.”

Peace and love my friends,

Yancey Strickler
The Bento Society

The Bento Society is a collective project with a thirty-year mission to redefine what the world sees as valuable and in its self-interest.
The Weekly Bento
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This Could Be Our Future