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Alison Sudol: If I Ruled The World

Alison Sudol: If I Ruled The World

American singer-songwriter, musician, actress and video director Alison Sudol shares her vision of a world she'd like to rule 

Redistribution of wealth

I would redistribute wealth in a radical way. No single person needs billions of dollars, and taxes would be so high for that bracket that people would gladly donate substantially to avoid it.

Anger management for everyone

I’d teach everyone to count to ten when they’re angry. I would also teach breathwork practices to help them emotionally regulate. Everyone would learn emotional language for what they are feeling, and how to use it. So we'd count, and breathe, and then communicate.

"The modern world is moving so fast and it's so difficult to process emotions at the speed we're living"

The modern world is moving so fast and it's so difficult to process emotions at the speed we're living. We don't have time to walk in nature, to check in with what we're feeling, to dig underneath the quickfire response and see what is actually going on.

Alison Sudol © Angela Kohler

We're so often not taught emotional language or where feelings live in our bodies when we're small, so when something hurts us, we react—we cry, we scream, we hit, and either get punished or soothed depending on what kind of parents we had. But if we don't learn to pause, sit with and voice what we feel—not suppressing it or negating it, simply naming it so it can be addressed—then we don't learn how to handle those immediate impulses.  

Free childcare and more parental leave

Childcare would be free and parental leave would be a year for both partners. In the UK, paternal/partner leave is one to two weeks. At two weeks postpartum I was barely going downstairs. I don't know what I would have done if my partner had a job that he had to return to that early. We are incredibly lucky that we are freelance and he worked during the pregnancy so we could have a long chunk of time together postpartum.

"Having a baby is nuts and especially the first time round it just knocks you sideways"

In the US, paid maternity leave is 12 weeks but there are multiple exceptions to this rule that leave a lot of holes for people that need support the most. Having a baby is nuts and especially the first time round it just knocks you sideways. You're on a 24-hour clock. It's also the most exquisitely magical time where you just look at your baby and cry with joy randomly.

A more rounded education

Meditation, yoga, healthy eating, healthy self-esteem, kindness, art, music, compassion, gardening and care for the earth would be taught in school, regardless of income bracket.

Alison Sudol © Federico Nessi

There would be so many more afterschool activities, trips into nature. Lots of camping. Star-watching. All schools would have gardens for the kids to learn how to help things grow. Useful things like how to change a tire, how to do taxes and laundry would be taught as well, regardless of gender. Algebra would be optional.

An end to period poverty

Sanitary products would be free. Half of all women and girls in developing countries are forced to use things like rags, grass and paper as sanitary products, which can be  difficult at best and pose a potentially dangerous risk for infection at worst. Plus in many countries, girls are forced to stay home on their periods, which can cause them to fall behind the boys in their class. It needs to change! 

Workplaces that prioritise workers

There would be at least an hour per workday to be spent in green spaces (which would also be funded by our billionaire friends’ tax fund). Offices would have nurseries attached so people could go see their kids during the day. Lunches would be served together, family style, with families invited.

"Work would not have to be the thing that sucks your soul"

Counseling and wellbeing services would be offered at every workplace (not just fancy Silicon Valley mega businesses). People would be cared for and compensated better. Work would not have to be the thing that sucks your soul.  

A better system for getting duvet covers on duvets!

I’d create a better system for getting the duvet cover on the duvet. No matter how I do it, it always takes forever and often results in me walking around inside the thing jabbing around blindly, trying to work out where the corners are. And yes, I've been shown many times how to do it right. Surely there’s a better way!

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