Bringing humanity back to work – In the long term
BHBW is both a short term need and a long term requirement…
Part 2: Long term: reconnecting to our planet, the bigger picture and to a brighter future
Towards the New Story that serves…
A few years ago I was one of the conveners for a week long event with 400 change makers from over 50 countries: ‘The New Story Summit – inspiring pathways for the future of humanity’. It was persuasively argued there, that as a species we are undergoing a collective ‘rite of passage’, an ‘initiation’ into a new world view, and as a result we are moving from an old story to a new one.
Our situation is that an increasing number of us know that the old story – of how we are currently operating as a species on Earth – is not working – BUT… we do not yet know what the new story is. We are therefore ‘in-between stories’, an uncomfortable place for us humans to be.
Evolving the new
A fellow convener, the wise evolution biologist Elisabet Sahtouris, shared 2 nuggets of wisdom with us;
First: “Evolution only happens under stress”
I.e. what we tend to most resist, ‘stress’ ,is what we need to learn to work with, to ‘ride the waves’ of potential chaos, until we can find a new order in it
Second: “Every step forward in evolution is simultaneously an increase in complexity AND an increase of compassion.”
I.e. we human beings won’t change until we have to – and when we do, it will require us to open our hearts to care for more ‘others’ than ever before.
Other thought leaders of our time echo this assessment:
- Eco-philosopher Charlies Eisenstein, names this as moving from Independence to ‘Inter-being’
- Buddhist social activist Joanna Macy, says the shift is from Life Denying to Life Affirming culture
- Action researcher, Otto Scharmer calls the shift from Ego-centric to ‘Eco-centric’:
- Futurist, Raine Eisler posits the move to be from Dominator to Partnership.
From ‘I’ to ‘We’
What is common about all these leading thinkers is that they all require us to bring more of our humanity into play – in essence saying that humanity as it stands is not ‘working’ and that we collectively need to ‘bring humanity back to work’ – for the greater good and for a better future.
All these pairs move from a more selfish, individual or power over perspective and towards a more communal, shared and ‘power with’ perspective. This requires a shift from the more early stages of social and moral development; ‘what’s in it for me?’ to a more evolved stage; ‘ what do I need to contribute so that all of us to do better”?
It is relatively easy to be motivated by a reward that is near at hand – ‘do the overtime and get the bonus’ – but in the long term human beings are motivated by their desire to leave the world a better place. We need to let our imagination free to imagine the better world our hearts know is possible… As Einstein said , ‘you cannot line into any future you have not first imagined”. Imagination is one of humanities great gifts, the power to bring the ‘dream’ into reality is the other. The solution lies in imagining and then activating a brighter future.
As US President Woodrow Wilson said in the aftermath of World War 1:
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand.”
Sometimes, when the small picture seems bleak, we can draw strength from the big picture.
What is the world we want to leave behind for the next generation?
And how do we want to treat each other on the way to get there?
Olivier Mythodrama has been delivering innovative and thought provoking leadership training for over 20 years. The people and organisations we have worked with describe our training as life changing. We think they’re right. We already work with some of the world’s leading businesses. Are you ready to join them?