President Barack Obama has been praised for bringing more major legislation through Congress during his first year than any other president, except former President Lyndon Johnson. He has also been widely criticized by liberals for being an "insider," all too familiar with, and all too accommodating of Corporate America.
If both the praise and criticism are true, then his actions represent a Megatrend for 2010.
In "Megatrends 2010, the Rise of Conscious Capitalism," author Patricia Aburdene writes:
"Mainstream business is under siege, from activists and regulators as expected, but even from investors. And all the barricades in the world cannot defend it. Because the most dangerous adversary of all -- a transformed individual -- lies within..."
In 2010, the easy use of social networking tools can turn this transformed individual in a time bomb. Why? No longer a solitary whistleblower, the lone individual can now link up to like minds around the globe, share information and develop strategies for change. Real change, after all, happens from the inside out.
Why change? In my book, OM Money Money, I described it this way: "Right now, the Old Economy is disconnecting from the corporate model of civilization, where profits, not people, come first. Aided by global warming and climate change, economic change is accelerating. In the midst of accumulating chaos, the economy is moving in the direction of sustainability and workplace enlightenment. Call it conscious capitalism, if you like."
However, driven by headline news, most people are focused on the chaos in the system, not the future vision or its DNA.
In this transition, the meltdown we are seeing in the economy, in the housing market, and in the deteriorating environment, are metaphorically speaking, the demise of the caterpillar. Caterpillar America, the land of the brave, is dissolving into a green goo. The end seems near. The national mindset holds no image of a butterfly.
The idea of a butterfly lies only within the consciousness of a small group of dedicated people in this country and around the globe who hold a vision of the future and carry the code within themselves. Their words and actions define them. They are the DNA of a future based on self-reliance, self-responsibility, and sustainability.
President Obama was swept into power not simply because of a promise based on hope for change. It was the power of his persona that captured the voter's imagination. Each of the voters who supported him imagined what such an individual could do when placed in such a powerful position.
However the presidency is only a place-holder of power from which one can represent the public. Former President Roosevelt got it right when he told the public: to get something done, you must make me do it.
For the U.S. to reach the sustainable future envisioned by those who carry its DNA, we must -- all of us -- repopulate the cells within the cocoon of our own mind with a life-giving force and awe-inspiring vision of sustainability similar to the image of beauty and freedom carried by the butterfly.