I recently got back from a business trip to San Francisco where I met some truly extraordinary people. It is inspiring to see so many of us working toward the betterment of humanity. I met people who are focusing on renewable energy, promoting peace between people and mother earth, fostering compassion and self awareness, creating new paradigms for economic development, to name a few. I can feel the energetic field that is beginning to emerge, struggling to birth its new visions in various forms.
There are hundreds of thousands of us who feel this energetic drive to bring into our world a new way of being and relating. We recognize that our political, economic, environmental, educational and healthcare systems are bankrupted and in desperate need of new models. Each one of us, in our own way, is focusing on the issue that speaks to our individual hearts. With passion and commitment, we pursue our respective visions.
But when you stop to see what we are looking to accomplish, it's clear that we are up against some pretty daunting forces:
Maintenance of status quo: it's not easy for human beings to make small changes in our lives, let alone major ones. We need to appreciate our strong programming to remain in the familiar and create tools and support groups to help us overcome its stronghold.
Creating from nothing: we can visualize what we want to see in the world, but we don't have a blueprint of how to build it. We are all groping with bringing into reality something that has not been created yet. Getting the funding, developing the structure, finding our footing, making it sustainable are the challenges we must embrace as we patiently continue to put one foot in front of the other.
Ego/survival drives: most of us identify with our ideas/visions from our egoic selves, which interfere with our ability to truly collaborate with each other. We find it difficult to surrender our specific idea/vision in the service of The Idea/Vision. For example, how many environmental organizations currently exist that are basically doing the same thing? Each one has its own leader, funding, people power, etc. Why are they not working together, pooling their resources and mining their collective intelligence? Our tendency to hold on to 'my brand' is getting in the way of truly realizing our visions.
So how do we face these powerful forces and contend with them effectively?
We can't do it alone; we need each other! We need to pool our collective resources, intelligence, tenacity and heartful support to overcome these forces. Business as usual will not get us any further than where we are right now. It's time to create a new paradigm for collaboration: one where we are willing to give up our egoic need for personal accolades and financial gain for the greater good of our planet.
What would that look like?
Fortunately, examples of these new collaborative models have begun to show up on the Internet. The rapid growth of crowd funding, (e.g. Kickstarter), and open source development (e.g. Github) is creating communities where people are contributing to projects they are passionate without redundancy, concern for personal accolades or financial gain. While relatively new, these collaborative communities are proving to be more productive and effective than traditional organizations.
The question for those of us who are seriously working on the many critical issues currently facing our planet is, "what do these communities know that enables them to transcend the forces that prevent the rest of us from coming together?"
We need each other!
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