We're all the next generation. Every human being living right now. Be the children you wish for. One glorious world family with glorious individual members.
In all families there are struggles which have to be worked out to create harmony. It takes effort and commitment. The willingness to reflect on ones own actions and to learn how to do better in the future. We're all in this together whether you like the deck you have been dealt with or not. You have to accept the cards life has given you and deal with them as best you can for yourself and (y)our surroundings.
In our family there's poverty and suffering. In our family there's war and armed conflict. In our family our home environment is breaking down around us. If we don't take wise action we all suffer the consequences. We are living in the world we have created.
Our actions have to be in balance with the stories we tell ourselves for us to be able to feel good about ourselves. Stories are important, because the motivate us to do or not to do. They give us a justification for our behavior.
I first started to think about a coherent story after reading the book Mindsight by Daniel Siegel, M.D. According to Siegel a coherent life story is essential to our wellbeing and happiness. Your (in)coherent life story is your reality, the way in which you interpret past into the present. Siegel explains:
The way we feel about the past, our understanding of why people behaved as they did, the impact of those events on our development into adulthood -- these are all the stuff of our life stories. The answers people give to these fundamental questions also reveal how this internal narrative -- the story they tell themselves -- may be limiting them in the present and may also be causing them to pass down to their children the same painful legacy that marred their own early days.
In fiction one of the greatest examples of using the connection between ones past, present and future is the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from a greedy, selfish and unhappy man into a caring, sharing, compassionate and joyful man is guided by three Christmas ghosts. Starting with the ghost of Christmas Past, which is followed by the ghosts of Christmas Present and Christmas Yet To Come (future). The way in which Dickens told the story can be seen as general recipe for a transformation process. Dealing with ones past to be happier in the present. And in the same time change ones future.
The point I am trying to make is that our past experiences are influencing our actions today. And that it is not always obvious to us what's influencing our current actions. That's why it is important get awareness into it. Knowing what's causing a certain reaction is the first important step to improving an undesired situation. The next step is implementing alternative strategies to deal with the undesired situation. These alternative action plans you can learn from others or if necessary create yourself and/or with others.
As we have to look to our own routines, we have to look to the routines in a society as well. And deal with those routines of stories which are hindering progress. This is hard because we're used to them and attached to these routines, whether the routines are constructive or destructive.
Making good use of the collective intelligence we have accumulated through the ages is a wise thing to do. New is not always better. We should not break with ways of operating that are still working and valuable to us. As with everything it is about finding the right balance. In this circumstance, the balance between maintaining what is and implementing the better new.
The importance of the adopted (new) storyline in ones personal life and in our collectives lives is huge. Actions taken by us find their roots in the stories we believe to be true. The perspective one has defines a lot of what ones sees and does. Reframing the debate by creating a new storyline is an often used political tool. Call it political marketing. A way to pursued people towards a common goal. Giving people a new perspective or reality on the way life has to be organized can have the greatest and the worst of consequences. For this reason being aware of influences on your storyline and believes is very important.
In the latest presentation at the RSA historian Yuval Noah Harari gives his view on the history of humankind and where we might go from here. He gives his account of how we have created our collective human life.
I believe poverty should be eradicated. I believe war and violence has to stop. I believe we need to have a sustainable environment and life. And I believe we can do it. That does not make it so. These are goals yet to be reached. In the end wisdom is in the action we take. I am not asking you to agree with my view on and vision for a society. I am asking you, if you aren't already, to get engaged with the future of humankind. Kofi Annan shared his vision for a more equitable and peaceful world. Please share your vision with us too!
Creating something is a doing, consciously and unconsciously. What we're doing on a day by day bases is shaping our futures. The Future is Now.