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Not many people understand the functioning of our complex human systems called society. We interact without asking too many questions, suffering large consequences as they come along. We protect the selfinterest by living life as it comes making choices based on cultural norms, tradition, fears and ambitions. We do not really believe we can do a lot about the bigger picture as individuals.
When effects of pollution, global warming, migrations of desperate people, financial crises, scandals, etc reach our awareness we do tend to take a broader view of our reality. We may even reach a point that we adjust our daily choices with this new information.
This awareness has an interesting extra effect on people as we begin to question the way we organize ourselves. We open up to an inner reality called “empathy”. This is a state of consciousness that does not just want us to survive in a competitive world. It helps us try to “do good” too. This “to do the right thing” is a state of mind that requires us to learn to feel sympathy for our surroundings. We open up to observing new realities, such as the suffering of other people, the effects of our actions on nature, the immorality of manipulation and injustice of certain human actions of greed. We arrive at a point that we project our daily choices on the world wide issues and take action accordingly within our span of control. We open up to understanding the bigger picture and see our own role with more clarity. Changing this role changes the human world of systems that, as a consequence, are forced to adjust.
On a worldwide basis we see our shops being packed with goods through an old system of supply and taxes on which institutions (business, government, banks) rely.
You can’t solve problems by increasing them
It is in their system’s interest to keep this chain functioning because it produces labor, involves technology, keeps consumption going and produces funding for infrastructures and bureaucracy. It also provides means to address the consequences of this system. As the consequences grow exponentially, so does the need for money in this globalized system.
We understand that it produces the problems but we all depend on its functioning. How do we change it without putting this machinery on hold?
The first change is our own sense of “empathy” we the related change of our daily choices. We force the human systems to adjust to the newly growing popular mentality.
The second change is that the supply chain is stressed due to unsustainable chackles inside the system. The supply chain tries to optimize and reorganizes itself to remain strong.
The third change is provoked by the global issues themselves. If for instance competition for raw materials becomes as demanding as competition for sales the intellect is forced to look for adaptation to avoid system’s collapse. There is a lot of stress everywhere demanding leadership to cope with stressful circumstances.
The way we (STIR) addtess this at yhe top level of regional goverance and economuc development is by introducing a new complex system next to the old one. It is a system based on responsibility of change rather than keeping a supply chain going. It helps participants anticipate without being surprised by circumstances and the unexpected.
When tension builds up locally in the old system relief is found by looping initiatives through the new system in a multidisciplinary way. This exercize helps people in charge to open up their minds to alternatives and choose their best options.
By doing so we achieve another interesting process, the development of the consciousness (to be) with the use of instruments to change things for the better (to do).
The biggest challenge we face in human reality is to integrate our growing awareness and empathy (awakening to new realities) with the systems that produce sustainable human progress and wellness. It becomes clear in our minds that for our own stability we need change. This is excitingly new when we come from an era of conservatism due to lack of awareness. The more we all become aware, the peacefuller we adjust our lives and systems through innovation of our structures and lifestyle. We start enjoying the prospect of progress rather than fearing the consequeces of change.
Awareness changes the world
In the media and our own minds we pay too much attention to the battle of the dinosaurs but we forget the dominant leadership of the insects.
With this metaphor I try to open up our minds to the different realities that work in our own human “universe” of interactive values. Much of our attention (and fears) goes to the noisy battle of the giants (banks, big continental governments, large enterprises, etc). During the credit crisis the focus was on the over-sized banks that had started to take unprecedented risks to feed their hunger for growth and profit. We now get constant feedback on the economic power development of dinosaur China, the threat of Russia, the indexation of the stock markets, etc. We observe the global battle around fossil energy while territorial and financial dominance is being played in noisy way everywhere. The giants show the teeth, bark and move their muscles. They turn around each other and make aggressive moves. And we all watch as if were depending on the outcome. But we are not.
Despite the destructive forces of these monstrous battles we forget the insects. This part of the metaphor is as a natural reference to the creative and adaptive force of the enormous diversity of selfaware human individuals. When we take a closer look at humankind we see that at micro level the human world is changing as the dead dinosaur bodies pile up. When food prices doubled the Egyptians stood up as a swarm of wasps against their own dinosaur Mubarak. They won the temporary battle just to see new dinosaurs take power again. But what is done once is done again and again. The rule of nature is that the big only keep stable if in harmony with the small. When the balance is damaged the big will fight to avoid collapse but the small always wins. The real dinosaurs became extinct a long time ago. Now humankind build artificial ones of our own. Harmony is damaged because the big and powerful became arrogant and dominant, using the small rather than serving the balance. These artificial dinosaurs face extinction once again. They dissolve, leaving groups of individuals to find back their own colorful identify and freedom.
Within the enormous diversity of world of insects butterflies are a beautiful comparison to our own human diversity of awareness and behavioral coloring. We also see human beings go through the phases of development to eventual spread their own colorful wings of diversity. We avoid competition by evolving into the vast diversity of diversification through applied awareness. Finding like minded individuals we create stable communities with new system’s complexities that have a more sustainable nature than the dinosaurs, until they become the dinosaurs of the future again.
The battle of the dinosaurs takes our attention away from the beauty of the small world of our own butterflies. The world of sustainable human progress is not at the level of the powerful in battle of survival but with the adaptive, peacefully showing off our unique diversity in a changing world
Small beats big
What is it that individual human beings have (like insects and butterflies) that the dinosaurs (old systems) miss? Let us sum it up in large lines:
1. We need very little to survive compared to the big monsters.
2. Human beings can live, adapt and survive in real natural life while the monsters need to mix the virtual reality (money) with real (commodities) in a static robotic structure.
3. Humans display a large diversity of individual creative expressionism to solve the most complex issues. The monsters can only enlarge solutions, not create them. Some people already refer to the “failure of robotics”. I refer to the “redesign of system’s complexities”
4. Human beings are flexible due to their relative small size and freedom of choice.
5. Human beings can regroup together in new stable, harmonic communities, creating new system’s complexities.
6. Old sick human made system’s dinosaurs are made up of the commitment of the sum of humans. If this commitment disappears the system dies. No artificial laws, rules or slavery can hold it together for long.
7. The human being is nature and so are our systems. Laws of nature apply with which humankind can relate through empathy. When empathy disappears so does life. The system becomes a robot, not a community. Only communities last in nature.
It is very difficult to feel comfortable with this, especially if we feel so dependent of the dinosaurs. But when we discover the butterfly inside us we loose our fears and find our confidence again to address life to the fullest. During the battle of the dinosaurs we should not forget the butterflies. It’s the butterfly that lasts, not the dinosaur.
Want to find your own butterfly. Join our summer course “the breakthrough of empathy”