As individuals we know that action needs to be taken to support others but collectively we often do not take action because we assume that someone else will, or because we believe that our actions would not make a difference anyway. Society at large has the responsibility to help the individual to become self-aware and take action to improve their own lives. This requires the creation of the right ecosystem, the right tools, and the necessary conversation about values and fulfillment.
At the same time society also has a responsibility to encourage individuals as they aspire to and experiment with self-reflection, gaining awareness, moving past their comfort zone and into new territory.
Society, however, has created a negative connotation over time. It is important, however, to differentiate the many links between individuals who collectively make up society and the institutions who set out to govern it. Many of those individual institutions deal with important issues of today but may not be particularly suited for some of tomorrow’s problems.
Recent neuro-scientific evidence shows that our thoughts, movements and speech have a direct impact on those around us, consciously or not. With the discovery of mirror-neurons science can demonstrate how we are connected to the world and more importantly to each other. Equally, on the basis of quantum mechanical understanding we today know that we are all connected in a unified field and what affects one affects all.
This is a great opportunity to do a “stop-start” and to create a successor movement to deal with some of tomorrow’s issues.
In particular this requires that we all:
- Enhance the current education curriculum to provide a seamless life-long-learning experience geared towards the idea of an interconnected mindset
- Communicate our interest in the holistic individual beyond outward appearances
- Support through encouragement and positive reinforcement the individual as they move towards self-comprehension
- Proactively provide mentoring and feedback regardless of the closeness of the relationship (friends, colleagues, boss, strangers, etc.)
- Showcase positive journeys – using any kind of medium to highlight to others what individuals are doing differently from before as they experiment with new modes of thinking
- Emphasize alternate successes tied to personal fulfilment and focus less exclusively on financial success
- Lobby to incorporate examples of positive journeys into the academic curriculum
- Invest our energy and commit to a long term strategy to changing mindsets and finding ways to inclusively convince the sceptics – tie the need to change to one’s immediate community level and work toward them
Written by Carsten Sudhoff