The current state of world affairs will require action both on the individual as well as on the societal level. Collective action will be necessary to foster stronger ties, interdependence and cross-support. Reflecting on the role of the individual as part of society should commence with the unborn. The new science of epigenetics can provide useful suggestions.
The individual will want to be open to and experiment with a deeper inner journey that considers reflection and a larger system’s awareness. Asking for feedback and reactions to one’s own behaviour will mean stepping into the unknown zone of discomfort. This will require that the individual is both courageous and that these choices are made often enough to allow the person to grow accustomed to the discomfort and the field of learning. And then, as the individual experiments with the discomfort, it is necessary that the surrounding eco-system be supportive and encouraging – creating the environment in which it is accepted to be feeling vulnerable.
As these choices are repeated and become more intuitive the individual becomes less worried about failure but rather intrigued by learning to feel comfortable balancing ones intellectual, emotional and social capabilities. The individual needs to accept that “vulnerability is the core of shame and fear and the struggle for worthiness but it is also the birthplace of joy, creativity of belonging and love”. Eventually, this will lead to a breakthrough, when the individual realizes a bigger purpose – the interconnectedness and interdependence between individuals and groups, between everybody and everything.
Likewise, the individual will need to learn to be less exclusively focused on individual (financial) success and well-being and also focus on the success of the respective ecosystem. This does not mean that individual success is not a worthy concept. But it is the type of individual success that derives from collective success and the belonging to a group which will provide a lasting positive effect.
United in society on the other hand we will need to provide the necessary development space and tools to facilitate the individual’s inner journey. This means that we must all start encouraging and supporting the individual to become more self-aware and mindful of others. Small steps and early successes on the individual’s journey should be noticed, mentioned and reinforced rather than criticized or even ridiculed. To arrive at a point where the individual understands the value of providing positive impact to a larger group will require that mentoring and feedback be established as key development concepts in early childhood, strengthened through schooling and higher education and enforced during further education as part of the working life.
Written by Carsten Sudhoff
 Brene Brown « The Power of Vulnerability » TED Talk June 2010 http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html