partners in self-empowerment



Change small

It is my observation that there are indeed major changes taking place in our lives & in the world. One need only consider the changes that have been taking place in this country and throughout the world to realize the shift in worldview that has begun to blossom.

Examine the economic disruptions that we have experienced in this county and throughout the world – or take a look at the social upheavals taking place in the Middle East and other parts of the world – or the issues we are facing evidenced by the stagnancy in our democratic political system – or the issues of climate change and our stewardship of the earth – and the changes taking place in some religious institutions.

 The changes and disruptions that we observe in worldly conditions are either being met with fear, resistance and a cry to return to the “old ways” – or these changes are being embraced by some – as a shift – from the thinking, systems and paradigms that no longer serve us – to a new thinking, a new system – a new consciousness.  Clearly, the type of thinking that created the problems we are facing will not be the same thinking that will help us find resolution to the world’s problems.

 It appears to me that we are being called upon as a human race to transition to a new paradigm of living – to move from competition to cooperation, from conflict to mediation, from consumerism to needs based values, from a sense of separation (and belief that our interests are the only interests to be served) to a greater appreciation for the commonality of our human experience.

 We are being called to move away from the old exclusivity of religious, political or social tribalism to an acceptance of our global interdependence. We are being called to move away from “I am right and you are wrong,” to dialogue, mutual respect and inclusivity. There is a movement from fear to hope, from resistance to the embracing of a new consciousness.

 As educator Jean Houston noted: “the world is too complex for linear analytical thinking now. To be smart in the global village means thinking with your stomach, thinking rhythmically, thinking organically, thinking in terms of yourself as an interwoven piece of nature.”

 No doubt when new thinking bumps up against the dominant thinking and culture, there will certainly create challenges. Yet, this is also the time for opportunity.

 There are a greater number of persons insisting upon authenticity – at home, at work, in politics and in the marketplace. There are a growing number of us aware of the problems of the whole planet (economic disparities between rich and poor, issues of social justice and safety, cynicism, global warming, destruction of rain forests, exploitation of people in poorer countries, lack of ecological sustainability) and desiring to see more positive and proactive action on these issues. There are a growing number of us desiring our politics and government spending to put more emphasis on children’s education and well-being, rebuilding our neighborhoods and communities, cleaning up our environment, greater equality for women and ethnic minorities, expanding social justice for the poor and underserved, more altruism, expanded interfaith dialog and creating a more healthy and sustainable future.

 Although these values may be shunned as idealism and impractical by some, it represents the shift in thinking, systems and paradigms that represent the consciousness of a growing number of Americans and citizens throughout the world.

 Evidently, these individuals – sometimes referred to as the “cultural creatives” still lack self-awareness as a whole people. If asked, how many other Americans do you suppose have values like you? – the response may be “not many.” Yet the greater truth is that there is a growing number of Americans – estimated to be more than 55 million adults (approximately 25% of the population) that have made a comprehensive shift in their worldview, values and way of life.

 We are the change we desire to see in the world and we are the shifting the American culture for the 21st century.



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