Is That Where We Want To Go?
If we do not change our direction, we are quite certain to end up where we are heading. Chinese proverb
The prediction of the Chinese proverb above is scary to me. Recent opinion polls have shown that most of the American people believe the direction we are heading is not where we want to go. Therefore I assume the prediction is scary to others. Years ago I learned that there are three conditions necessary for change: 1) A dissatisfaction with what is. 2) An image of what would be better. 3) A belief that it is possible to get there.
Herein lies the problem.
- Everyone isn’t dissatisfied with what is.
- There is no consensus on an image of what would be better.
- A belief in the possibility doesn’t seem to be the prevailing attitude.
A big part of the problem is that those who are not dissatisfied with what is include those with the money and power to keep things the same. I believe another problem is that politicians keep blaming each other and proposing different solutions. This seems to me to make it hard to have a confident belief that it is possible to change the direction we are heading.
However, it should be pointed out that all three conditions required for change are in the mind of the beholder (dissatisfaction, image, belief). These are perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, visualizations or worldviews. This means they are subject to possible revision. Peter Russell points out: It is going to be our minds (cultural evolution) not our genes (biological evolution) that creates or destroys our positive future.
This gives me hope — because of the minds of the American people. America is what it is because our citizens are what they are. (This is a paraphrase of Plato’s comment on The City). I believe because of the recent events in America, two Supreme Court decisions, and other cultural and attitude changes, there are signs that the minds of the American people are evolving toward a more open and inclusive worldview.
Is it possible that the citizens of America are about to change the direction of America? I am hopeful about this possibility, because it is hard to see any other solution. If not us, who? If not now, when?
We don’t know what we are doing right now or how our present actions will affect the future. What we do know is that there is only one planet to do it on, and only one species capable of making a considered difference. Bill Bryson