What would this world look like?
We know we haven’t arrived yet, for all our development and advancement as a species. When these have been less than holistic we have made a dysfunctional world; here’s one example offered by Ori and Rom Brafman:
‘In country after country, where a society becomes
industrialised, depression and suicide rates shoot
up. Something about the process of industrialisation
is making people very unhappy.’
If Bruce Hood is correct then our environments affect our biology. The environments we create need to work for everyone not just a few.
Something happens in us when we identify the Why? question for our lives, the purpose we want to pursue. This isn’t something others can work our for us, so a world which works for everyone needs to provide choice: then we can develop particular skills and live towards a purpose greater than ourselves – these three things are important for Human happiness.
When the why is found, the how will appear.
Our minds may run, and rightly, to the billions of poor in the world who must overcome poverty, illiteracy, disease, conflict, and hunger in order to have more choice, but there is an “ailment” closer to home which prevents us from identifying the Why? (and may be key to opening up choice for more). Daniel Kahneman highlights how, in a loss-averse world (environment), even a gain can be seen as a loss, so we stay where we are. Alex McManus claims, ‘We must awaken the human spirit to a future worth surviving for, worth living in, and worth working towards.’*
What if the world were a “Yes and …” world?
The improv game doesn’t allow you to say “No way” or “It’ll never work” or “Yes, maybe …”. You have to say “Yes and …” to the imagining of people, adding to what we can be about together. Not in a “Yes Man” kind of way, but in a way which allows the world we hope for, which works for everyone, to begin to appear.
We each have the opportunity to shape our lives into holistic environments for others, even if it’s one other, to make it possible for others to pursue what it is they choose to be and do, so they touch the lives of others.
(*From Alex McManus’s Makers of Fire.)
(Today’s cartoon: The quote from Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired magazine, comes from End Malaria, which has the awesome subtitle of “Bold Innovation, Limitless Generosity, and the Opportunity to Save a Life.”)