#21 Shaping our Destiny - Paradigm Shift (July 2011)
The theme of this AFWW newsletter is paradigm shift. A less fancy phrase for a cultural "paradigm" is "world view."
Paradigm shift - what and why
On Christmas Eve in 1968 the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission beamed a message to earth, including this photo, Earthrise. This image of our tiny blue and white planet against the vast darkness of space is a powerful envisionment of something critical about the human journey. We evolved in Africa, we have spread throughout the globe, and now, in the words of the ecological economist Herman Daly, our globe is full.
And what many of us sense is that the ways of living that worked during our long journey out of Africa...they aren't working so well any more.
In a blog entitled Paradigm Shift for a Human Future of Peace, Dr. Judith Hand explores our dilemma. She
Paradigm Shift - Making it Swift and Enduring
Putting an end to war would be a transformation of enormous magnitude, easily as profound as the Agricultural, Industrial, and Digital revolutions. For that change to endure, the cultural paradigm that fosters war would have to change (see Paradigm Shift and a Future of Peace.
Furthermore, the greater the evil, the greater will be the difficulty in shifting the supporting paradigm. Nevertheless, long-held cultural world views can be altered, and from a historical perspective, altered relatively quickly when we decide to do it.
For example, a decision was made to end foot-binding in China. For nearly a thousand years, the essence of Chinese feminine beauty was having tiny feet...ideally no more than three inches in length. In 1911 the New Republic of China outlawed binding, and then work began to change the Chinese conception of what makes a woman beautiful. The practice is now defunct. A paradigm of 1,000 years changed in less than 100.
The recent history of major social transformation efforts, such as those of the U.S. suffragists, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr., illustrate how massive change is brought about using two different but complimentary processes: Constructive Program (good works) and Obstructive Program (nonviolent persuasion).
The essay "A Cultural Paradigm Shift- Swift and Enduring" outlines these two approaches, and explains why both are necessary to achieve a rapid shift that also endures. It also explains why neither one alone is sufficient. Learn more.
Shaping the Future: Groups Seeking to Create or Facilitate a Critical Mass for Positive Change
In unity there is power
Listed below, with links, are a selection of organizations, alliances, and projects for which paradigm shift is their main purpose. They think globally and are working, in their own ways, to bring about a historical cultural shift. A shift so delightful that it will astound us. A shift that will make this a time of epic historical change that our descendants will remember with profound gratitude. This shift will place our human journey on the path to a more egalitarian, just, less violent, and ecologically sustainable future.
Dr. Hand's essay Shaping the Future: A Proposal to Hasten a Global Paradigm Shift for the Security and Wellbeing of All Children Everywhere outlines a mechanism to unite these efforts and more like them. A great number of partners like these united into a grand, common, cultural shift campaign will achieve visibility and power impossible to ignore and able to energize millions.
Note: AFWW finds each one of interest and valuable in its own area of pursuit, but listing them does not constitute an endorsement.
The site wiserearth.org provides a directory of: Organizations, People, Groups, Resources, Events, and Jobs.
The following are listed alphabetically:
Alliance for a New Humanity
Alliance for Peace Building
Better World Links
Earth Charter Initiative
Foundation for Global Collaboration and Peace
Four Years Go
Great Transition Initiative
Peace and Collaborative Development Network
Positive Futures Network
World Shift Network
The Need for Change is Great and World Citizens are Responding
Here is arguably the quintessential paradigm shift quote: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead
A Good Movie
"The U.S. vs. John Lennon." He didn't just sing songs. John Lennon was an Activist, Visionary, and Revolutionary. He frightened the U.S. government. Watch and appreciate Lennon's work to lay a foundation for a future without war.
A Future Without War
Believe in it.
Work for it.
And we will achieve it.
These three quick links are to Dr. Hand's core articles on paradigm shift:
To Abolish War
Shaping the Future
Paradigm Shift: Swift and Enduring
How Long Ending War Would Take
Why Women Are the Key to Security
The Nine Cornerstones
AFWW Newsletter Archives