It seems as though critiquing has been in vogue since the 60s. Granted, there is a lot to critique in the world today. However, just how effective is this focus on the negative? Many of our leaders seem to lack an inspiring vision. I think it’s time to move from critiquing to dreaming.
Terry Patten, An Inspiring Visionary
Two books are favorites because of their inspiring visions.
Terry’s Optimistic Vision
For Terry, the entire cosmos manifests wholeness and divinity. He cites numerous examples of healthy expressions working toward a whole system transformation:
- individuals and communities dedicated to a wide range of perspectives
- committed to a practice combining inner work/heart intelligence
- with altruistic service that expresses the highest values
- and constructive actions that serve the greater good
- and embody love
Beware the Shadow
Terry is realistic about the shadow side of activism that reinforces the tendency to critique:
- righteous indignation
- feeling victimized
- holding grievances
- losing humor and perspective
The Importance of Contemplative Practice
Contemplative practices counteract the tendency to critique. They draw upon the world’s spiritual wisdom, the source of the most profound inspiration, as an antidote.
Terry recommended The Listening Society to our Evolutionary Spirituality Group for our next read. He said it would be something different. We took his recommendation.
Young People Dreaming a New Way Forward
The author, Hanzi Freinacht, is actually two people … a 30ish man and woman … and perhaps a whole cadre of visionary young people. They call for a whole system transformation called “Metamodern.”
Instead of materialism, a metamodern society is based on personal development and the fulfillment of our innermost psychological needs.
Validation from Harvard
Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. ~Findings of an 80-year Harvard Study of Adult Development
Hanzi believes it is possible and necessary to redesign our major institutions to improve the quality of human relations, personal development, and mental health.
The Metamodern Vision
Here is a rough outline of what everybody should have in order to shift the whole fabric of social reality:
- the benefit of talking to a kind, listening professional therapist while growing up (molestation would drop, kids would treat each other better, family life would improve)
- a good meditation teacher to teach us to handle stress and get in touch with our emotions
- good gym coaching to grow up with fit bodies, good bodily awareness, positive body images, relaxed body language, and healthy habits
- training in effective listening and speaking, giving the opportunity to participate in public debates and deliberations
- a year off work once in a lifetime to go look for new purpose in life and make tough life decisions under professional care and support
- support and nudging to consume both healthy and sustainable food
- training in social and emotional intelligence so that conflicts arise less often and, when they do, are handled more productively
- proper sexual education from early on to know how to handle this intimate area of life with respect for oneself and others
- aid in managing the fear of death and facing the hard facts of life – to help us intuitively know that our time here is precious
What We Could Become … but probably not in my lifetime 🙁
- safer, saner and kinder society
- over decades, a higher equilibrium of happiness and lower suffering
- people with higher levels of freedom and contentment
- lower stress, anxieties and broken relationships
- more fun and excitement
- increased human bonds, trust, and opportunities
- lifetimes in productive service
So the whole idea of a listening society is possible because after its initial investments, it saves a lot more than it spends. It saves the increasingly pressured welfare system by being much more efficient and socially sustainable than our current system, thereby being more affordable in the long run. ~Hanzi Freinacht
Danger, Danger, Danger
Hanzi balances his enthusiasm for this powerful theory with caution about the dangerous ways in which it can be abused.
I witnessed Hanzi inserting caution while listening to Daniel Thorson interview him on Daniel’s podcast, Emerge: Making Sense of What’s Next. Whenever Daniel’s decibel soared with excitement, Hanzi responded with caution, bringing Daniel back to earth. What an admirable quality!!
My 2019 Commitment
And so, in 2019, I am committing to bringing balance to my reaction to the disturbing happenings in our world:
- When I find something to critique, I will add my dream for the future … one based on the relational values I hold dear.
- I will join forces with those who are actively working to reduce polarization, find common ground, and to build relationships.
What about you?
What visionary person and/or vision for the future inspires you?
What commitment will you make to support your dream?
How do you plan to move forward in 2019?