My Starting Point:
- I’ve found that many good ideas are buried behind the personalities that articulate and advocate them. I’m still finding my voice and I am aware that at times I speak in absolutes that are much like those often the basis for personality conflicts. My absolutes should be understood relative since nothing is absolute — this statement included.
Before exploring my work, note that it is:
- Neither complete nor without flaws.
- Is produced with view to empowering any and every individual to primary view to to better understand human behaviour and consequently their social environment. It is not primarily for consumption by practitioners (already learned on matters of human behaviour).
- The reason for this focus is to enable individuals to lead more intentional lives.
- While not primarily for practitioners, it does challenge some prevailing
perspectives — certainly those commonly employed in interventions and those that inform reactions to unfortunate events.
- One reason for highlighting the primary audience is the fact that while an original work, I am admittedly not certain to what degree it is a unique work, owing to the fact I am not extensively read on the works of practitioners past. This brings me to my next note which is, this work:
- Is an amalgamation of years of observation and inquiry, coupled with experiences through grassroots efforts of my own — spanning 10 years thus far (2008-2018). It is the product of self-education — primarily by way of aforesaid observation and inquiry — augmented by scholarly papers, an academic text (yeah I said one text ha ha ha) and the gamut of media including documentaries, talks, lectures, articles, books, etc.
- The overall focus of my work is on understanding. I believe it is a lack of understanding that has created the gap between success sought and success achieved in social interventions. I believe it is a lack of understanding of self that makes the notion that we should try to understand others appear a waste of time. It’s argued (conscious) choice is what deviants make but this is submitted while neglecting all that subconsciously and unconsciously informs choice.
- I believe we have the power to completely change the world for the better (or worse unfortunately) with the understanding of which I speak. This I say noting that while knowledge is power, understanding is the authority to wield it. The value of knowledge has been impressed upon us but understanding is not ascribed nearly as much significance. In the absence of understanding, knowledge too often uses us, rather than us it.
- The purpose of this work, again, is to see us lead more intentional lives. The task at hand could not be more difficult, especially when (like I) one does not view anything as the responsibility of other (alone) but us all collectively. I must admit that taken as a whole, the challenges seem insurmountable. If we aim to fix only parts of what we’ve built there would be only changes but no transformation. This leaves us only the option of addressing all things, which seems insurmountable as I’ve admitted. But all must change and understanding is both the power and authority to do it.
- Rethinking all is not a call to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but it is not possible to change things for the better with tweaks and tape. The following Mental Note expresses this view more clearly. Following it, we’ll delve right into the subject after which this work is titled:
Never try to fit your vision for a better world inside the boundaries of society as you know it!
“Everything must go” is the sign mounted in the window of the imagination through which we peer at the world we envision. That world remains a daydream in the mind that does not first remove the cumbersome, prohibitive ideals and elements from which we’ve constructed our current paradigm.
The most radical to the most novel ideas simply cannot be laid out where there is no space to do so. Truly seeing different social contributions as equitable, for instance, would have implications on how we compensate people for their work. Change in compensation necessitates changes in the socioeconomic apparatus which, as it so
happens, underpins all things.
Appreciating equity follows an understanding of the nature of different disciplines. “Intelligence” would need to be redefined and the idea of being educated with it. The term “qualifications” would also need to be rethought, as would the mechanism through which it is pursued, that is, formal vs. informal education. These changes would
give way to a more organic set of pursuits in life. With education in service of social progress, versus manufactured need in service of a perpetually growing economy, the driving force of industry would shift.
Money would be hard-pressed to find a purpose in such a vision. Today it necessitates debt and deprivation but with equitable earnings, wealth inequality would not thrive; this of course noting manufactured need and manufactured dreams are not a feature of this vision. Equitable earnings alone would derail the system as-is since
inflation results from too much cash being in circulation.
These examples and others considered, it is simply not possible to fit our vision for a completely different world or even moderately improved world, inside the parameters of what we know today.
That said, dare to question, dare to be open-minded. All included here requires that we be just that, as throughout we’ll examine and challenge accepted ideals.
- Already we are beginning to appreciate that there exists different forms of intelligence. See Gardner, H.
(n.d.). Intelligence Isn’t Black-and-White: There Are 8 Different Kinds.
- The attainment of intrinsic value.
- If everyone earned even the same amount, wealth would find its way back to those who have it today. Note, however, that this is considering the value system of today. Rethinking that value system is the focus of this work.