I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the world. How it gets created, and how I can participate in the creation of a world in which more people thrive and fewer are oppressed.
With these questions as the context, I have been looking back at history, studying our economic, military and political systems, observing grass roots and populist movements, following the way fringe ideas become mainstream, how dynasties and empires rise and fall, how revolutions ferment, erupt and fade. I’ve also been studying human psychology and sociology. How we learn, grow and change our brains and behaviour. How we influence and are influenced. What motivates and satisfies us as human beings.
These are challenging questions I know but, for better or worse, they’re what I think about. A woman has to have a hobby.
What I see time and time again is the interplay between the grassroots of society and those powerful individuals who seek to govern and manipulate them. It’s fascinating to me, the tension between these two forces, one populous, powerful but largely unconscious, the other relying on strategic thinking and focused will to turn the needs, desires and drives of the many to serve their purpose. It doesn’t seem to matter much whether the powerful use political, religious or economic means, the patterns are the same. Sometimes the would be governors are driven by idealism, sometimes by their own ego. Ends vary, means vary, but the patterns of interplay not so much.
The populace has a kind of love/hate relationship with their governors, both resenting and drawing a sense of security from submission to a dominant will. The governors balance a sense of entitlement with a sense of responsibility, with varying degrees of self awareness. At the present time there is great instability in the world, and that is of concern to everyone. The governors are asking “How can we turn this to a profit?” and the population are asking “Can we still trust the governors in power to provide the security we crave, or should we show our muscle and turn them out?” A brave few are asking, “Do we really need governors at all given how much they’ve messed things up?” and “Maybe we could do better ourselves?” But the grassroots is notoriously difficult to organize and focus. Their opposites are asking, “How can we find the meanest bastard around and put him in charge so when things get really ugly, he’s on our side?”
The questions I’m asking are, “What kind of a world do I want to create?” “Where does my own power lie? What can I control? What can I influence?” “What’s my creative response?” When I get tired out struggling with these questions, I ask “What can I let go for now?” and “What keeps me strong and centered?” to create another day.
One answer came to me today, prompted by a quote I heard once that said, “The only hope for the future of the world is to be found in the human heart.” And by the seasonal image of how The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, transformed when his heart grew three sizes one day.
I think the interplay of power between the populace and their would be governors is a timeless polarity. And that we can waste a lot of time bemoaning the state of the world as it is. But on both sides of the divide there are individuals with hearts in varying states of repair. While the minds on both sides determine strategy and execution, the state of the heart determines the way power will be applied and to what ends. So the most important and influential work I can do in the world right now, is to apply all of my creativity to influence first hearts and then minds on both sides with the most positive image of the world I can imagine. That’s what I’m going to do.
Three morals in this story,
1. The interplay of power between the populace and their would be governors is a timeless polarity.
2. The state of the hearts on both sides determines how power will be applied and to what ends.
3. Therefore, the most important work I can do is to touch people’s hearts with the most positive image of the future that I can imagine.
Yours with creativity and imagination,