Before human beings are capable of correcting the dysfunctionality and the damages of the unsustainable socio-technical environment we have developed, we need to see the reality we have created in all its ugliness. However we must not stop there. Our efforts, discomfort and sacrifice unveiling the truth would futile if we do not move beyond that point. We must be as passionate and creative about generating solutions as we have been denouncing the problems. We must reach a balance between both roles if we wanna make it.
Posts Tagged ‘crisis’
Posted in ecodesign, future, global change, global warming, industrial ecology, tagged adaptation, Climate change, crisis, industrial paradigm, mitigation, sustainability on April 6, 2014| Leave a Comment »
Posted in anthropocentrism, culture, economy, education, human intelligence, human learning, personal development, psychology, tagged crisis, inability to imagine, Industrial age, sustainability, The Cost of Inaction on March 22, 2014| 1 Comment »
From all the modern crises we face and suffer, there is one no one suspects of. It is the big elephant in the room of our challenging future ahead. I am referring to the unsuspected crisis of imagination. Since I was a child it bothered me and bored me why adults would not stop until they managed to strip away our dearest fantasies, imaginative ideas and any dreams that would not fit into the pathetically tiny box of possibilities for supposedly a successful career and life like doctor, layer, salesman and a just a few other professions. If we did not aspire to any of those limited possibilities, we were considered immature and childish, or living in La La Land.
Imagination is a word that has often become pejorative in our highly manipulated society as it often associated with kids or adults who cannot be taken seriously and therefore are pushed away from society being regarded as naïve, unrealistic or crazy.
We lose half of our humanity as we grow up and expose ourselves to the conditioning that annihilates our precious boundless and connecting child mind. Family, society and school make sure those ideas and attitudes that represent a threat to society’s narrow and fragile order are eradicated quite often ridiculing, marginalizing and even physically abusing those who dare to think outside the box, let alone those who question the system and the status quo. I know this not so much because of the dozens of passages where I have read about it, but because I have lived this painful truth in my own being.
Let’s be honest. Creativity is rewarded in just a relatively few exclusive circles, most of them not even available to the public at large. A few folks in the arts are allowed and even encouraged to think more creatively than anyone else but even then they are often subject to the same prejudice, criticism and antagonism as everyone else who dares to question The Establishment.
Even when creativity is made available to the public such as through activities like arts, crafts and cultural events, such creativity represents a mere narrow band in the vastly wide spectrum of possibilities available to re-define and re-live reality, and quite often such activities are nothing but an embellished repackaging of traditional outdated cultural icons and views thus offering a false and deceiving creative outlet.
A big inhibitor of creativity is the prevailing prejudice that creative activities are secondary in importance. They are generally thought of as a good hobby, a way to relax. They are usually played down by parents, teachers and neighbors as respectable career paths as an engineer or a sales executive are, simply because they are not perceived as ‘bread earners’.
A bigger detractor of creativity which reaches the rank of malicious is the prejudice and mental hijacking exerted by religious and political ideologies. These preconceived views of reality are mental strait jackets that keep individuals in a highly reduced universe whose limits cannot even be defined because they cannot even be imagined. The manipulative nature of these ideologies is so potent that it keeps the minds of the subjected believers unable to consider any idea outside their mandated conception of reality.
In this day and age creativity is still not taken seriously enough. The irony is that it will be our creativity, not traditional thinking, what will allow us to survive and thrive in this brave new world. No, this is not just a minor nuisance or even a loss of talent and potential but a cause of complacency, ignorance and ultimately inaction regarding the global crises we face including climate change, environmental degradation, resource depletion, food and water scarcity risks, world financial and economic instability, and all the other global challenges ahead.
Our lack of imagination to (1) conceive an alternative healthier world and (2) develop an alternative sustainable way to relate to ourselves, our species and the earth, results in our lack of ability and will to take the action. And of course I am referring to the action required to correct our accelerating collision course with the planet.
When I meet people giving up on the world, disappointed and hopeless as many of us felt with the past Copenhagen summit, I ask them if they have ten minutes and I tell them the following.
Despite the lack of urgency, responsibility on the part of the governments of the world and the Powers that run this zooming global economic machinery where most of us feel trapped, we MUST continue our mission to bringing sustainability to the planet and help it cope with the emerging global crises (global warming/climate change, peak oil, resource decline, financial meltdowns, geopolitical instability, terrorism, social turmoil, etc).
I think we have to be excited and feel quite lucky to live in these unprecedented times. Why? Because the old of order of things, the old way of life and relating to the world, along with all its imperfections and un-sustainability has its days numbered. Today’s world is already different from a couple days ago, literally. Global change is already here and to stay. For those who are still attached to the comfort of the old secure days where routine and security were a given, and believe that we are just through a cycle before things come back to normal, I have some disturbing news: You are dreaming.
Please do not get me wrong. This is not a doom and gloom apocalyptic cry. This is not a political manifesto either. This is a reality call to take a hard look at the emerging world before us and fearlessly embrace our sense of adventure, opportunity and creativity.
We are going to have an opportunity to generate solutions, creations, actions at a level of abundance, diversity and most importantly, with a potential for transformational positive impact on the planet that we could not have dreamed just a few years ago, simply because of the dogmatic rigidity with which we have embraced had in this paradigm we are leaving behind.
I am so thrilled to see how these new times are bringing unprecedented access to our most sacred human right, the right that defines our nature and essence, creativity. It feels as if I had the chance to become the star in this new movie which is the immediate future, the most challenging, thrilling adventure we will ever had and share with the rest of the planet.
This is the time to question and defy all the ideological, intellectual and cultural restrictions and prejudice we have inherited. It is the time to perform a comprehensive brainstorm on the possibilities for the world we want to develop. Most people are finally questioning the old ways of doing things from driving, building, buying, eating, doing business and educating to sharing the planet. We are starting to see the fall in the confidence of unquestioned long revered institutions such as the global free market economy or military power as policy maker.
Ironically we have to thank the global crises for opening holes and ultimately breaking down the old order as it will provide us with the opportunity to collectively develop a new and hopefully more sustainable order or relationship with the planet. Although I fear the losses the planetary crises will bring including human lives, whole living species, ecosystems and economic losses, I am extremely motivated to partake in this life adventure and make my greatest contribution. No one before us in the history of this planet has had the privilege to experience such challenge and transform the world so much. Let’s not waste this historical opportunity