Communities are under great stress. They are the places we live, work, love, and experience the full range of life. We each need to think deeply about our relationship to the place we live. Where do you participate? What is your contribution? What is the difference that matters that you make?
This is what Stephan Abrams a honored friend and I talk about on his podcast, The Jackson Hole Connection.
We all live in a time of transition. It is different than just recognizing that change is happening. It is seeing that transition is a process along a path of change. The more we embrace the transitions that we are in, the more we can thrive in a time of uncertainty. The Transition Chronicles is an ongoing series of short books (5,000 to 12,000 words in length) that focus on various aspects of the transitions that we experience through the three dimensions of the Circle of Impact.
All intentional change must begin with what we know. The line between what we know and what we do not know is a broad one. In that former is information, experience, and knowledge. On the other side of that dividing line is conjecture, opinion and the spectacle of the real*. Social media straddles those two ways of understanding. It presents the perspectives that suggests that because we have read a blog post or watched a video that we now have some definitive knowledge about something. Coming to know what you know is not a passive experience of absorbing other people’s knowledge or opinion. Instead, it is an active search for understanding on many levels. I want to show you the practice that I use to understand the world that surrounds me. In doing this, I hope to show you the difference between genuine knowledge and mere opinion. Why does this matter? When you know what you need to know, you are less susceptible to being manipulated by people who use ideologies as a wedge to divide people and communities.
Four Responses to Change
There is a continuum of response to change. There are four responses along a spectrum with the extremes being destructive responses to change, and the middle two being more constructive. Let us call the destructive responses Change-Phobic and Change-Junkie and the constructive responses Change-receptive and Change-initiator.
One of the realities that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed is the degree to which our culture has shifted in the type of consumerism which it promotes.
I remember back in the early 1980s listening to a NPR interview with a guy who had written a book about modern marketing philosophies. I remember it to this day because of the shift that he had noted began to take place during the 1960s. He described how for much of the 20th century marketing had been focused on shaming people into buying products.
Then a shift occurred where consumer product marketers began to promote products by telling people that they deserved to have it. Every time I think of this interview I remember the old McDonald’s jingle, “You deserve a break today…”.