Tuesday, July 5, 2016

True sustainable change versus short-term reactions and counterreactions

True and sustainable change is counterintuitive, nonlinear, disorganized, and invisible. History is a mixture of visible, high-profile, short-term events that draw much attention and cause fear, and slow, relentless, long-term changes that go on regardless, often unnoticed but powerful and transformative, nevertheless.

While we panic and pay attention to the horrible terror attacks, which we should or to hate-mongering  and fear-stroking politicians, as we should, slowly unbeknown to us but surely major positive changes accompanying globalization continue - people and cultures intermingle, positive innovations happen, capital and businesses move, information and ideas spread, transformative solutions of huge import happen. These are the forces that will ultimately shape destiny, not just the cycle of reaction and counter-reaction to hatred.

Much as we may perceive that the world has become unsafe and violent, and we have reason to think so, as we constantly hear of the terror attacks, the murders, and the hatred that spills around, we need to also ask an important question. Why don't we hear more about the positive stories of human nature, which are bountiful?

Indeed, when we examine the statistics, as Steven Pinker did in his book "Better Angels of our Nature", we reassuringly find that the world is actually a safer, better, less violent place than it ever has been in the vast span of human history
If only our cognitive senses could be shaped to perceive the invisible, to gain perspective, and to imagine the positively unimaginable, we would hope more and fear less. True, hope may be a delusion, but isn't fear too? Better to live in hope than die in despair, as some fellow said.

No comments: