It's the End of the World (as we know it)

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So we’ve arrived at December 21st 2012, the end of a 5000 year cycle in the Mayan calendar and the much vaunted “end of the world.” Whilst the destruction of the planet by gigantic asteroids or solar flares seems highly unlikely, we are nevertheless witnessing huge social, economic and environmental challenges that promise to change our lives beyond recognition in the years to come. So let’s take a brief look at the trends pointing, not to a definitive end, but to the end of the world as we know it and what this demands of us.

A faster, more complex world

If we look at the trends in society all over the world the structure of our daily lives is changing. The ever increasing connectivity of the internet age means we’re having to cope with increasing amounts of information. Think back just three years ago – how many electronic messages did you receive per day? And now…?  The rate of change itself is speeding up.  The complexity and networked reality of the 21st century means a lot more is being demanded of everyone .  

Work

Our present era has been characterised for centuries by pyramidal, hierarchical social structures. Those at the top have held the power, the knowledge and made decisions through processes of command and control. However centralised, hierarchical organisations and work places are now revealing themselves to be increasingly inefficient, expensive and unable to respond to rapid change. Businesses are awakening to the necessity of ‘workplace empowerment’. This model encourages staff to make their own decisions, form effective teams and take responsibility for their decisions and actions. At the same time companies are increasingly outsourcing to more cost effective independent contractors and freelancers. We are moving into the era of the creative freelancer, each catering to a specialised niche, a decentralised, networked, ecosystem approach to work that is ultimately much more sustainable and resilient to change. This will have profound implications for society . 

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The Age of Transparency and Accountability

Have you’ve noticed that it is getting increasingly difficult to remain hidden and out of public scrutiny for the institutions and individuals that are prepared to engage in socially harmful practices like fraud, tax avoidance, sexual abuse, closed door deals etc.? Reputations are easily broken these days. Trust in governments, corporations and authorities of all kinds is at an all-time low. The internet is giving birth to an age of transparency which means we all have to be more rigorous in facing up to how we behave. The times are forcing us to more honest and trustworthy. In a connected age the degree to which we can be trusted is paramount. 


Increasing Instability

Whilst governments are at pains to admit it if you look at what is happening in the US and Western Europe it is clear that the era of economic growth is coming to a close. Since 2008 economies everywhere have remained jittery. Our environment is continually degraded and ecological systems are broken so that it looks like more hurricanes, floods and natural disasters are likely. Also this year has seen droughts and very poor harvests to the extent that the UN is talking of chronic food shortages in 2013. 

Unfortunately these are just a few of the crises that may well lead to greater instability and social unrest in the years to come. 

This means that individually, in our life times, we will certainly have to learn to adapt to new circumstances.

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New world, new mindset

Which brings me to the point of this blog. All of the changes in circumstances outlined above require a new mindset with which to deal with them. Up until now the majority of us have been educated and brought up to deal with how to get along in the old system which is on its way out. This has tended to mean finding our place within a structure, taking orders from those above and giving them to those below. Looking for possibilities within those existing structures will start to look and feel increasingly bleak. 


With such tumultuous change on the horizon it is vital we learn new ways of being and thinking. 

The blueprint for thriving in the new world is as follows:

  • Recognise what your own natural qualities and gifts are.
  • Find ways in which to incorporate them in your existing work or remodel your career.
  • Seek out ways to empower yourself and think for yourself
  • If an opportunity doesn’t already exist, work out how to create it
  • Reach out, collaborate and seek win/win solutions (you will lose kudos with the winner takes all approach in the networked age.)
  • If collaboration doesn’t come naturally make a point of learning the soft skills (listening, empathy) that will enable it.
  • Trust your intuition
  • Think about the consequences that your actions have on individuals, communities, societies and the planet.
This is not about doom and gloom. This is a blueprint for a satisfying, sustainable life!
Once you start to think and act in line with these principles, you’ll see it’s only the end of the world as we know it… and you’ll feel fine!

See the original blog at http://www.naturalinsightcoaching.com/blog.html

Views: 84

Comment by Ben Roberts on December 21, 2012 at 4:00am

Andy:

Thank you for this!  What a beautiful outline of the transformation I believe we are on the cusp of committing to on a global basis.  Here in Newtown, CT, all of what you suggest, including the powerful emergence of a philosophy based on very ideas you lay out in your "blueprint for thriving," feels tangibly present.

You're familiar, I assume, with the Birth2012 movement started by Barbara Marx Hubbard  and the Shift Movement?  for anyone who is not, this Saturday, all around the world, millions will be celebrating the end of the old age and the birth of a new one.  

Here in Newtown, we had an event planned too.  It has been reframed as a space for solemn mourning and collective grief, which seems like the right place for us to be at this time.  And yet there are also many here who sense a rising power of possibility, coming up from the graves of those twenty poor children, six teachers, one mother and perhaps even one mass murderer, whose loneliness and violent rage is the epitome of the end result of the myth of separateness that has characterized the era that feels like it just may be ending at last.

One of the teachers who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a substitute. I heard a story from a fellow resident that I have not confirmed, but I have no reason not to believe it is true... The teacher she was covering for was out sick.  On Friday 12/16, perhaps even at the very moment when the killings were happening, she was at her doctors, where they did a test and discovered... that she is pregnant.  Think for a moment about how that transforms her experience of having survived while so many others did not.

Comment by Ben Roberts on December 21, 2012 at 4:04am

And on a lighter note, this never fails to crack me up:

Comment by Ben Roberts on December 21, 2012 at 4:55am

Thinking about the fact that the killer's name was Adam...  

Here in Newtown, as I just noted over on this week's forum thread, many people wracked by grief and rage would just as soon never hear or read another word about the young man who committed this unbelievably heinous act, let alone hear his name or count him among the dead (twenty eight people died last Friday, including Adam and Nancy Lanza,  but mostly the number you will see is twenty six, representing the children and adults who were murdered in their school).

But I am struck by the symbolism. I have this incredible sense that something immensely powerful may in fact have been catalyzed by the events here.  Could it be that a New Age is dawning as a result of the terrible sin Adam committed in beautiful NEWtown?

Comment by Ben Roberts on December 21, 2012 at 4:57am

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes,
an aeroplane - Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn,
world serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs.
Feed it off an aux speak,, grunt, no, strength, 
The ladder starts to clatter with fear fight down height. 
Wire in a fire, representing seven games, a government for hire and a combat site.
Left of west and coming in a hurry with the furies breathing down your neck.
Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped.
Look at that low playing!
Fine, then.
Uh oh, overflow, population, common food, but it'll do.
Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and the revered and the right - right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty psyched.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign towers.
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn.
Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood letting.
Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate.
Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down.
Watch your heel crush, crushed. Uh-oh, this means no fear cavalier.
Renegade steer clear! A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) and I feel fine.
(I feel fine)

It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) and I feel fine.

The other night I dreamt of knives, continental drift divide. Mountains sit in a line
Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev. Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom!
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right? Right.

It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) and I feel fine.

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) and I feel fine.

It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) and I feel fine.

It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it. (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) and I feel fine...

Comment by Andy on December 22, 2012 at 6:16am

Thanks Ben for your comments. Yes I am familiar with the Birth2012 movement! Been watching some of the events yeaterday.

My thoughts and good wishes go out to your fellow townspeople in this difficult time.

Wishing you a happy, peaceful and prosperous Christmas and New Year.

Andy, London, UK

Comment by Ben Roberts on December 22, 2012 at 10:10am

Thank you, Andy.  Your support, and that of so many others around the world, is absolutely precious to us.  I'll be attending Newtown's Birth2012 event today.  www.birth2012connecticut.com

It's been reframed given our circumstances as a place for mourning and remembrance, rather than a celebration of the birth of a New Age.  the underlying energy and intention will still be intact though, I am thinking.  We shall see.

I made some brief, passionate efforts to link our gathering here with the main event in LA more directly, but I didn't get  much of a response back from my invitation and then it started to seem like too much for me right now.  So I am expecting to take a breather from my hosting work and focus on time with my family until the new year.  Meanwhile, inspiring ideas keep flooding me.  We WILL make meaning from this tragedy.  

Comment by Brian E Shumsky on December 30, 2012 at 2:48am

12/30/2012

To All the American people I wish you all a brighter and prosperous new year in 2013

What ever the economy may or may not be live your life to the fullest. Remember to always try to HELP and make a positive difference in your community ,life on a daily basis

Love thy neighbors. Forgive and forget.

It's such an awesome feeling to help another person.

It's such a High I can't even explain It It's a drug and it's legal drug. lol.

May every American find joy & happiness when times like these seems very hard.

We must stick TOGETHER as a nation and be STRONG 

GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Brian E Shumsky 

Resident of Northeast Philadelpghia

and pround occupier of occupyphilly

 

 

   

  

Comment by Brian E Shumsky on December 30, 2012 at 2:51am

Comment by Brian E Shumsky on December 30, 2012 at 2:51am

Comment by Brian E Shumsky on December 30, 2012 at 2:52am

Brian E Shumsky 

owner of ElliotsPhotography.com 

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