A major moment in history last night – a shift in the trajectory of our civilization.
This is not because of the firsts, the stats, or the policies. It’s where this comes from and how it came about.
It’s about a shift in mindset in the most dominant society in our civilization. A shift from fear to hope. From divisiveness to inclusion. From independent to interdependent.
911, Katrina, and the Financial Crisis successively destabilized this society’s attachment to the mindset of independence. The election and yesterday’s results give us our most concrete example of a society shifting toward a mindset of interdependence.
Ervin Laszlo layed out the shift in mindset needed for our civilization in hisotrical terms about 10 years ago. He described it as a shfit from extensive evolution (materialistic, conquest and consumption oriented) to intensive evlolution (centred on human development and development of human consciousness). It includes shifts:
- competition -> reconciliation and partnership
- greed and scarcity -> sufficiency and caring
- outer “authority” -> inner “knowing”
- separation -> wholeness
- mechanistic systems -> living systems
- organizational fragmentation -> coherent integration
Some quotes from Obama’s speech last night brought this home for me:
It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.
…reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can
The full transcript is a great read, even if you watched the speech.
This small moment represents so much, and if it represents the tip in mindset I believe it does, then in terms of the history we are now writing, according to Laszlo we have just made a major choice for ‘breakthrough’.