As a child in Spain in the 70s I always felt in transition from a dictatorship to a democracy (“la transición” it was called), a child between a rigid system to a more democratic, liberal and open society. I felt in the middle because my parents grew up in a state of fear generated by the civil war and the dictatorship and that doesn’t evaporate in a second just because the regime was gone. The effects were still there. There was, however, an air of freedom and people in general thought to be free.
Later on, as I moved to Ireland and lived there, I felt again in the middle, never belonging to the Irish culture but being changed by it, never fully identifying with the Spanish, yet being Spanish. That’s the thing about travelling and living in other countries; you are not quite there, you don’t belong; all your ideas and beliefs are going to be confronted by a society with different ideas or a different way to go about things. You are forever, irreparably changed. I felt like a bridge between two cultures, never belonging to any one of them.
At the beginning of the millennium a new era was announced: the beginning of a new millennium, the next 1000 years. There were voices of doom that predicted the end of the world. Others predicted the end of the world as we know it.
Around 2007 “the crisis” started all around. Institutions threatened to tumble down and with that, the possibility of creating a new world. Once again I felt in the middle, in transition from an old society crumbling down to a new one being born. I have lived 30 years of my life in the old millennium, the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
The old has to go so that the new can be created.
15 years have passed since the beginning of the millennium. I haven’t heard that much about how to solve the problems we have, how to create a better society. Are there proposals out there? Mostly it’s the idea that what we have it’s good enough; it’s the best possible model. Is that really true? Is there room for improvement or do we need to redesign the whole thing? I don’t see people asking: “What kind of society would I like to live in?
Can we trust politicians and leaders to guide us into this brave, new world?
“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.”
Dr. Phil always says.
A few years ago, I found an interesting book that helped me understand the society we currently live in with the interesting title “Why so stupid? How the human race has never really learned to think” by Edward de Bono.
He explains how thinking is a skill that can be learned regardless of age or backgrounds through the use of simple thinking tools in everyday life.
He also articulates how we “have never developed the creative thinking needed to design the way forward.”
This is due to the fact we have inherited our current thinking from the Renaissance, which was based on the Greek and Roman philosophers.
The system that we have is based on the idea I’m right, you are wrong. We are subject to endless parliamentary debates in which the speaker is trying to prove a point and everybody else is trying to prove him/her wrong. This is the equivalent of a soap opera, entertainment for the masses. I have spent very little time in my life watching this charade because I had no interests whatsoever in politics and these endless debates bore me to death. Notice how there is a lot of talking and not much problem solving, competition rather than collaboration.
I read somewhere around the time of the millennium we cannot wait for somebody to save us, a messiah because he will not save us but further bring us down the wrong path. The new millennium is about saving yourself. Actually, this is a theme running in my life because I always thought I had to save myself, since the people around me didn’t have the knowledge or knew what was going on in my head.
Transition times can be full of uncertainty and fear, not knowing where we are heading. But it can also be a time to dream, to dream big because without a vision of where we want to go we will be left in the same place we are now.
I believe in people living in harmony within themselves, each other and Nature. My vision is a world in harmony.
How can we build a harmonious society?
Change starts within. When we change, the world changes. My goal is to learn to live in harmony within. It starts with the body. It starts with paying attention to our bodies.