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Changing the way we change

Changing the way we change: Time is of the essence

By: Ashley D. Mwanza

We must start by looking up and out and not dwell on the down and in.
The “big questions” must be asked and when these are asked they bring into focus, the central purpose, or driving force of an individual, an organisation, and or a country. An individual asks , “what is my purpose?”, a company asks “what business are we in?”, a government asks “who are we serving?”.
“Big questions” seek to clarify a “vision” that inspires, motivates and energises an individual or an organisation. All visions should come in pictures and images rather than in mere words and rhetoric. All the lines may be neatly drawn in, but a sustaining vision will have an attracting, compelling power that will cause people to ask, “How do we get there?” “How can we best carry our mission?”. Simply put, vision means seeing something according to the way we believe it should and will turn out, creating a compelling and sustaining picture of our most desirable future.
“Without a sense of direction, it is impossible to tell a good wind from an ill wind.” People and organisations not forgetting governments will drift to and fro, tossed by every changing wind, unless and until they clarify what they are about and where they want to go. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. The plain fact is that transition and change create anxiety, and anxiety is part of the human condition, the youth are always in transition. Mission and vision are not enough, as important as they are, they alone won’t sustain the journey and or the transition.
The road will most certainly be bumpy. You can map out a process and a timeline for change on paper that looks very smooth and straightforward, just like plotting a route on a road map. There are too many variables for anyone to control, and many of those have nothing to do with the plans on ‘paper’. But once we have made a decision about mission and direction, keeping momentum moving forward toward that vision is crucial. So along the way we shouldn’t give excuses but learn to ride the storm. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
The greatest breakthrough of this generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. The way we do things has to change for the world to do like-wise. The problem of divergent forces in crucial matters can be slowly curbed if society is moulded towards transformation of our attitude towards common goals.
Change is not easy but often is essential to survival. If we say it is difficult we will have ultimately drawn the line between what can be done and that which cannot be done and that is detrimental to any ‘real’ progress. It is either change or pull the plug. I learned that we carry history in ourselves. We are more like our parents than we know -- and this is dangerous. We are all a part of this unending living web of life, but if we carry everything that was done yesterday into the future we are treading on a treacherous path. The "we have always done it that way" attitude has to be halted and the long-term viability of planet earth relies on our ability to innovate ‘acceptable’ reforms in our societies.
Even though the we have pressing problems, we must not make changes in the coordination of our efforts toward a better world in a drastic way. They must be balanced so we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.
On one level, any act, however small, changes the world. The fundamental war is the one within ourselves, and if you don't take steps to overcome that, that is where the problems in our world emanate from.
There's something so beautiful and practical about people coming together to share resources and skills for the betterment of all. If we adopt an integral approach as an ethical basis and general strategy for our world, namely care of our environments, communities and ourselves, we have far less chance of generating harm.
Let's keep making our world a better place for all. Time is of the essence let us not take it for granted. If the problems in our world are so grave and the way toward a solution (unity) is clear, the question is for how much longer are we going to wait to act? When we have fallen through the crevices of our own making?

25 October 2010   


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