We’re all getting restless, I notice.
Aching to get back to normal after six weeks of carefully following some pretty restrictive rules.
Do we really want to go back? I wonder if it makes any sense to return to doing the very things that created systems so fragile they failed us at the time we needed them most?
This new coronavirus has shone a spotlight on the flaws and weaknesses of the systems we’ve created over the years—health care, aged care, business, economics, education. We have become painfully aware of their flaws in both structure and underlying philosophy.
What would be a better way?
Is there a better way? And how will we get there? There is no doubt we need a major revisioning to create systems that are resilient, humane, and sustainable—which is not true of how we’ve been living.
Fortunately, we live in a non-linear universe, and there are people who have been working on how we could design systems to be more resilient, humane, and sustainable.
In the mid-1990s, I spent time at Schumacher College in the UK. I was intrigued when I learned about the implications of living n a quantum reality. The discoveries of quantum physics in the twentieth century blew open the scientific world—suggesting previously unimagined possibilities. The idea that a system could be flipped from one “basin of attraction” to another caught my attention. Apparently, this happens when the system is operating at its edge, which is where chaos occurs. In such a state, even a small perturbation (disruption) can provoke the system into a whole new way of operating (another basin of attraction).
Such descriptions of energy are abstract and often confounding to our literal, linear ways of thinking. Yet I find it comforting to know there is more to life than meets the eye—making a lot possible that I’d never think of.
Peter Merry is one of the people who does think about how things could be done differently. He is a Fellow of the Center for Human Ecology in the UK where he did his MSc with a thesis on the future of work and economics. His thesis was recently published as a book under the title Why Work?: Economics and Work for People and Planet. The description reads, in part:
Why Work? shows us how we can change our policies, take action directly in our communities to carve out the space for us to reclaim our humanity, and engage in activities that reward our deeper needs, our communities and our planet as a whole.
It is the nature of non-linear change moments, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that we can’t predict what the future is going to be that emerges from it. According to Peter Merry, the key is to notice what is breaking down (systems, structures, ways of thinking, ways of doing things) and help them let go gracefully—while, at the same time, putting in place the conditions that will accelerate the new solutions that are emerging. In the process, we will see two responses: Regression to fear-based, contracted reactions, and break-through to more integrated wholistic responses.
In the interview which follows, he elaborates with examples from healthcare, business, and education. I found this discussion rich, practical and hopeful.
Peter Merry spoke about a new initiative, Humanity Rising, which he described as an on-line experience bringing together speakers with alternative plans for creating a future we will feel proud of. It will highlight both new ways of thinking and concrete solutions that have been worked on under the radar for the past twenty years or so. To find out more, go to http://humanityrising.solutions. The on-line event begins May 22, 2020.
For more about Ubiquity University go here.
Life can be surprising…
We haven’t got it all figured out yet. This is our chance to rise to the challenge.