Friday 28 November 2014

Change Demands Us

The recent few weeks have brought to my renewed and deeper attention a few things that I now feel compelled more than ever to share, especially with those who are involved in areas of reforms for human development, education and interested in human capital development within societies and of course the development of society itself. As far as I can remember my interest has always been in deciphering and discovering ways in which we can improve our individual and collective lives and I am not sure what propelled me to be concerned, but I was reminded recently that somewhere its foundation lies in pain and agony, which stems from loss, may it be personal or that which is empathetically derived from the pain of those that we love, or we come across.

The last decade of my life was particularly focused on learning ways of people development, understanding behavior and its personal and collective consequences, understanding what ought to be our aspirational ideal selves and what will it take to turn things around to make things better, and whatever that meant.

My choice of books, my seemingly diverse courses of study, my choice of profession and the experiences I chased, conversations I had, were all predominantly decided by what I wanted to learn and do next towards answering these questions I had in my mind. Not that I have by any means found final answers to my questions but it has been a very insightful and in a way has me at this point where I am compelled, as mentioned, to share this with others (of course with those who choose to read my blog).

I plan to write a series of blogs under the title ‘Change Demands Us’ particularly sharing insights into how our habitual and conditioned responses often blind us to reality and the consequences of our actions. I will bring to the conversation real events, actions, dilemmas and judgments that highlight my points in practical real world contexts within the realm of education, human capital development, human and social behavior and related reform. For most people the concept is not new, but yet we are usually non-cognizant of this as it happens especially when we ourselves are perpetrators of these thoughts and actions.

The reason I chose this title ‘Change Demands Us’ is because I realize that the more I delve deep into the issues I talk about and those that concern me deeply, the more I realize that to achieve improved outcomes we need to work on ourselves and change ourselves. We are so ignorant about our own behavior, thought patterns and related personal and other larger consequences, that we are actually part of the problem on account of which we suffer the world in which we live in, yet we find myriad reasons to blame the world for not being the way we believe it ideally should be. Of course we also use over-claimed and conveniently attributed helplessness to cover our own indolence, avarice, lack of courage and understanding. In this way I see personal change and larger reform integrated and completely interdependent, and therefore the need to change ourselves to change the world. Thus, ‘Change Demands Us’

“Of course we would all like others to change, rather than ourselves, because we are just ‘so right and so finely balanced in our helplessness and doing all that we do’ that there is little that can be improved, apart from of course that which we are already working at or will inevitably be led to at the right time. Also how can anybody else tell us otherwise or be more insightful, if they are, then that is going to reveal itself in the next book I am anyway going to read so I will know all about it; or it is the next conclusion, my thinking and work will lead me to anyway. Moreover, as providence would have it, that would be the right time when I ought to be getting that insight.

Yet I live in world where the impoverished thinking and ignorant and damaging actions of others have made a mess of it. If only others could be more like me and I could be less helpless and if I only had (more/less) of _________, I or we could make the world better. But until then I am doing the best I can.” … Think about it, isn't this us?

I leave you to reflect on this until my next blog, when I hope to take you deeper into this narrative and beyond.