Two short reflections for the turning of the year
In 2014 we can awaken to the fact that we live in an era of unprecedented privilege, resources, and possibilities entering an era of unprecedented danger. There is tremendous potential for serious positive change and collective focus. We don’t know how the future will play out. That means we would be wise to step up as agents of conscious change AND to focus on resilience in our personal lives and in our communities and societies – and as a global civilization that wants to survive and thrive to bless our grandchildren’s lives.
Always a New Beginning
by Anodea Judith
Endings and beginnings are essential. Even though one day rolls into the next and they don’t really differ from each other all that much, there’s something about starting a new year that’s like getting out a blank canvas. Still virgin, it begs the possibility of almost anything. We get to create the reality we want….
[W]e are entering the end of an epoch… along with the beginning of a new one. We are hospice workers to what is dying and midwives to what is emerging. And it is we who are birthing this new world, we who are privileged to live in a time when everything is provided: the roads, the stores, the internet, houses, cars, airplanes, computers, cell phones. We live in a time of the greatest privilege humans have ever known.
This privilege gives us enormous capacity to do something.
A good thing, too, because we are simultaneously entering a time of extreme danger, more dire and daunting than anything humans have faced in our long journey to now. This will be the year, I predict, that this realization reaches the general population that climate change, and all the environmental problems that face us are real and serious. There’s nothing like common problems to unite a people.
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Accuracy, resilience and denial
by Seth Godin
… three ways to deal with the future.
Accuracy is the most rewarding way to deal with what will happen tomorrow–if you predict correctly. Accuracy rewards those that put all their bets on one possible outcome. The thing is, accuracy requires either a significant investment of time and money, or inside information (or luck, but that’s a different game entirely). Without a reason to believe that you’ve got better information than everyone else, it’s hard to see how you can be confident that this is a smart bet.
Resilience is the best strategy for those realistic enough to admit that they can’t predict the future with more accuracy than others. Resilience isn’t a bet on one outcome, instead, it’s an investment across a range of possible outcomes, a way to ensure that regardless of what actually occurs (within the range), you’ll do fine.
And denial, of course, is the strategy of assuming that the future will be just like today….
Most endeavors we participate in offer long-term, generous entrants plenty of rewards. Playing the game is a form of winning the game. In those competitions, we win by being resilient.
Unfortunately, partly due to our fear of losing as well as our mythologizing of the winner-take-all, we often make two mistakes. The first is to overdo our focus on accuracy, on guessing right, on betting it all on the ‘right’ answer. We underappreciate just how powerful long-term resilience can be.
And the second mistake is to be so overwhelmed by all the choices and all the apparent risk that instead of choosing the powerful path of resilience, we choose not to play at all. Denial rarely pays.
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