To change the world, we must change our shared paradigm.
First things first, what is a paradigm?
broadly: a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind
Every one of us lives our life according to our own paradigm. Another phrase we can use is “World View”.
This world view is the filter through which all of our ideas are accepted or rejected. But to fully appreciate its influence on your world, on our world, we must recognize its power.
We can start by reminding ourselves about the power of thought. Thought is nothing less than the seeds by which man(or woman)-made change happens in the world.
No action, good or bad, has happened without some kind of thought. Even the rashest of actions require a fleeting thought, measured in milliseconds of speed. So, with a nod to to extensive body of literature about the power and effect of thought, we are going to proceed on the following assertion:
…as he thinketh in his heart, so is he… Proverbs 23:7
Our thoughts, which bear fruit in words and actions, turn into who we are, who we become. Powerful, right?
If thoughts are the plants (and weeds!) in our mind, then the paradigm is the soil in which they grow. You see, we all have thoughts enter our minds of many different types. Some of these thoughts are rejected as irrational and never take root.
The Right Soil
But why were these thoughts rejected? Who decides what’s rational?
The short answer is: You do.
It is impossible for you to do anything you consider irrational in your own mind. Even when people do irrational things, they have worked out in their own mind why the action makes sense. So the problem with a person acting irrationally isn’t that they aren’t thinking. It is that they are thinking from a different paradigm, one that may not match anyone else’s.
So, the only thoughts that get acted on pass the paradigm filter test. This is why we can know a lot about a person’s paradigm based on their actions and words.
Fortunately for all of us, paradigms aren’t static entities. They can be quite pliable and consciously cultivated. Pliability of paradigm can be described thusly:
A willingness to be taught
Keeping an open mind
Being willing to see things from a new perspective
An epiphany is a sudden and profound shift of a paradigm. Such a shift can be disorienting because the “rules” have changed, and we now see the world around us differently. Things that comforted us now hold us back, allies become adversaries, and walls become foundations.
Some of us haven’t actively chosen our own paradigm, and so it has been decided for us. Those that are truly unaware of the importance or existence of their own paradigm waver in their goals, ambitions and actions. Or worse, are easily manipulated by those with greater awareness and few scruples.
[H]e that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. James 1:6
To change our world, we must actively choose our paradigm, and we must choose one that is inclusive.
Building the Commons
As each of us have a Paradigm, in order to reach common goals, those paradigms must overlap. In other words, the fields in which our ideas grow must have common ground. In colonial America, these fields were called Commons.
The Post section will contain ongoing commentary about how to utilize the common ground we have, and how to build more.