We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do. – Mahatma Gandhi
I have been listening to some talks lately by Yuval Noah Harari he is the author of the best-selling book Sapiens. I am yet to read the book but in it, he discusses how through social construction and shared beliefs or shared stories we as a species have been able to work together in large numbers like never before and really become ‘rulers’ over the entire planet. However, there is a natural order to everything and in this process, we have really destroyed the planet that we live on. Thousands of animal species are becoming extinct directly because of us, plant biodiversity is rapidly being lost, and global warming is becoming a real threat.
A commonly held belief that he discusses in his book is around human rights. The majority of us care about and fight for the rights of humans. However the rights of all of the other beings that we share our planet with are seen as less than or unimportant. Yuval also discusses how we treat our domestic farm animals in many parts of the world. Their rights are seen as unimportant, their lives are unimportant, access to their natural environment and natural way of living is unimportant, all because we derive pleasure from eating them.
Another commonly held belief that he discusses is money. Everyone believes in money. This singular focus on money has really been a huge factor in the destruction of our planet and although most leaders are aware of and are concerned about climate change no one wants to stop their countries economic growth or power. Consumerism has enabled people to believe that they can ‘buy’ their way to happiness with the accumulation of wealth and possessions.
We have put ourselves at the top of everything else to the detriment of everything else.
When we are initiating positive change in ourselves we really need to think about what our story is? What are we saying through our actions? Is it consistent with our beliefs? We need to be the change.
When we are creating a business we really need to think about creating it around a movement that inspires people to live in a more conscious way. How will it help people? What problem will it solve?
When we are creating a product we also need to consider the environmental impact, the life of the product, and the impact to the communities who create it. Is the product biodegradable? How will it be disposed of at the end of its life? And how will add to someone’s life in a more positive way?
Due to rapid technological change and the ever increasing decentralisation of power we really now have the ability to create a NEW story of how people should live. Through our businesses, actions, and what we choose to buy. Also in how we choose to ultimately live and show up in the world fully as ourselves.
How will you live? What is your story?
(Photo: Chirobocea Nicu)