We cannot solve the problems we have created until we change our traditional beliefs about this planet, each other and our political and corporate myths. It is these beliefs that have created the world we live in, and so therefore by their very nature they are incapable of finding solutions.
We cannot financially “manage" our way out of climate change or a profit oriented mindset. For us to stand any chance of reversing our present position we must find leaders who understand who and what we are as a species and how we have to relate to this wonderful planet.
For example - Credit works against the human condition because we receive the reward before we have made any effort. As a species we are designed to strive, and in so doing grow and mature as beings. Competition is a fundamental human motivator in whatever aspect of life you choose, and the spur is winning or at least making a good account of ourselves and preparing for the next time. Credit on the other hand works on impulse and the striving comes after the reward, when we have to strive to earn the wherewithal to pay for what we have accumulated.
What we see with the collapse of the sub prime mortgage market is people on both sides of the financial fence under unreal levels of stress, resulting in low self esteem and no chance of regaining personal self worth because of the narrow financial confines that determine the efficacy of their actions.
Since the dawning of time our religious beliefs have told us we are “born sinful" and have to spend a lifetime seeking forgiveness. Great for those in charge of handing out the rewards for our efforts to become “good", but what has been the collective effect upon our self esteem as a species over the last two millennia - it doesn't bear thinking about!
I am not suggesting that we scrap what we have and start again, as there is much of value within our traditional religious doctrines that can nurture us. However we need a brand of leadership now that acknowledges how much we have evolved as a species over the last two millennia and review, upgrade and adapt our traditional beliefs to meet our needs in this new millennium.
We desperately need to make a quantum leap forward in how we interact with each other, to catch up with our technological capabilities. Our view about conflict remains unaltered to those we held at the time of the Crusades and yet we have moved passed bows and arrows, and knights in armour to the nuclear age and the ramifications this has upon our very existence as a species.
We need leaders who understand this situation and can focus their attention beyond corporate and political beliefs and considerations to a whole new way of dealing with each other and life.
It's a challenge I'll grant you, and a big one - but think of the excitement and new sense of purpose taking up such a challenge could instill around the globe!
Copyright 2008 - John Coombes
Born in 1946 in South London and with a Secondary education, for 35 years John Coombes had a successful career in the City where he built several companies and a £100 million group. In the late 80's he became disillusioned with “just making money" and in his early 40's suffered several traumas including ME, Breakdown and Bankruptcy. In the space of 18 months Coombes went from a City boardroom to the paint shop in a small art metal works factory. At the time the Stock market and housing market also collapsed and he lost everything, including his family. Over the last 20 years he has embarked upon a sabbatical which has resulted in him now coming to view life and its workings from a new, totally different and more meaningful perspective. In his manuscript “What if WE are God", of which this article is an extract, there are amusing as well as very poignant stories that provide the backdrop to a deeply penetrating observation on the human condition, and how we seem to continually hold ourselves back from realizing our true potential as a species in this thing called life.