There are no easy solutions to complex problems. Certainly not in times of rapid change. There are, however, simple solutions that are not necessarily easy to apply. Perhaps the greatest challenge we face in this moment of our culture’s evolution is that the problems we face are more complex than ever before in human history. This complexity is the result of technological advances which have exposed our undeniable interconnectedness to everyone and everything on the planet. The more interconnectedness there is the more complexity. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that both humanity and the earth are inherently complex systems. In fact, they are complex adaptive systems. This means that 1) they are inherently complex by design and, 2) adaptability is a built-in characteristic of that complexity. Not only can they change, they are imbued with a process and a mechanism to facilitate change.
What, exactly, are the process and the mechanism?
The process is fixed. Change occurs whenever any single part of the whole system is altered internally or externally. Every action within a complex adaptive system automatically and naturally affects every other part. It’s where the saying comes from that “when a butterfly flaps its wings in Texas, wind patterns change in Tokyo.” If you’re standing near the butterfly you may never experience the wind change in Japan but it none-the-less will occur… no matter how infinitesimally small that change may be. It’s also why, if you manage a department within a large corporation and make some changes to correct an inner-departmental problem, you can be assured that those changes will affect other departments that will have to adapt or they will eventually manifest their own reactionary problems. Simply put, any single part of a complex adaptive system cannot change without inevitable impact upon the system as a whole.
The process for change is organized chaos. A healthy process is in a continuous dance seeking an equilibrium that is never achieved because true equilibrium is a static state. Remember, the complex adaptive system we call humanity is designed for change, not stasis.
While the process for change is fixed the mechanism for change is not. How change is initiated among humanity is initiated by one of two triggers: love or fear. Before looking at how this actually occurs, let’s set forth one overriding premise.
All positive emotions are a derivative of love. All negative emotions are a deravitive of fear.
It’s simply a matter of degree. Happiness, joy, gratitude, peacefulness for example, are derivatives of love. They flow from a state of endless possibility. To the contrary, anger, doubt, separation, stress and depression, for example, flow from a state of powerlessness.
Now that we understand that we are designed to change, provided with a process to change, and have a choice about the mechanism we use to trigger the process, we can each select, empower or disempower ourselves, by our choice of mechanism.
That you will change is undeniable and inevitable. How you will change is predetermined. But why you change is your choice to make. If you are frightened, worried, stressed, or feeling victimized it is likely that you will act from fear. When acting from fear you initiate change that is fear-based. Fear based change is limited and leads to outcomes that are disempowering. Fear-based change by one is an act of desperation that affects the whole. Fear-based choice maintains deceit, disease and dysfuntion.
If, however, you are joyous, hopeful, or happy, for example, then choice is made within a construct of personal empowerment and is seen as endless possibility. Love-based people choose to honor their neighbor as themselves and by so doing optimize wholeness, unity and harmony. Love-based choice maintains the integrity and dance of organized chaos.
So, as we approach a critical choice in 2016 regarding the future of our country and our culture, ask yourself one simple question: “Am I choosing from love or fear?