Society is facing a dual challenge.
On the one hand, it is facing the challenge of transforming the conditions in which it lives – poverty, hunger, infrastructure, roads, sustained economic and social transformation, dealing with the effects human prosperity such as climate change, rising inequality, etc.
On the other hand, it is facing the challenge of ‘internal transformation’ – creating the human capacity to deal with these challenges.
None of the external challenges can be addressed unless individuals and groups (communities and institutions) develop the intentionality, the will, the self-confidence, the capacity to work together, to be able to deal with these challenges.
If individuals or communities remain indifferent to a challenge – they may be unable to even recognize its ramifications or awaken to its consequences in time.
If individuals do not develop the will to deal with a problem, then they will not do what is necessary to solve our problems even if they recognize it and appreciate its importance.
If individuals or collectives do not have the self-confidence or belief that they can indeed solve a problem then they will wait for solutions from outside – become dependent on aid or foreign help or on “leadership” and “technology” to solve their challenges.
And if individuals and collectives don’t learn to overcome their narrow self-interest and come together, work together, accepting a shared destiny, then many problems will remain unsolved even if the recognition/ intentionality, will, and self-confidence exists within specific stakeholders or members of a group.
Thus, the challenge of ‘external transformation’ can be solved through leadership, innovation, resources and engagement.
But humankind will not even harness its assets and deal with ‘external transformation’ because it is disabled –
- by absence of shared recognition and collective intentionality
- by absence of collective will that transcends preoccupation with personal objectives alone
- by the lack of the self-confidence or self-belief – not necessarily in the leaders – but deep within the collective, leading to excessive dependence on the ‘other’ to solve the community’s own challenges
- by the unwillingness to bury egos, personal agendas, groupism, and a ‘not invented here’ attitude in order to solve a common shared challenge.
These disablers together represent the challenge of ‘internal transformation’ that faces humankind.
It’s time we wake up to this enablement challenge if we are to address our external challenges effectively.