10 steps to creating a new society. Step #2: Embrace connectedness over individualism. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
As of this writing, the United States is suffering from a complete breakdown in managing an epic, preventable virus epidemic. It's not because the US doesn't have the tools, resources or personnel to manage it, It's because our political structure has peddled a thinly veiled "me" over "we" concept disguising itself as personal choice. Other countries have made the pandemic manageable . Managing crises for the greater good of a community is the hallmark of civilized societies. Western individualism or what what used to be colloquially called "rugged individualism" , is the belief that everyone makes it on their own without the help of others. Of course, if you ask most millionaires (if you want to use money as a determinant of "making it). they will tell you that their contacts, networks, generational wealth, government support programs and racial advantage testify that they didn't make on their own. They had an amazing amount of help and support. Yet, individualism, as it is popularly painted in US society, is a persistent ghost that now shows up as dysfunction, selfishness and the breakdown of civility. Here are some of it's most demonstrable examples.
The suicide epidemic in the "cowboy west".
An old mythos in the United States is one of the singular cowboy that basically solves his problems by himself. as an individual. This myth has been fueled over the years in mostly fabricated Western movies. This lone wolf "cowboy ups" and settles the affairs of others and his own without the use of support groups or health resources. It is that mythos that may be contributing to the dramatic rise of suicides in the high mountain West. https://cowboystatedaily.com/2019/04/24/rugged-individualism-may-contribute-to-high-mountain-west-suicide-rates-says-expert/
The exit from basic civility.
In his book "Bowling Alone", author Robert Putnam discussed trends where Americans are divorcing themselves from civic organizations that build community ties, civility and connectedness. He suggests that this is primarily due to technology that allows us to create personal silos online. That's not necessarily true. Technology is a toaster. You can use Zoom to strengthen the ties you have with friends and family around the world. But if you have a predisposition to individualism, you'll use it to build silos and create barriers to others. You're even more prone to be an extremist because you don't get the benefit of a fully vetted and nuanced conversation. https://www.newamerica.org/weekly/our-laser-focus-individualism-destroying-our-communities/
Individualism destroys communities.
From health care to systemic racism to education to climate crisis....we face gigantic challenges of a generation that require collective action. Individualism is simply too inefficient and too ineffective to handle the scale of current changes and disruption. In other words, individualism is the wrong philosophy at the wrong time. https://healthyplacesbydesign.org/americas-obsession-with-individualism-is-making-us-sick/
The Ubuntu Alternative
There is a concept out of Africa called "Ubuntu". At it's heart is the basic philosophy that we are all connected and our strength is in leveraging that connectedness. This is the exact opposite of the rugged individual mythos and a more accurate reflection of how success is actually achieved . It is not an idea to get rid of individualism.....rather, it is based on the understanding that individual parts work better together through interdependence. At a time of monumental crises, it has the potential to be more agile and more flexible than what we've tried to date.
In an "every man for himself" world, we need a belief system that is more robust and innovative than what we've used so far. Let's open the door to something new.
10 steps to creating a new society. Step #1 -- Stop eating The Western Diet. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
Many of your are asking "what can I do to positively impact society in this time of change?" The first , most significant and most accessible thing you can do is stop eating the Western Diet. The Western Diet or the Standard American Diet is a modern dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, candy and sweets, fried foods, conventionally raised animal products, high -fat dairy products, eggs, refined grains, potatoes, corn and high-fructose corn syrup and high sugar. This poisonous flow of manufactured food-like substances invented and globally distributed by the West is one of the most dangerous things ever invented in the history of human kind. Need proof?
The Western Diet is linked to diminishing brain function.
Several studies have come out over the past few years that point to something that seems obvious....if you eat enough fries, hamburgers, sugary, fatty, processed and salt-laden food, you get dumber . If you have kids and you're feeding them this stuff on a regular, basis, you are dooming your children's future. If you have parents and they are eating this stuff, they are greatly increasing the odds of dementia and alzheimer's disease. if you don't seem to be as sharp as you thought you were at one time, it may have everything to do with that steady diet of fast food you've made part of your daily routine https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/news/diet-food-brain-function-science-western-health-a9344436.html
The Western Diet is diminishing your ability to fight COVID-19
Again, a no -brainer. The more of this Western society staple of empty calories you take into your system, the less you get of the proper nutrients and vitamins necessary to build up your body's immune system. Optimal health is always your best defense against an invasive virus. https://www.noted.co.nz/health/health-nutrition/covid-19-does-research-show-that-good-diet-helps-stave-off
The Western Diet is literally killing you.
Hope you're enjoying that hamburger!. If you have regular intakes of Western Diet food , you've probably shaved 20 years off your life span. You've also greatly contributed to the diminishing of your quality of life through the slow death of heart disease and hypertension. https://sentientmedia.org/the-western-diet/
The Western Diet is adding to our climate change disaster.
In order to meet the demands of the fast food industry, more and more of our natural forests will have to be dedicated to raising cattle and pigs. Not only does that diminish the earth's natural tools in balancing CO2 emissions, but the methane produced by the massive industrial farms increases CO2 output. When climate change people talk about reducing your intake of meat, they're not trying to "take away your burgers". They just ran the numbers and realize there is a low risk, highly participatory action all of us can do right now to save our future. https://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-western-diet-climate-health-20141112-story.html
The Western Diet is the force behind the world obesity epidemic.
Wherever Western civilization spreads in the world, the Western diet goes with it and so does the global obesity epidemic . Societies that had a relatively strong health index among it's people prior to the invasion of fast food chains and sugary items from the US, are now battling with obesity at a phenomenal rate. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6817492/
The Western Diet is incredibly addictive.
There's a reason you're finding it difficult to quit eating something that directing diminishes your quality of life as well as destroy the planet. Simply put, the amount of processed sugar has the ability to block the brain's ability to determine that it is full. Thus, it makes you feel like you need more. It is in the same league of any other controlled substance. https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/why-we-are-drowning-in-the-western-diet
What can I do?
There have been healthy , more humane diets that have existed eons before the rise of the Western diet. They include the Mediterranian Diet, the West African diet and any plant-based diet that better mimics what our ancestors actually ate. And no, they did not eat the so called "keto" diet. https://nutritionstudies.org/is-the-ketogenic-diet-natural-for-humans/
Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you seek to save the other passengers on the plane. Get out of the Western diet.
There's a free online school option for African American students this fall. A briefing from Futurist Chet W. Sisk
School this coming fall in the US is going to be a nightmare. Because we've failed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic like other countries all over the world, the pandemic in the US will be in full effect by the start of the school year in the next few weeks. What happens if you don't want to put your children in a classroom as the pandemic rages? A good friend of mine, Diane Tucker has created an online option for African American children . Even more, it's free.
Get the details by going to www.chetsisk.com and check out the Education section our platform of great ideas, tools and products that are now building on the new emerging world. A reminder....go into the Technology section of the platform and get more information on the Earth Cipher Indigenous Economic Justice Video Game. It's the gamification of empowerment that can transform you and your young people.
Don't let the gloom and doom news cycle immobilize you. Yes, we are in a society and global crisis, but maybe that's what we need in order to move to the next level of what we can become. -- a connected, abundant, empowered, sharing and visionary society and world. This is the time to move forward.
If you have new ideas, products or tools that tackle climate change, income inequality, systemic racism or just help us become our greatest selves, join us at www.chetsisk.com and provide your 1-3 minute video. We'll share it with our global audience base, reaching over a thousand world wide and growing. Please, no multi-level marketing, get rich quick schemes or business as usual ideas. This is about re-imagining how things work. for a new kind of future.
Humans tend to lean negative. Most of us are not used to thinking about opportunity in the middle of crisis. Our best version of optimism is trying to go back to the status quo. We feel safe when we are surrounded by familiar landmarks of how life is supposed to work. But what happens if what we have and what we are experiencing is not normal? Perhaps what we're going through is just a transition period for us to get to our highest and greatest self? Perhaps we're on our way to something even better than status quo. Here are five current developments that may be pointing to better days ahead.
We're building climate change resilience. You think the COVID-19 affected world is tough? Climate change may make this pandemic look like a folk dance. However, going through this has been a wake up call on how to deal with crises of scale --- exactly what climate change will bring. Nothing like trial by fire to bring everyone up to speed.
Relationship bonding and re-discovery. Raise your hand if you discovered deeper parts of your relationships during the various quarantines. In the book Bowling Alone , the author talks about how our modern society has leaned toward individual aloneness, much to our detriment. The recent quarantine periods forced us to connect with others. Maybe we needed this to break the aloneness trend.
Why we're better together. The US will be a cautionary tale of how working together and looking out for each other is better than the "you're on your own" idea . Our lack of a collective, unified approach to a problem has created an unnecessary and deadly version of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US border.
Black lives really do matter. After centuries of denying this human truth, a page has been turned in seeing how important valuing all of humanity is to the well being of all of it's citizens. A promissory note has been written in how we'll treat all humans of the future. Let's see if we make full payment and pay off this past due debt.
Development of new economic systems is full speed ahead. “Huge gaps in spending and living conditions are threatening the existence of our system,” That was Ray Dalio, founder of one of the biggest hedge funds in the history of Wall Street. He's a little late to the conversation, but it's good to note that there is a realization across the board that the current system isn't working. Recent events have prompted many who have been working on better, more appropriate systems for the time to forward their ideas.
One organization that has been forwarding a new system of education is ready to provide world class education online, especially to African American children. Watch this video, then read about the other cutting edge development projects happening around the world at www.chetsisk.com
Chet W. Sisk is an author and one of the world's leading Social Futurists. He is also expert on the current world paradigm shift. Find out more about him and the LEAD Global Team at www.leadtheshift.com or you can write him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org