As it is ever increasingly the case these days, I noticed that as soon as I started contemplating the question of
“What if Our Crisis is a Birth?” and focussed my awareness on the bigger picture, Life started to respond.
It dropped a Medium article back into my feed from 2017, that captured my attention because I had deeply appreciated and resonated with the perspective it offered back then and I remembered reposting it.
The article was by Daniel Christian Wahl entitled:
“𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐲 𝐚𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬”
There is so much in that article that feels apt to the time that we’re in right now, that it feels a worthy endeavor to reiterate some key pieces:
For one, as we’ve already been talking about, Wahl confirms that,
“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘥𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪̲𝘴̲ ̲𝘢̲ ̲𝘤̲𝘰̲𝘳̲𝘦̲ ̲𝘱̲𝘢̲𝘵̲𝘵̲𝘦̲𝘳̲𝘯̲ ̲𝘪̲𝘯̲ ̲𝘵̲𝘩̲𝘦̲ ̲𝘦̲𝘷̲𝘰̲𝘭̲𝘶̲𝘵̲𝘪̲𝘰̲𝘯̲ ̲𝘰̲𝘧̲ ̲𝘭̲𝘪̲𝘧̲𝘦̲, 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘴, 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘴, 𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘮𝘴, 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘴, 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦.”
Peter Corning, former president of the International Society for Systems Science and director of the Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, emphasizes:
“𝐼𝑓 𝑎 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑦 𝑖𝑠 𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑤𝑒𝑑 𝑚𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑙𝑦 𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑔𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑔𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝑖𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑑𝑢𝑎𝑙𝑠 𝑤ℎ𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑛𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑜𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙 𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑟, 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤ℎ𝑦 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑒? 𝐵𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑓 𝑠𝑜𝑐𝑖𝑒𝑡𝑦 𝑖𝑠 𝑣𝑖𝑒𝑤𝑒𝑑 […] 𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡 ‘𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑣𝑖𝑣𝑎𝑙 𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑝𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑒,’ 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑢𝑠 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙, 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒-𝑎𝑛𝑑-𝑑𝑒𝑎𝑡ℎ 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑣𝑖𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑓𝑢𝑛𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑤𝑒 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑔𝑛𝑖𝑧𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑜𝑟 𝑛𝑜𝑡”.
He goes on to explain that rather than getting lost in the disagreements and competitive episodes that are part of negotiating the integration of our human diversity, we are called to remember that:
“𝒎𝒖𝒕𝒖𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒚 𝒃𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒇𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒍 𝒄𝒐𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒇𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒑𝒍𝒆 𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓𝒍𝒚𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝒉𝒖𝒎𝒂𝒏 𝒔𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒆𝒔”
Jeremy Rifkin (2009) suggests, in the Empathic Civilization, that human nature is fundamentally empathic and cooperative rather than selfish and competitive.
He reviews recent evidence from brain science and child development studies that shows how selfishness, competition and aggression are not innate aspects of human behaviour but learned and culturally conditioned responses.
Evolutionary biologist and futurist Elisabet Sahtouris (2014) suggests:
“𝑊𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑎 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑡𝑖𝑝𝑝𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑛𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑣𝑒 𝑖𝑛 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑡𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑑𝑙𝑦 𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛; 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑦 𝑙𝑖𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑖𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑒𝑛 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑒𝑑. 𝐼𝑡 𝑖𝑠 ℎ𝑖𝑔ℎ 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑢𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑟𝑜𝑠𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑛𝑒𝑤 𝑡𝑖𝑝𝑝𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑔𝑙𝑜𝑏𝑎𝑙 𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑎𝑙 𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑡𝑦 — 𝑎𝑛 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑚𝑦 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑙𝑜𝑔𝑦 𝑤𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑓𝑙𝑖𝑐𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟, 𝑡𝑜 𝑒𝑣𝑜𝑙𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛 𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑜𝑝ℎ𝑦.”
Wahl goes on to propose that [we’re headed toward]…
“𝗮 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆’𝘀 𝗱𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗯𝗮𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻𝘀.”
- We need a shift in our way of thinking, from rigid mindsets to valuing multiple perspectives and recognizing our interdependence and common humanity;
- The only way to safeguard the privilege of abundance is to share it collaboratively with all of humanity and all of life; and
- Our individual and collective success depends on this integration through collaboration and empathy.
He quotes John Stewart stating that,
“𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐬, 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐞𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝.
……𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐛𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐚 𝐦𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬..
Ultimately all this comes back to what Wahl shares as the opener to his article…..
We bring forth a world together, as embodied manifestations of the Universe co-creating the world through how we participate and what we pay attention to and care about.
Humanity’s future depends on mutually beneficial cooperation at a planetary scale.
So how are you experiencing the call to greater empathy and collaboration play out in your world?