Every community, every society has an underlying story, a narrative. It is this – often unspoken- story that lies at the heart of cultures.
Imagine you are from another planet and you see what we do on a daily basis.
- Seeing that addiction is an accepted way of distracting from the meaninglessness of work
- Spending a lot of time in traffic jams
- Promoting body shapes
- Treating symptoms in hospitals
- Destroying nature
As someone from another planet, you will definitely be amazed by so much stupid behavior. We don’t see it as stupid, we think it is normal.
So, what drives this behavior?
It is the story.
Paul Chek (podcast 040521) shares this secret story of our culture: “I want somebody else to take care of me, I want someone to feed me, to clothe me, to give me a job, to protect me and I want to do as little as possible. “
I think this story perfectly captures our current story of society. It promotes learned helplessness.
Learned helplessness occurs when an individual continuously faces a negative, uncontrollable situation and stops trying to change their circumstances, even when they have the ability to do so. For example, a smoker may repeatedly try and fail to quit. He may grow frustrated and come to believe that nothing he does will help, and therefore he stops trying altogether. The perception that one cannot control the situation essentially elicits a passive response to the harm that is occurring.
- According to a December survey, 40% of Americans feel helpless about climate change and 29% feel hopeless, while a separate 2020 poll by the American Psychiatric Association found that more than half of Americans are somewhat or extremely anxious about the impact of climate change on their mental health.
- The younger the respondent, the more likely they reported higher levels of climate anxiety.
- Analysts at Morgan Stanley said in a note to investors last month that the "movement to not have children owing to fears over climate change is growing and impacting fertility rates quicker than any preceding trend in the field of fertility decline." ~ Bryan Walsh, author of Future
The current story for the industrial age is to make people docile and make them obey, take no initiative and have no critical thinking.
Because we need to transform society we urgently need contribution from every individual (the society is us).
Therefor we need a new story where people take initiative, where people are responsible, while having a global and local mindset.