I like to read my old journals, looking back a year ago at today’s date. This morning I discovered that I published the HOPE website on 17th November although it seems that my first blog was released on the 21st. A first anniversary this week! Time to stop up a bit, to review and perhaps to celebrate this milestone.
Personally writing this blog has been very inspiring and enlightening. It never occurred to me that I would find it exciting to research and report the latest news. The discoveries I have shared here have been for me a source of wonder and at times despair. Dark clouds and bright clouds have often vied with each other in the maelstrom of these changing times. Having an orientation toward HOPE has kept my vision clear, helping me to relentlessly seek out positive movement. I have also learned to accept more fully the aspects that seemed hopeless and negative, holding in mind the Taoist warning, “who knows what is good and what is bad”.
I still don’t really know what kind of an impact this blog has had on the “world” – if any. It certainly isn’t visited by a great following and comments are few and far between. But some have told me that they find the content supportive and helpful in noticing something that is the world in a positive way. To my surprise some people seem to find their way to the blog because of the photos. Especially popular is the fractal on my personal comments page. Strange but interesting.
In thinking back on a year of fairly regular reporting, I come up with a few key themes that stand out in my mind.
Social networking is perhaps the area where most expansion has happened. What started out as connecting with each other as friends has moved into a tool for actively organizing all kinds of initiatives and support for others. The latest example is what is called “Occupy Sandy” where many groups of people are organizing to help the victims of the recent hurricane who are still without power and necessities, a full two weeks after the storm. A Google search of this brought up over 100,000 results and a plethora of fascinating articles. Here is one of them from the Salon. I have also heard via my family that many schools are having their students join together to provide help for the victims and also that celebrities are using the internet to get people to donate for this cause. People report helping in this way gives a feeling of being able to make a difference. A sense a pride and new awareness is spreading over the East Coast – especially in all the 5 boroughs of New York and the State of New Jersey.
I think the biggest emerging awareness this year is around the importance of education for women, especially young girls. As I wrote in my last blog this issue has really emerged as a key to changing the world. Since writing that blog I have now read the book that I mentioned, “Half the Sky”. This is a must read for anyone who cares about the world! The statistics and the logic of the arguments the authors presents for educating girls is astounding and eye-opening. It is truly the key to solving many of the problems in developing countries by focusing on one issue. After reading this book, I know where to put my money for making a difference. Not to mention that the book is a great read, fascinating, well written and forceful. You won’t forget this message any time soon.
Regarding business and sustainability, you can’t compare the awareness today with what was around a year ago. No business worth their salt is without sustainability measures. But things have moved beyond that to include a whole new thought that was not mainstream back then – resilience. It doesn’t take much to see that in order to keep going we must learn how to stand up again when we have been knocked down by unexpected circumstances. The hurricanes and the droughts this past year make this clear. Now cities are talking about preventative measures which are far more efficient than cleaning up after the fact.
And we have seen the birth of B-Coporations this last year. These corporations are not obliged to base every move on stockholder value. There are plenty of teething problems with this new approach but it opens the door to companies who want to do good in the world as well as making a profit for the shareholders. There are currently 650 B Corporations, in 19 countries and 60 industries all with one unifying goal. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.
Regarding the development of consciousness there seems to be an expansion of movement from “Me to We.” This of course is not a widespread mainstream phenomenon but glimpses and indicators are growing in my opinion. A special indicator that has come up recently is the widespread research that shows how Self-Compassion is more effective than Self-Esteem. I think this is a good indicator because having self-compassion is a prerequisite for having compassion for others. It also includes recognizing the common aspect of humanity and accepting the lack of perfection in each of us. This is good news for the psyche – more relaxed and peaceful. I hope to write more about this new understanding at a later time.
And more and more people are recognizing and identifying with the Evolutionary Impulse that is in each of us as, thanks to the spreading of the word by people like Andrew Cohen and Carter Phipps just to mention two of the growing crowd of evolutionaries. They all show that the impulse expresses itself through human beings as the push to adaptation, creativity and innovation. What I find fascinating in this area is how innovation seems to becoming more and more the venue of young people. Younger and younger children, as shown in this article, “21 Super Kids that Will Save the World from Adults”, are inventing and discovering solutions that I personally find awe inspiring. I am wondering if it is because they have much more developed digital mindsets than older people. Understanding and developing a digital mindset, which happens naturally with kids, I believe will become very important for future innovation. This video, a Tedx Talk by Thomas Power on The Future of Social Networks is the best I have seen about this topic.
Regarding young people, I myself am mentoring a young social entrepreneur and thus learning a lot about how his generation sees the world. He is not much interested in traditional education but instead seeks what he thinks will help him become a good social entrepreneur. He knows a lot! He has already done a project which got the health sector, private sector and government to come together to discuss cancer initiatives! He has currently set up a working and living collective for young social entrepreneurs in Berlin. He also helps start ups and gives workshops on entrepreneurship. Not to mention speaking at gatherings about the “new cities” where the vision is about houses and cars being shared instead of owned. His network is massive. His reach is around the world. He is only 22. This is the future pushing its way forward despite the unaware continuity of the mainstream.
Regarding planetary news it seems to me that we are recognizing our connection to the Universe more and more – not limiting ourselves to identification with planet earth. Big History, big data, more Space discoveries all point out the connections between everything. Many hidden aspects of planets, nebulae, black holes and other phenomena have come to light in just this past year. Right now the space ship, Voyager 1, after 33 years in space is on the boundary of known space and about to leap into the unknown. This was never expected or planned for so many years ago. What new discoveries await this journey into Interstellar Space!
These are just a few of the themes that come to mind as I look back. Where this blog will go in the future is not very clear to me. But my commitment to it is still strong, although I don’t manage to write as often as I did in the beginning. Any thoughts and suggestions are very welcome.
Thanks to all of you who have supported me in this endeavor – it is truly appreciated. May we all find a way to make a contribution to the planet and to each other in this time of Shift and accelerated change.