Changing the Paradigm

I was talking to someone the other day who questioned whether the US should help all those who don’t seem to be able to help themselves. “Why don’t they just change?!” – i.e., grow their own food, develop their own economy, build their own houses, find their own clean water,  _______(fill in the blank)?

I was struck as I often am by how people who have it all (like those who live in the US) have trouble understanding the difficulty of those who live where generations of people (sometimes representing hundreds of years) never learn HOW to do all those things. It is not a matter of intelligence, or apathy, or laziness. It is about how humans follow the path of least resistance, especially when it comes to “how things have always been done”. If you have never been taught how to change, then it is not likely you will do it, even if it would make your life easier, healthier, more meaningful.

The problem is not that these people don’t want those things that would make their lives better, it is that they have never felt empowered enough through example or education to even begin the process. In societies like ours, we are not born with knowledge, but it is offered to us freely from an early age so we can choose to act on that knowledge. If that information is never offered then how would change ever take place?

This is a debate that could go on perpetually. But I bring it up to reinforce something I have been trying to elucidate in previous posts. Change is not easy. But if we have the availability of tools, and examples of how it can be done, then we are empowered to do something that makes our lives better.

If you are lucky enough to live in a country like ours where all your basic needs are easily met, then climbing to the level of self-actualization in Maslow’s Hierarchy (’s_hierarchy_of_needs) is a no-brainer.

So if you decide you want to add creative activities to your life, (part of meeting a higher level of need), it is only a matter of exploring your options. For people who live in our society it truly is that simple. You just have to start the process, expand your periphery, open your mind to possibilities, and the answers will come. You have to change the paradigm. Instead of thinking, “I wish…”, it should be “I will…”.

`I think I can, I think I can….I THOUGHT I could!’ Do we not read this story to our children at an early age?

 It is time to reach your potential – now.