Urgent need for Transformation

Urgent need for Transformation

Do you ever wonder how our world can become transformed? What will it take to bring about real transformation? How will people who are outcast become reunited in community? How will greed be replaced by fair go and generosity? How will punishment be replaced by rehabilitation? How will judgment be replaced by compassion? How will justice find its way?sharing love

So many areas of our society are far from ideal when it comes to living in accordance with the virtues of freedom, justice, compassion and fair go for all – what we would regard as our good Aussie values – yet we seem to perpetuate the same structures that are not serving all of our citizens well. Sure, the structures we have in place serve many people well – those with well paying jobs or the ones who are lucky enough to have wealthy backgrounds – and we can tout that we do better than other countries in some ways. But talking it up keeps us removed from examining the structures that are letting us down.

Yes, there are indeed many Aussies who are served well – and there are millions of others who do not enjoy the same fair go, and the many others again who call on our country for refuge from terror and torture.

Indisputably, our values have become compromised by the holy dollar, and arguably, the Aussie dollar has superseded the Aussie fair go principle that is regarded as our country’s core value. Decisions at all levels of government and business generally come down to ‘how much bang for your buck’ you can get, and fortunately there are still some areas such as our basic health system, where the ‘fair go’ value is mostly upheld. But it seems that the health of our culture is measured more by the health status of the country’s GDP, rather than the health and wellbeing status of its people. Australia as a nation would most certainly fail the test proposed by Mahatma Gandhi and others, that states that “a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” Ghandi's place

How can we possibly believe that we are on the right track when the gap between the haves and have-nots is still alive and well?

Those who move into public office for the purpose of hoping to bring about change, I believe, are generally dedicated to doing the best for the community. Mostly, these people are intelligent, hard working and motivated, with the best of intentions. So why do the same fundamental problems of inequality remain firm? And why are we facing elevated levels of mental health issues and social dysfunction and disorder, compounded by the misuse of drugs and alcohol in the community? Why are our gaols becoming overcrowded? Why are we failing on so many fronts?

The answer, I believe, lies in the structures upon which our society is built and those that we continue to uphold.

While we continue to place our emphasis on the economy and GDP over and above wellbeing status, we will continue to grow inequality and injustice, along with individual and social unrest and dysfunction. Our current structure is steeped in economic rationalism, rather than moral or ethical principles, or people and environment wellbeing measures. When we keep focusing our attention within the existing structure, we will find ways to fine-tune elements of the same failing structure, and we will continue to derive similar outcomes to those that we have already have in place, with the ongoing shortfall of the Aussie fair go principle.

How then, do we change the structure?Unknown

It is only when we engage some right brain and creative intelligence that we will be able to see with a different lens. Those people who can look beyond existing boundaries and structures are the only people who are able to bring about significant directional and cultural change. ‘Looking outside the box’ is essential when it comes to finding radically new ways of doing things. Looking to other countries that have had success by introducing structural reform would be a great start, for example, the education system of Finland or the drug policy of Portugal.

As part of structural change, our education system needs to prioritise and cultivate creative thinking in students, as our current system I believe, is simply a sub-structure that perpetuates rigidity and adherence to our society’s failing structure – our educational system breeds competition and power through knowledge, already establishing the ‘us’ and ‘them’ standards. Only imagination and creativity can visualise a different world and create a different way forward.

To develop real change at the national level, or at any level, leaders will need to set aside time to generate creative thinking with a vision for long term and structural change, not the long talk-fests that are designed to solve problems or set future directions within existing arrangements. Without sufficient allocation of time for heads to come together for the purpose of creative thinking, we can continue to expect solutions-focused outcomes to existing problems, based on the same failing structures.

The key question arises: Can we make the change? With so many people-driven movements in this technological era, we have already seen great change movements pursued. I believe not only can we make the change, but our survival as a national and global community depends on it.

Margaret welcomes your comments. You may have your own healing story and some insights to share, or some questions or responses to this article.

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