Our world is dealing with many challenges: wars, famines, seemingly endless violence, rapid climate change, economic collapse, global water crisis. You name it, it's happening somewhere here on Earth.
Can these challenges be resolved?
I believe all of these challenges can be resolved. Whether or not they will be depends on several factors:
- Our desire to play by the rules vs our eagerness to play with the rules
- Our willingness to value imagination over knowledge
- Our readiness to work with others of like-mind
- Our ability to be compassionate
- Our level of commitment
1. Our desire to play by the rules vs our eagerness to play with the rules: When we play by the rules, we box our thinking into someone else's vision of what that thinking should be. But when we play with those rules, it opens up a garden of possibilities.
A soccer player decided to pick up a ball instead of kicking it, a fine disregard for the rules, and thus founding the new game of rugby. [Kirk] Varnedoe (American art historian 1946-2003) pointed out that in modern art, you don't play by the rules, you play with the rules, and that's an aspect of creative thinking.2. Our willingness to value imagination over knowledge: When we think of knowledge as "fixed", we do ourselves a disservice. It's only "fixed" until someone proves it wrong and something else replaces it. After all, the world was flat, until Christopher Columbus (among others) believed and discovered it was round. People believed the sun revolved around the Earth, until Galileo insisted the Earth revolved around the sun.
Dialogue on Creativity, Vancouver, 2009
People who lean on logic and philosophy and rational exposition end by starving the best part of the mind.3. Our readiness to work with others of like-mind: Work together, grow together. Put a group of like-mind people together, the possibilities are unlimited. And though they are like-minded, each brings something unique to the table. A set of skills, a mindset, and a heart-set. And when all work together, a synergy takes place, from which new ideas are born that might not have been born otherwise.
~William Butler Yeats
Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.4. Our ability to be compassionate: Compassion is the emotion that compels us to help another who is suffering in some way. Without it, nothing changes.
~James Cash Penney
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.5. Our level of commitment: We must be committed to bringing about change. But for change to take place, there must be action. Compassion must be accompanied by action.
Action is the foundational key to all success.It is said that compassion comes from the heart and creativity from the mind. But I believe that creative thinking and compassion must go hand-in-hand for real change to happen. When we allow our imaginations to flow freely, without the encumbrances of stifling rules, and we engage in our compassion with others that also have a commitment to act, change cannot help but happen.