Sapiens rule the world, because we are the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers. We can create mass cooperation networks, in which thousands and millions of complete strangers work together towards common goals. -Yuval Noah Harari-
Humans are creative beings, not only in the artistic sense. We live in a world that has been hugely impacted by our creations over the ages. Everything stems from our imaginations! Language, cities, laws, occupations, education, entertainment, religion, houses, royalty, parks, poetry, factories, stores, dessert, publicity, shoes, money, computers, agriculture, books, furniture, art, transportation, sports, medicine, government, clothes, science, war and on and on…
Use Your Creativity for Change!
We come into this world taking many of these creations for granted. As if, by some magical authority, they have always been there. Solid. Immutable. We can forget that our institutions, laws, and ideas have been created by humans, from their inspirations and their imaginations. But the movers and shakers know better. The activists and idealists have always forged ahead, creating and improving institutions for the good of all. On the other hand, some of the trailblazers have imagined scenarios where the system profits only some individuals to the detriment of others. Our present financial system comes to mind!!! As creative creatures, we get to pick what we create, and this makes for endless possibilities in this reality that we share. Everything we can imagine across the spectrum, from sainthood on one end to genocides at the other.
Creativity is the force behind our individual lives as well. We grow into a family and a society that serve as a basis for the lives we forge for ourselves. We are inspired, we choose certain goals and values. We choose people that will accompany us and influence us on our path and it ends up being our life! When you think about it, we can even influence our own healing with our minds, isn’t that the basis of the placebo effect?
The Story of the Two Wolves
There is a popular metaphorical story where a Native American grandfather tells his grandson that there are two wolves battling within him. One is kind and generous and the other is selfish and destructive. When the boy shows concern for his grandfather, worried as to which wolf will win, the elder replies “The wolf that will win is the wolf that I choose to feed.”
This little story is a great reminder for us when we are faced with decisions, large or small. Every day, we create our reality through our decisions. Will we make helpful choices for our health and well-being, being kind to the people with whom we interact? Or will we feed the bad wolf and choose more destructive behaviors? We can really benefit from awareness around our everyday choices. Every minute, every hour choices, actually! Slowing down, just a bit. Just enough to remind ourselves that we can alter our behaviors instead of repeating our patterns, especially if they don’t give us satisfaction. We can create new ones.
We Create the World We Live In
When we become aware of our power to create on a personal level, it motivates us to step up our game and make choices that will affect society in a greater way. By diligently trying to make the right choices for ourselves and the people we care for (and being loving and forgiving with ourselves when we trip up!), we benefit from the positive changes we’ve created in our lives. Thus empowered, we can promote our values to bring about change on a larger scale, for a better world. It’s an important step, we must make the connection. From me to we, as the Kielburgers would say, founders of the Free the Children organization.
So many people that I meet seem to feel powerless around the big issues we are now facing: inequality, climate change, and mental health issues, among others. I hear people say things like: “It’s too late to save humanity”, or “That’s just the world we live in”. As if we have no choice in the matter. We don’t see the impact that one person can have. Thank goodness that Greta Thunberg and many others like her don’t feel that way. We don’t need to put ourselves out there like a Kielburger or a Greta, although that’s great if you feel inclined to do so. Just supporting leaders like them by donating time or money to their causes makes us feel like we’re having our say, we’re contributing to the way we want the world to be.
But I think our main power lies in our everyday decisions. When we buy the foods we eat every day, are they minimally packaged and grown sustainably? When we choose how we move around, are we careful to use our cars as little as possible, consolidating as many errands as we can in one outing? Are we remembering to carry our shopping bags, our takeout container, our water bottle and our reusable coffee cups so we can avoid single-use products? Are we conscious of how much stuff we already have and that we don’t need to keep on buying more and more? All good wolf habits, for sure. And I’d love for readers to share the ways in which they use their power to help create good. Please share your comments under this article or on the Facebook page. Many thanks!!