“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Understanding the relationship between social change and the units that create it (people/persons) is at the very core of the unlearning transformative shift necessary for advancing our world in new and innovative ways. In this project we want to create a functional account of insights and philosophies from different people’s perspectives on how “living progressively” manifests in the real world.
Our opener podcast episode is with Raya Abugulal, a corporate lawyer who has dedicated much of her energy to building support networks and women development initiatives in her community. We asked Raya what in her worldview does it entail to live a progressive life? The following is a reflection on her response. Listen to the full podcast here.
Progress is unique.
We live in a colourful and rich world, and it is diversity of thoughts and approaches, like the diversity of the coral reef ecosystems, that keeps us resilient, thriving and able to adapt to the changing world around us. There is nothing about progress that is monotonous; there are no finite fundamental values that define a “progressive” person. Every person experiences and expresses the turnover of ideas and thoughts differently, and this only expands our body of collective knowledge that we can capitalize on to solve problems. “From a personal experience, growing up between East and West showed me a progressive life is never black and white. Both societies have their good and bad points as far as being progressive. A person must take their own balance from different societies. Today we are quite lucky, we can learn about different societies thanks to technology and globalisation. This means, we can apply the learning to make our own life values and definition of progress.”
The process is layered.
Not in perfectly discrete strata, however. We can see progress as a complex process that derives it momentum from many layers of work: individual, societal, global, etc. These layers are interconnected and interdependent. The commitment and effort of individuals is necessary for societal and global change, and the individual progress requires a culture of support and openness to innovation. “from my general experience, living in a progressive life entail a very individual level of development, which can be applied to your society and community.”
The process is intricate and cumulative.
“The simple values are the most difficult to develop” and inevitably they are the most impactful. Progress requires attention to detail. It calls for tweaking sometimes the most microscopic things. We often trivialize the tedious and redundant tasks, but developing awareness of them is necessary for breaking a continuous state.
Adaptation and active receptiveness are required.
Remaining open to new knowledge is an actively pursued state of mind. The moment we start to believe we understand everything, we have no reason to develop or further our community or ourselves. A static mental state is detrimental to progressive living. “Individually, I never accept that I know everything and always open to new learnings and ideas.“
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates
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By: Shawk | 10th October 2015