Within Our Power

Look at these worlds spinning out of nothingness

That is within your power.

–Rumi

 

One of the positive effects of the current economic calamity is that it has awakened us from the collective malaise of the status quo.

 

It is easy to be lulled to sleep by the assurance that things are proceeding as they should, and that our interests are being preserved by experts in government, business, religion and other institutions. Many of us place our trust in these authority figures and leave them to run things largely as they see fit.

 

Then, suddenly, we are awakened by a crashing sound and discover that these same leaders have betrayed our interests by placing theirs ahead of the public trust. Shame on them ...and shame on us.

 

Visionmakers seize such opportunities to take control of their own destiny. They recognize that despite the circumstances, there is a world full of possibility to be explored to remedy our challenges and transform circumstances.

 

In Visionmaking, the primary allegiance is to generativity. It is the ability to maintain our creativity despite the conditions that we encounter. Generativity requires courage, resourcefulness, initiative and fresh thinking. Ultimately, it calls us to another level of responsibility.

 

Responsibility is the ability to act with authority. That means we must stop expecting that other people will take care of us and step into our own leadership. This requires that we begin to see ourselves and our world with different eyes.

 

First,  we must turn away from a belief that we are insufficient to manage our own affairs or that we are the victims of the actions of others. These two dependencies keep us trapped in the status quo and unable to act. 

 

Next, we must exercise our liberty and make choices, rather than have others decide for us. It may require us to gain greater familiarity or skill-up in areas that we have previously ignored or where we may feel ill equipped to navigate unfamiliar terrain.  

 

We can learn.

 

We must also be prepared to try new things. Doing things the same old way will never generate something new or better. And, even if we fail, we learn and grow from the experience. At least the failure has come as a result of our own volition and not as a consequence of remaining less than responsible.

 

A Visionmaker should never rely on a crisis to drive change.  But a crisis can be useful in accelerating change. The shock of a cold shower wakes all of us out of a dangerous slumber and reminds us of our responsibilities as Visionmakers.

 

We see that our dreams are always more potent than our circumstances and that we, and the world itself, can be changed. It is well within our power.

 

© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.

Posted on March 8, 2009 and filed under Crisis.