"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Big Society and the Cultural Creatives

Here is a post I published in September 2010, and since someone recently told me they had not heard very much about the Cultural Creatives movement, I make no apology for re-posting it, perhaps to a new audience:

" I know that I am not alone. From reading the websites, articles, and books around us, many of us clearly feel the need for a return to spiritual values in our lives, coupled with the need to heal our desperately fractured world and halt what may otherwise be our march towards spiritual bankruptcy and physical destruction. But how will this happen?

My own conviction is that no amount of law and regulation alone can be the full answer. We need to take personal responsibility for the way we live our lives.
This is behind Prime Minister David Cameron’s ideas for a Big Society for Britain, a society in which we rebuild family, rebuild community, but above all rebuild responsibility.

But I don’t think it is quite as simple as that.
We are after all human, with all our frailties, and our vulnerabilities.
Our behaviour is often flawed, we do not behave like saints all the time, even the very best of us. And sometimes, perhaps often, this may be traced back to our own wounds:
wounds we have inherited and those from our own suffering; wounds from the personal experiences that life has thrown at us;

for example, our insecurities and fears, our feelings of hopelessness and despair.

Surely such wounds are reflected in our greed and envy, in our over consumption, in violence and in our addictions to work or harmful substances.

And these wounds, left unhealed, not only affect our own mental and physical well-being.

I believe that they must also be seen within the context of the wider world fellowship of which we are such an integral part. We must understand the significance of our own healing in addressing the wider social issues and the often seemingly intractable problems of our fractured world. I would go so far as to suggest that this healing is a fundamental directional force in our own evolutionary progress as we become catalysts for our own social change.
And to find real, meaningful healing of these wounds then I believe we now have an urgent need to rediscover our spirituality and the spiritual element in all our material experiences, to reconnect with our roots and our souls.

In the latter half of the 21st century we seem to have lost sight of this essential truth.

Materialism, observes Satish Kumar, now rules economy, politics and business. There is nothing wrong with having material or bodily needs of food, water, shelter, for example, but we need to have the wisdom to know when we have enough and to be satisfied with that. Instead, we are pressured into striving to have more and more beyond our needs. Spirituality rather than materialism is something that should infuse our lives at all times.

This is where the Cultural Creatives come into the picture. It is estimated that there are 50 million adults in the United States and about 80-90 million in Europe who have the worldview, values and lifestyle of the Cultural Creatives. Are you one of them? And what are they?
If you are a Cultural Creative you “hunger for a deep change in your life that moves you in the direction of less stress and more health, lower consumption, more spirituality, more respect for the earth and the diversity within and among the species that inhabit her…"
You are one of a growing number of people who want to see deep, integral change in the cultures that have evolved in industrialized nations.” (Paul Ray)
The term was coined by Paul Ray who with Sherry Anderson wrote a book; The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World

“to help make cultural creatives visible to each other… to find new ways to work and learn together…in service to the world, in service to this emergence of a new, integral culture.”

Are you a cultural creative? Are we doing all we can? How much time do we have?
We all need to start our own Ripples of Hope for a better world."

The photo is of my allotment.

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