Changing the world ....

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  • I was having a discussion with someone about gender roles the other day, and to what extent it's possible to choose not to be governed by them and not to uphold them through your actions ...and it made me wonder, to what extent people feel it's possible to create any form of change in the world around them, and what they feel needs to be in place for that to occur.
    Personally, I'm much in favour of Socrates idea that the person who wants to move the world must first move himself - I think it's lazy to demand change, but be unprepared to do anything to initiate it yourself. I also think we're at least partly responsible for the existence of anything we condone through our actions, whether knowingly or unknowingly, so we have a responsobility to question our beliefs/ethics/morals to make sure they're really ours, and not someone elses that we've inherited along the way otherwise we can go through life perpetuating norms or values that we don't actually agree with to the detriment of ourselves and those around us.


    How about you guys, how important do you think creating change in society is, and do you think you need to begin that change on an individual or social level, how important do you think it is to question yourself and your own beliefs, and how responsible do you think people are for the values they perpetuate simply by not challenging them?

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • I think it's really important to try and change society and the world, if you believe the things going on are wrong. It's hard though, cos when I was at school I was surounded by people saying you can't change anything so why bother, it's all too far gone. And I still don't really know if my beliefs are mine or my family's, as I've been brought up to belive in justice and peace and so on. But I do really feel passionately that we should try and change thing that we think are wrong, and I'm trying to work out how to go about it. It's all so difficult!

    Fairest of the Happy Hippy Redheads
    I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive... :heart:

  • I think there are 2 kinds of people in the world....


    those who embrace change in the world and those who want to change the world....and the latter I find are the ones who cause the biggest troubles as they try to remake the world in their image (just like all the fundimentalists throughout history).


    Before folks try to "remake the world" I wonder how many would benefit from sitting back and wondering whether its remaking that it needs or whether its someone remaking it that fucked it up in the first place :)

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • I see your point, but the alternative is for the norms and values currently embraced by society to remain in place forever, which is essentially moral/political/social stagnation.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Firinne

    I see your point, but the alternative is for the norms and values currently embraced by society to remain in place forever, which is essentially moral/political/social stagnation.


    Not at all; like your mate So-crates ;) said...change yourself....


    The alternative to changing the world isnt stagnation, in fact its the ones who change the world, to suit some ideal image, who are the ones who cause stagnation as they want the world to match a stable image. The alternative to "make the world" is "let the world change" as change is the norm that crusaders of all ilk seek to undo in order to forge the world in their own image.

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Each and everyone of us has the ability to change the world... We all did it at the moment of our birth, because that in itself made a difference. However, we had no control over the matter of our birth, but, we do have a choice as we travel through the world.

    Yes, we can change the world, but it has to start with ourselves, and if we are not prepared to work at that, we have no right to expect others to do the same. I firmly believe that the example one person sets can then lead to another another doing the same. After all, one of the problems is that most people don't like acting differently from the crowd, so they follow the 'greater' example already. It all depends then on brave individuals having the guts to take the risk of standing outside the crowd. By doing so they will open themselves up to misunderstanding and all that goes with such. But, unless a person allows themselves to let go and become vulnerable for the greater good, then change simply won't happen.

    And this involves questioning our our belief system, checking where it comes from and whether such is stable and correct (beware though, for how do you gauge what is right and wrong?). If you then take the first step away from the crowd and decide to make a difference, you are going to join the countless caharacters who have tried the same throughout the ages and have been misunderstood for the same. From John the Baptist to General Gordon, history is littered with the stories of those who have been treated as misfits because they didn't fit in to a box or made society feel uncomfortable... And these are the ones we know about... God alone knows how many are only known to Him... However, if you take this step and only manage to effect one other life for the better, then be assured that you have done something that has made a difference, and who knows what that will lead to..?

    ‘One is lucky to be content with little and to find satisfaction in simplicity’ Robert Service

  • Very eloquently put Tubbs, I agree completely. I think it's fear of the reactions of others that stops people from looking deeper and questioning things, after all look at what happened to poor old Socrates. If we don't question though, we go through life as puppets to learned values and learned behaviours, never truly finding the true essence of our self and being able to interact with the world as who we truly are. It's a challenging path to take, but a very rewarding one in my opinion.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Coyote

    Not at all; like your mate So-crates ;) said...change yourself....


    Which inevitably leads to changing the world.


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    The alternative to changing the world isnt stagnation, in fact its the ones who change the world, to suit some ideal image, who are the ones who cause stagnation as they want the world to match a stable image. The alternative to "make the world" is "let the world change" as change is the norm that crusaders of all ilk seek to undo in order to forge the world in their own image.


    I wasn't suggesting changing the world to suit some ideal image, simply asking whether if you believe something should change whether it's important to you to do the work to change yourself and try to lead others to change by example, or whether you think society should be forced to change in order to make it easier for you to lead the life you'd like to. I.E - if you were gay, should you "come out" and stand proudly, so that your actions can challenge the stereotype of the typical gay person, or hide away until society has changed the stereotype to something you feel more comfortable with.


    I'm of the opinion that the only necessary change is a change that feels necessary to a sizeable portion of the group within which change is sought, but that it's impossible for the need for that change to be seen if those who deem it necessary hide their true feelings and pretend to feel otherwise.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Changing yourself won't necessarly lead to changes in the wider world or in society. It might change your own view or experience of the world, but the surrounding world and other people remain the same.

    The 'hands off' type approach which says that the less we try to change things the better can't work in the context of the modern world. No matter how peaceful, accepting or tolerant we become personally doesn't make a jot of difference to those who wield power and will use that power to pursue their own agandas.

    If we want to change society then wider political action will be needed.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

  • Quote from Shaman

    Changing yourself won't necessarly lead to changes in the wider world or in society. It might change your own view or experience of the world, but the surrounding world and other people remain the same.


    Hmmm, I'd disagree. I don't think changing yourself leads to huge changes in the world around you, but they certainly lead to small changes. As an example, if you decide to only buy eco-friendly products that small change registers with companies. When more people decide to do the same, larger changes occur because companies don't want to be forced out of the market.
    And of course, when you talk to other people about your choices they can often be inspired to question their own choices, and sometimes to choose differently. So changing yourself (in my opinion) is like making a small ripple in a pond. It may not create a wave in and of itself, but it can be the beginning of one.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • I saw a REALLY good example of one woman changing the world...


    Dr Noreena Hertz, academic and campaigner has decided to take a break from influencing policy through her writing, shift her focus from international to domestic issues, and immerse herself in a very hands-on campaign: Mayday for Nurses.
    Her goal is to radically change the way this government treats nurses - a group who are paid less than bus drivers, teachers and policement - and make this government commit to valuing them in a just way. It is wrong that the people who care for us when we are at our lowest ebb are so underpaid that many have to juggle two or three extra jobs just to be able to continue to nurse. And it is in none of our interests that because nursing has become such an unenviable career the government predicts a nursing shortage within 3 years.Noreena wants to make sure that this government starts to treat nurses fairly. So she has come up with an audacious plan which aims to get nurses not only on the front pages but on the back pages too. Noreena's goal is to get every single premiership footballer to give up one day or their wages to nurses. And she has until May 13th 2007 - the final day of the premiership to pull it off.




    That is in my view one of the most poisitive social actions I have witnessed in a long time. It helped the footballers concerned change the way they viewed nurses, as well as thier own worth to society.

  • Quote from Firinne

    Which inevitably leads to changing the world.


    It may be a subtle matter but changing yourself can lead to either 'the world changing' or be an active attempt at 'remaking the world' depending on the motivations behind it.


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    I wasn't suggesting changing the world to suit some ideal image, simply asking whether if you believe something should change whether it's important to you to do the work to change yourself and try to lead others to change by example, or whether you think society should be forced to change in order to make it easier for you to lead the life you'd like to.


    Ah :) I was looking to respond to the "how important do you think creating change in society is" bit and thought you meant in general :)


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    I.E - if you were gay, should you "come out" and stand proudly, so that your actions can challenge the stereotype of the typical gay person, or hide away until society has changed the stereotype to something you feel more comfortable with.


    This is an example of the deliberate remaking in accord with an "ideal image" of how the world "should" be that I was refering to....


    Quote

    I'm of the opinion that the only necessary change is a change that feels necessary to a sizeable portion of the group within which change is sought, but that it's impossible for the need for that change to be seen if those who deem it necessary hide their true feelings and pretend to feel otherwise.


    Do you mean "social remaking" here or are you refering to change in general? If the latter, I'd disagree as its an important part of mental health, in my opinion, to accept that change happens to us beyond our control and is an big integral part of life?

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do."

  • Quote from Firinne

    Hmmm, I'd disagree. I don't think changing yourself leads to huge changes in the world around you, but they certainly lead to small changes. As an example, if you decide to only buy eco-friendly products that small change registers with companies. When more people decide to do the same, larger changes occur because companies don't want to be forced out of the market.
    And of course, when you talk to other people about your choices they can often be inspired to question their own choices, and sometimes to choose differently. So changing yourself (in my opinion) is like making a small ripple in a pond. It may not create a wave in and of itself, but it can be the beginning of one.



    I think it depends on what degree of change you want to see in the world.
    Changing oneself may be a first step - it depends on what you do afterwards.

    If you just want to feel happier about your own life, then changing one's self or at least one's views can be a good place to start. If you want to eleiminate things like war, poverty etc, then collective action is going to be needed.
    The individual has only very limited power to change the world. A large group of individuals all demanding the same thing can have more power - but as shown by the failure of the anti Iraq war demos, often the will of even a large group will be ignored by those who hold power.

    Probably, the only way we're going to see radical change is if there is some kind of economic or environmental disaster, which will force change, or even revolution - the overthrow of the current world order.

    Still, I think we have to do what we can withiin the limitations - we can make a difference in small ways.

    reconsider what you have learned about life - choose to listen to nature's broadcast - the voice of earth....

  • Quote from Coyote

    It may be a subtle matter but changing yourself can lead to either 'the world changing' or be an active attempt at 'remaking the world' depending on the motivations behind it.


    That doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing, unless the motivation for doing so is a negative one, which it isn't the purpose of this thread to determine. If we descend into examples of what is and isn't an acceptable motivation for social change we're going to veer way off topic. Feel free to start a new thread if you'd like to discuss that side of things though.
    The question I was hoping to discuss is whether it's important to question the values and norms of society, and if you find that yours don't tally with the accepted ones whether you should carry on paying lip service to them for the sake of an easy life, or register your disagreement through your words and your actions, and whether we have a responsobility to question our own beliefs as well as those of the society in which we live to try and ensure that in holding them we're not in any way contributing to a subjugation or devaluation of the rights or beliefs of others.


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    Ah :) I was looking to respond to the "how important do you think creating change in society is" bit and thought you meant in general :)


    I meant change in general, but what I was asking wasn't in which circumstances it's acceptable to try to change the world, simply what was the best way to approach that end should you wish to do so. The issue of what makes a proposed change acceptable or unacceptable is an interesting one, but it'll require a new thread to discuss if we're going to keep this one on topic.


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    This is an example of the deliberate remaking in accord with an "ideal image" of how the world "should" be that I was refering to....


    No it isn't, it's simply providing a true example of a thing which by it's nature will challenge an untrue stereotype if one happens to exist.


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    Do you mean "social remaking" here or are you refering to change in general? If the latter, I'd disagree as its an important part of mental health, in my opinion, to accept that change happens to us beyond our control and is an big integral part of life?


    Clearly, I meant the former. Change on an individual level doesn't need to be validated by the agreement of a sizeable portion of society. If it did none of us would make it out of the house in the morning ;)

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • I find these discussions really interesting but i find it quite intimidating posting cause you're all superbrainiacs who'd eat me for dinner, but... I think if we as individuals wanted to change the world in whatever way, then first we would need power. By power i mean huge influence on vast amounts of people as just one person working alone in the name of change would just be seen as a wierdo no doubt. So to implement change first we'd need a direction to head towards, such as politics or media, then to get enough power to say pretty much what we wanted we'd prolly then need to employ all those backstabbing, murdering and blackmailing skills. I think anyone with any sense of conscience would find it quite difficult to amass enough power to implement a change under these conditions without becoming changed themselves. Individual businesses with a strong message can certainly do it too. look at body shop...oh, its message changed didn't it..bad example..ok, look at LUSH, it's still pretty straightforward in it's message but small changes are still creeping in, like the way they now use plastics instead of paper to wrap mail order items.. hardly sticking to their guns really are they. I just think that a craving for power and a craving for change don't neccessarily work together very harmoniously, but i don't think you can successfully implement the former without the latter. sorry, was a bit waffly long winded there lol.

  • Quote from Hedgewitch

    I find these discussions really interesting but i find it quite intimidating posting cause you're all superbrainiacs who'd eat me for dinner


    I love reading your posts though, so please don't shy away from posting because one or two of us have an almost pornographic relationship with Wikipedia :D


    Quote

    I just think that a craving for power and a craving for change don't neccessarily work together very harmoniously, but i don't think you can successfully implement the former without the latter. sorry, was a bit waffly long winded there lol.


    It's a very good point though, isn't it. Made me think of Lord of the Rings and the one ring of power ... "we'll keep it, but only to use at the utmost end of needs" (yeah, right). Power does have a tendency to corrupt.


    I've noticed that gaining respect rather than power in the traditional sense can accomplish the same ends, albeit on a smaller scale. So, rather than controlling people, you can work towards inspiring them - so the change is their own choice, you've simply helped them see that there is a choice.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • I think that if we work to change ourselves, to grow and to try to love, this has a morphic resonance that will one day help others along the same path - its the 100th monkey effect.

    I also think that we cannot simply sit back and allow the kind of stuff that our governments do to simply flow over us, without comment or action to try to effect positive change.

    I think that many people are so blinded by propaganda and the desire for stuff that they cannot be expected to embark on a process of personal development - so

    I think we need to keep banging on about the lies and plans and deeds of the elite in order to, one day, see many more eyes open - then perhaps we will have an expenential growth of love.

  • I've been thinking about this a lot lately, it's an interesting subject. It does seem to me lately that the most effective ways of affecting social change seem to be the ones founded in the most dubious motivations. I'm thinking of things like that whole 'I'm not a plastic bag' thing and the general 'green' trend... it leaves a bad taste in most of our mouths, I'm sure, but I see people every day who were once the worst energy consumers I know doing their shopping in 'I'm not a plastic bag' thingies, car sharing, recycling... and yet I read an article about the woman who designed those bags saying she drives everywhere, even to the shops right by her house! I apologise for not being particularly eloquent with my thoughts, I'm still in a post-Download haze, but I guess what I'm getting at is that the effective promotion of an idea can often be more potent than the practice of it. Having said that, I personally think it's important to act as you wish others to, and I disagree that it's a case of wanting to mould the world in your own image. Of course we have to realise that what we think is best won't always be best for others, but I'm sure there are changes in the world that everyone would like to see.

  • Change is Constant.....when we will change we can look at how similar changes have affected others or ourselves previously, but wont know what will happen this time until we exert our will, it will always have a consequence.

  • I've removed the off-topic posts.


    Seriously people, if you have a query about the modding on a thread please start a thread in the support forum or you'll end up getting yourselves kicked from the thread.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Quote from Sthenno

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately, it's an interesting subject. It does seem to me lately that the most effective ways of affecting social change seem to be the ones founded in the most dubious motivations. I'm thinking of things like that whole 'I'm not a plastic bag' thing and the general 'green' trend... it leaves a bad taste in most of our mouths, I'm sure, but I see people every day who were once the worst energy consumers I know doing their shopping in 'I'm not a plastic bag' thingies, car sharing, recycling...


    Yep, the best way to get most people to do anything is make it fashionable. It serves a purpose, as long as the change you're trying to create is for the greater good rather than for selfish motives.
    One thing that does worry me is that making environmental consciousness fashionable means that many people are simply paying lip service to the idea, so they're not really adopting more ethical habits, just habits that appear to be more ethical and those can be damaging in their own right.
    (I'll start a new thread on that though, rather than "doing a Coyote")


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    I personally think it's important to act as you wish others to, and I disagree that it's a case of wanting to mould the world in your own image. Of course we have to realise that what we think is best won't always be best for others, but I'm sure there are changes in the world that everyone would like to see.


    Definitely. I don't see that as moulding the world in your own image either, simply presenting a possibility to those around you and giving them the choice whether to adopt it for themselves or not. The people who create things such as petitions/anti-war marches aren't tyrants, people aren't rounded up and beaten until they agree to attend, the option is simply put out there and those who choose to support it can do so. Which to my mind, is better than having no options aside from what the government/society choose to offer us.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.


    Jiddu Krishnamurti