From fear to collective benefits by Jonathan Midwood for MIL
In a seemingly disconnected and ever-changing world we need to re-assess how we start to build bridges and tear down walls of fear in order to become a global community and one with a future. For millennia ‘man’ has warred against and in some cases conquered foes that are seen as different and therefore form a target for our fear. The ‘Other’ is seen as our enemy and the default position is that it has to be eradicated so that the threat of our demise can be reduced; a pre-emptive strike if you wish.
The problem is that both sides of this ‘war of the other’ are both victims of a tit for tat approach that is leading to a false sense of future stability through incremental and small yet insignificant gains. Forced gains of land, the plundering of resources (knowledge and physical) and the rise of apparently high moral positions are no longer useful in times of change and uncertainty. This approach only leads to reversion, a crawling back to our base instincts and if we are to truly evolve then we need to look forward to new ways of being, thinking and acting.
Fear is a natural and often valid response to a threat. It has been something that has been of benefit to us for so long that before we could even evaluate what the ‘fear response’ was it served us. Since the turn of the century with the ‘fore-fathers’ of modern Psychology and in more recent time, through the use of medical technology, we have come to realize that fear is a response and one that we have become a slave of. Fear is in control of us, and has been at the driving seat for a long time.
Through the use of reflective practices like mindfulness and emotional intelligence many people have started to become more in tune with their body, their responses and their mind and the by-product has been that they have developed a well of compassion, lasting connection to the world and themselves and have established a deeper understanding that the ‘other’ is just like them; just like you and me. Has the same fears, doubts and desires.
Modern day politicians, if they were to take this step towards a deeper understanding of themselves and of others, they would realize that their fear is, in most cases, the same shared fear that keeps the perceived ‘other’ awake at night. That their desire for global stability and security is the same as the majority of the people across the globe; we all want to be safe. That the best for the planet, the place that they have been intrusted to caretake is in all our collective interest as it is our legacy for future generations to come.
Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence with an open and listening ear, as well as an open and receptive mind, could form an approach that steers us away from more of the same reactive and destructive behavior that has led us in the past to push away and reject people ‘not like ourselves’. It could help us move away from building more walls and move us towards a lasting collective consciousness that in turn leads us to bridge gaps and difference.
Ultimately, we want to work towards a world where competitive advantage becomes collective benefit and where we can share this blue green planet with all the other global citizens in harmony and peace. It starts with those in power and with the commitment to face fear with compassion and an open heart.
By Jonathan Midwood for "Migrant Integration Lab Sustainable Solutions"
Jonathan MIDWOOD- Founder of the “Head To Heart Network” (H2HN)
He specializes in having lasting impact on individuals and institutions which inculcates positive thinking.
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