Every society, and every human being living in these systems, has a worldview. Every day, each of us is constrained and inspired, sabotaged and liberated by the unique worldview that animates and drives our world.
Historically, people have taken their worldview for granted. Our ancestors never needed to ask themselves whether there were other, more viable worldviews that they could use to understand the world or their lives. Today, we're not that fortunate. We’re living in a time when a variety of worldviews and the mindsets that go with them — be they European, Mulsim, African, Asian, or Latin — are all active in close proximity to one another, rubbing elbows together every day as if they’re kissing cousins. They’re not. So, today we no longer have the luxury of living our lives blissfully unaware of our society's worldview, or our own more personal version of it. For at least two reasons. First, the significance and the pace of all the disruptive technological changes that we are currently experiencing won't let us hide inside the kind of naiveté that used to be OK. Second, these days, many of the individuals who live right next to us actually hold views and visions of life that, at first blush, are antithetical to our own.
Both these reasons can be frightening, especially when the pace of change is too fast, and/or when the "others" living next door are strident about the differences between them and us. All by themselves these two phenomena are powerful enough to elicit from any of us a higher level of anxiety than most people are accustomed to. So, at this point in history, it’s clear that we all are sensing what’s true; especially the fact that the certainty and safety of our society's basic worldview is being threatened by today's technological disruptions and by the otherness that the “immigrants next door” are bringing into our lives . As a result, whether we're aware of it or not, all of us at times are feeling vulnerable, disoriented, and uncertain.
New 21st Century Perspectives
This new 21st Century reality -- rapidly accelerating technological change and scary others living next door — is inserting into our lives an increasing fragility. What, until now, has been a stable and reliable worldview for us in now being challenged. This new fragility is what prompted me to start searching for a believable explanation for what's going on in the world regarding these issues. Using key words like worldview, mindset, zeitgeist, belief system, weltanshauung, and orders of consciousness, I searched for the best thinking I could find. Additionally, I went looking for individuals working in this area who are trying to help us find more effective ways of adapting our old, newly outmoded 20th Century worldview and mindsets to these new 21st Century realities. I learned three things:
A wide spectrum of worldviews and mindsets are currently active in the world;
An array of scholars and practitioners are working in this field;
A few of these practitioners have developed some new and intriguing worldview and mindset interventions.
The key words mentioned above helped me discover some experts who are doing intriguing Worldview and Mindset research. Consequently, in the Best-Practice Interventions section, the Leading Practitioners section, the Good Reads section, and the TLO Thought Papers Plus sections of this Worldview and Mindset Resources Center, I'll be exploring these ideas and the individuals who are working on them. If you have comments, requests, or questions related to anything that piques your interest, please reach out.