Jim Selman is a pioneer of the field of organizational transformation, and was one of the most influential mentors of my OT consultancy practice in early 90s, when I had a chance to be in frequent conversation with hom, given that both of us were working for the same client. I’ve just discovered his blog “Serene Ambition – boomers in transition,” where he wrote:
> I have no agenda for this blog other than hopefully to stimulate as much conversation and action as possible around the subject and issues of growing older and the possibilities we can create. My motto is “let’s clean up the mess before we die”.
The following notes are my response to his blog entry.
Yes!! “Let’s clean up the mess before we die” is the most concise and energizing way to say that we got one more chance to make a difference for a better world. But how can we clean up, in the next few decades, a “mess” produced by the millennia of scarcity, humans treating one another less than equals, unnecessary suffering caused by unwise social systems?
Whether we can or can’t, our best bet is in recognizing that the job of evolutionary janitors is not ours alone. It’s only the multi-generational alliances of pioneers of the change that we need, which will have all the collective intelligence, wisdom, and passion needed to clean up the mess.
> What occurred to me is that when I was younger, my ‘work’ or the cause I was working for was something that I was attached to. I mean ‘attached to’ in the sense that my point of view at the time seemed to be ‘the’ way or ‘the’ truth and, with all the energy and confidence of youth, I charged the barricades and felt empowered and inspired by the certainty that I was on the ‘side of the angels’ and a new world was coming.
I couldn’t have characterized the nature of my passion in my own youth and young adulthood, any more accurately than Jim did.
> I don’t need to ‘feel passion’ to be passionate. I can be passionate as a choice while still being relatively unattached to specific methods, timetables and even outcomes.
That too is resonating, almost. Where I differ, maybe, is where I recognize that the passion for my work is not fully inner-generated. My work is to maximize my contribution to the Big Shift into a society where:
– The blossoming of everyone is the goal of the whole.
– Work as creative self-expression is not the privilege of the few, not anymore.
– Organisations are responsible to the whole: their members and stakeholders, society, the biosphere, and future generations.
– Dominance is replaced by partnering as the mainstream way of organising, and unprecedented synergies arise from webs of healthy, mutually supportive relationships.
– Collective wisdom is leading to reduce wastefulness and fear in the systems, and increase aliveness, joy, and prosperity for all.
It’s a vision that keeps my commitment alive, vibrant, and charged with the emotional energy coming from a deep inner knowing that such a world is, indeed, possible.
Even with the commitment to work for that vision, I find my passion fluctuating, not all days the same. It’s not a question of moods but whether I can experience the connections and connectedness with other evolutionary agents, whose dream is as big as mine and who are working on the same or neighboring field as I.
When I experience that, it feels I am part of something much larger than my personal journey, as if the future in need of us was asking us to link up, tune in, co-create, and we responded with a big Yes!