This is Ted Kuntz's response to What are you skating towards in 2012?
I’m skating toward the edge. I believe we all are. I believe we are living in a time of profound change. Life as we have known it for the last number of centuries is undergoing a transformation. The structures, paradigms and values that have organized, inspired and contained us are rapidly shifting. For years Al has referenced the panarchy model of change. Panarchy conceptualizes change as like a horizontal figure eight or infinity symbol. After a period of growth there is an inevitable decline or what the panarchy theorists call “release”. Others have described this phase as “constructive destruction”.
I believe we are entering a period of constructive destruction. The failure of our democratic systems, the destabilizing of the global economies, the effects of climate change including the rapid loss of species, the unwillingness to tolerate the huge disparity between rich and poor, and many other indicators are all signs of constructive destruction. I believe the occupy movement, while unfocused in its direction, is clear in its intention. ‘Occupy’ represents a collective pause in the evolution of human civilization and a declaration that the values and priorities that ought to occupy the center of a healthy civilization have been pushed out of the way. From my perspective the narrow pursuit of the almighty dollar has skewed our lives to such a degree that we are heading for the edge. Life as we have constructed it is not sustainable. We can’t keep going this way. Not only, will the planet not support our rapid decline of the eco system but also, humanity will no longer go along with the rise of corporatocracy at the expense of community.
The global village is fraying at the edges and is in need of a major repair lest we allow the tears in our social fabric to destabilize the world. This might sound like doom and gloom. I prefer to see it otherwise. I believe humanity has come to recognize that its current direction is missing the mark; that a mid-course correction is needed if we are to get where we want to go. I’m excited by this period of change and transformation. I like to use the metaphor of the caterpillar and the butterfly. As part of its transformation the caterpillar spins a fabric around itself forming a cocoon. While in the cocoon its prior form and shape deteriorates until it becomes an unformed mass of potentiality. Out of the chaos of this unformed mass arises the butterfly – a species with form and power far beyond the imagination of the caterpillar.
We too can transform into the butterfly. What is required is a form of leadership where everyone shares the responsibility for creating the kind of community we wish to live in, where we work collaboratively and invite ideas and input from everyone, and where we live with courage as whole beings, utilizing both our heads and our hearts. May we create the kind of community we wish to live in.
Note: I am releasing individual essays from the collection, What are you skating towards in 2012? on a regular basis. Upcoming contributions are by Jacques Dufresne, Linda Perry, Richard Bridge, Stefan Lorimer and many others. You can access the accumulated essays here.