Regardless of the outcome at the COP 15 Summit, what I see happening there gives me enormous hope for the future:
- I see thousands of people of all ages ( and many once strangers to one another) actively engaged in communication, collaboration, spontaneous acts of sharing and generosity and focusing on issues that affect the whole.
- Every form of social media is being fully deployed to enable many-to-many conversations that only result in a greater appreciation for and tolerance of complexity, diversity and ambiguity so necessary if we are to make our way forward.
- I see individuals taking responsibility for their own actions, caring for their communities; striving to find a better way; questioning and not just following trends or authorities because it’s the easier path; and
- I see incontrovertible evidence that people are not just seeking to solve a problem but to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
And while I was seeing all that, I came across this wonderful post by Calgary-based author, Stephen Joyce, titled What Has Meaning Got to Do with Anything? on an excellent blog, Getting Clever Together.
Stephen draws our attention to Victor Frankl – a childhood hero of mine – who has shaped a life of thinking and I’ll quote Stephen’s introduction to his post and include the video because it is so uplifting.
Why do we do it? I mean our work. In 1942, Viktor Frankl stood naked and completely alone in the world in a concentration camp. His captors planned to execute him – he was sure of it. They had taken everything he had in the world away. All those he loved and cared for had either been already murdered or would meet that fate soon. Those around him were in various states of psychological collapse and were resigned to their fate.
And yet amongst all this horror – Frankle discovered something else – an earth shaking idea as potentially trans formative as the discovery of fire. He realized that the only thing we really have control over in our life….. is the meaning we create from it. Frankle describes the search for meaning as our ultimate quest.
We are the meaning makers – whether we wish to accept the responsibility or not. In other words nothing has any meaning until we create it and our children are crying out for meaning. We must help them find one and a meaning that enables them to aspire toward the highest potential of humanity.
Copenhagen isn’t just about climate change and geopolitics. It's not even about GDP, growth, targets. It's about mankind's search for meaning. Why are we here? - to lead lives that are prosperous but meaningless or lives that are nasty, brutish and short where the search for meaning is a luxury? It’s also an event that is showing on our TV screens, in our Facebook pages, on our Twitter and Flickr streams just how interconnected we are; how humanity is converging into one community.It’s a mirror that’s illustrating the deep and exciting evolutionary spurt that’s occurring in humankind; and it’s an important milestone (not an end in itself). That's why I am more inspired today than a week ago..
PS. Stephen's great book is: Teaching an Anthill to Fetch - Developing Collaborative Intelligence@ Work