AND Reignite the Human Connections

April 15th, 2018

Everywhere we turn these days, life appears to be changing at an accelerated rate. AND whether illusion or reality, the world, as we knew it, or thought we knew it, is changing before our eyes.

At a geopolitical level, big social media systems have come to the point in their use where naïve designs that never accounted for privacy and system abuse for nefarious reasons are coming under scrutiny. The threats never anticipated by early adopters of new ways of communicating are costing those users the price of compromised privacy for having trusted a large, anonymous system to protect them, as a personal friend might have done in the past.

Systems that do not serve the people…medical insurance and health care, businesses, law enforcement and the like, are being exposed for flaws in their design and use. AND as these systems are exposed for gender and racial bias, profits over people, and the like, individuals feel the pain.

In some cases, people are feeling bewildered, betrayed, and shocked that these systems are not designed to protect them, and instead protect profits and power at their cost. It would be very easy to get caught up in anger with the systems when it is time to acknowledge that they are what they are, they need redesign, and we are unwilling to collude in keeping broken systems in place by staying quiet.

It is time to get creative. How do we engage each other in sharing individual feelings, and harness our collective wisdom, ingenuity, and design skills to make better systems? The simple admonition comes from Albert Einstein who is quoted as having said something akin to, “You cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that was used to create it.”

This means that more people need to be involved in the solution. Greater diversity of perspective, thinking, and experience is required than was used to design the systems we use today. The voices of the disenfranchised, as well as the currently powerful, will need skills of listening and civil dialogue to make change differently.

Whether trying to address big unwieldy systems that affect many people or individual feelings of shock, anger, or dismay, the answer is to connect with one another and think together. It is time to share and allow ourselves to feel what is happening, understand how changes are affecting others, and build new relationships where we learn to trust our relationships with people, not large systems, to provide for the kind of world we wish to inhabit.

Healing is not done in a vacuum. The opportunity to change the feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness lies in human connection. AND it is time to reignite our connections with our hearts and each other. We need to remember that we are far healthier and more powerful together than will ever be alone.

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