One of the dominant stories in the self development blogosphere is the Hero(ine)’s Journey. It is an approach with many strengths. This post is to give an alternative to it.

The Strengths of the Hero(ine)’s Journey

  • It gives permission for people to strike out on their own.
  • To find what is true for them.
  • To find what really works – rather than what people say works.
  • To look for answers to their culture’s problems and dilemmas.
  • To implement new ways of doing things.
  • To embrace all parts of who they are, not just the socially approved ones.

 

The Wise One

We need wisdom – information intelligently applied to improve our situation. That is, wisdom is both pragmatic (finding the way to do something) and idealistic (making the situation better – creating a worse world isn’t wisdom).

We desperately need this pragmatic idealism. Many of us want a world where everyone can thrive. And there are many (usually the beneficiaries of the current system – or those who want to be its beneficiaries) who are only too happy to explain why this isn’t possible.

And there are many already making real differences:

  • to how protest is done
  • power being generated from renewables
  • food being grown sustainably
  • the internet expanding the availability of physical and mental health services
  • new systems of trade
  • changes to lifestyles reducing deaths from heart attacks

There are many, many small examples of wisdom. All demonstrating how something can be done, all building a better world in their own small way.

I want to draw attention to this, and do what I can to encourage it. And I want to do what I can to show how we can have more wise people, and more wisdom in our world.

 

A Virtue of Wisdom is Reliability

Creativity isn’t always successful. It is essential and we require places where we can fail. Without the room to fail we will get more rigid and ultimately die.

And we need reliability too. To know that most of the time we can get the outcome we want. This includes processes for generating creative solutions.

In our extremely rigid world, where we are expected to organise ourselves around clocks and corporations, we tend to idolise creativity. This testifies to a very deep need we have I think.

And reliability is also a very important part of our lives. We want stuff that works. And we want to be able to get on with others. To get predictable answers to questions, to know how to care and love, to be able to achieve things together.

We need pragmatism and idealism, we need creativity and reliability: we need wisdom.

Stay tuned for future posts giving the details on how to make this real.

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