We live in bewildering times prompted initially by the financial crisis in 2007-8, which has opened up a large can of worms in a good part of our business sector. From a Meta perspective I have come to a belief that it is no longer a financial crisis, nor is it an economic one, nor a political one. That is purely the surface. Rather this episode in our times is a wake up call and we are instead living a long period of flux and of deep confusion that requires fundamental answers to such questions such as identity, our belief system and our value system. This can bring us back to our roots and even to the depth of our very own soul which may help us into new thinking, ideas, and meaning which can also help to define a new vision for our future and our children’s future.
This confusion is deeply reflected in our rudderless modern world particularly on our own doorstep, as seen by many. With the eyes of the world now on the Scots for example, could their leap of faith toward potential independence put the UK into disarray? France is in a political quagmire headed by a President that has virtually lost all credibility. Belgium has no government. (Frankly the country functions well enough without one) Many Europeans want full integration. Other countries want out from a Europe burdened by heavy regulation and needless bureaucracy. Our economic or capitalist system is hanging on by a thread and is likely to fail us. We have built a political system that is self-serving rather than serving. Our media and entertainment sector is obsessed on sound bites or noise and instant negative headlines so often exploiting human failings whereby playing to our weaknesses rather than our strengths. Our differing societies have accumulated so much debt and simultaneously a social crisis is now looming with general failing services and falling standards. Is it solely our self-interest left that is at stake as well as our appearance and instant gratifications or pleasures, and endless consumption that is adding to our total mistrust of one another? Surely this is aggravating further our moral compass, lack of belief and of vision resulting to the door potentially being left wide open to right wing extremism and an exploitation of a political ideology such as Islam.
To add salt to our wounds our self-appointed head of the commission Jean-Claude Juncker was asked about his vision of Europe of late. His answer was that he wanted to see a Europe sticking and working together. Is that it Mr. Juncker? Is that answer worth €25.500 not including expenses per month? With everyone going in every single different direction how on earth are we going to move forward coherently and how on earth are we going to rebuild our future on rock rather than on sand? Or does the human race really have such a poor outlook? Frankly many of us fear for our future and for the future of our children. Something is going to have to give.
Here’s the thing. With those who believe in a new long term direction and if one puts oneself on a pedestal, it is important to consider that change can more easily come about once this has occurred in one self. It starts at the individual level that includes an element of soul searching. Knowing who we are, why we are here and what we are here to do? To help us rediscover our sense of self-worth, and uphold a deeper belief system and values that govern our action and behaviour; an awareness is crucial that can go as far back as our own birth gifts and talents, our upbringing, environment, education, experience and cultural heritage helped by the love we are able to give and to receive. At a given point in time our chosen career or profession will need to reflect upon this.
If you are aware that you are going down the wrong path well somehow we would need the courage to find the key to that door and change the course. Yes we are faced with plenty of challenges, knock downs, grievances and failings which in some cases can change our way of thinking, yet that is just a part of our personal growth and maturity. All in all this contributes to our identity and plays part to our very own destiny. Call it life's adventure if you will that we are destined to discover. Who am I? What am I doing here? As seen in this amusing sketch. What are my values and deeper beliefs? Are they coherent to my work? Is my company applying those same values that they say they are? What is it that the world needs where I can fulfil my hopes and dreams? What drives me? How can I contribute something tangible to where there is a need? What is it that I wish for? How can I utilise my talents to the best of my ability that will benefit the other person, our society or our environment?
Love, duty and meaning are the highest source of human motivation we could wish for. Once this is patiently figured out as in some instances can take time, our sense of self no longer becomes problematic nor a burden. Our sense of being becomes fulfilled. We can manage ourselves more easily, see ahead and serve the needs of others. We no longer need to pretend nor appear to be …. In the end...well we just are. This is identity and what inner foundation is about. This is our rock and our happiness. Every thing else takes its course. Some people call this character or backbone; others might call it common sense.
This year we commemorate the 100 years of the start of First World War. I am often reminded of the wordings imprinted on the soldiers grave stones that had no identity. No name, just: A Soldier of the Great War. Known only unto God. That even this poor person who ever he was that paid the ultimate sacrifice through his sense of duty could surely have found meaning or even love. It can only make you wonder…..