We are a world divided around these two perceptions of life. We watch this daily on the television news as these two groups fight each other over the right way to run the world. Congress is locked in a bitter fight over ideologies to the point of full gridlock. One group thinks that the government should help everyone and we should tax ourselves to make sure everyone gets a chance. The other thinks that business is the answer and it’s every man for himself and if he will make the effort, everything will be just fine and if you don’t make the effort then you can’t expect anyone else to help you.
The thing is neither liberals or conservatives incorporate wholeness. That’s to be expected since we have only reached an awareness of wholeness in the last 50 years. Thus, it would be next to impossible to expect that they would develop a way to live in the world using this knowledge.
Both are trapped in a limited world-view of either/or. Wholeness challenges each group to widen the lens. From a political standpoint, wholeness requires us to recognize how integrated all systems are with each other and uses this integration to create solutions. It has the ability to include and transform old systems by asking one fundamental question—how does this impact the whole system, not just one part. Wholeness requires us to look at people, planets, and profits and integrate the needs of all as we make choices in building a world that works.
When you see folks arguing over a point—budget deficit, taxes, health care or whatever, stop and watch the points they use. They are generally ‘either/or’ points coming from either their conservative platform or a liberal platform. Then step back and take these same issues and design solutions using wholeness as the platform. Wholeness is solution-focused, it assumes that solutions will be possible in ways that benefit people, planet and business.
Wholeness also assumes abundance—because it is an and/both option. It works around limitations. Liberal/Conservative assumes scarcity because it is an either/or option. It lets limitations define the argument and can’t see that those limitations actually come from the liberal or conservative platform.
Wholeness includes individuals, family, community, business, region, country and then the entire planet. It wants good outcomes for all parts but each decision is made knowing that it impacts a larger part of the whole. Thus, a business may want to do its work but in doing so it pollutes the water of the region to a toxic level. If that business operates under a conservative platform, it doesn’t worry about the water as it is a ‘cost of doing business’. If that business operates from a liberal platform, it worries about the water but weighs it against staying in business and keeping people employed. It often will begrudgingly accept the water problem in order to keep people working.
But from a wholeness platform, the business understands that toxic water hurts those further downstream while it also will challenge the business to stay profitable while cleaning up the water. In this case, this business would redesign itself to find ways to take the ‘waste’ of one process of its business and turn that into a new product or service. For example, could this water be filtered through a marsh system that will purify the water while increasing wildlife habitat. This zero-waste design results in win-win for the long haul of the business instead of the typical either/or that conservatives or liberals apply to the same set of problems.
We will get there!
Liberal and conservative platforms reflect the old model. Wholeness reflects the new. Unfortunately, it is rare that we simply shut down one and start up the next, so we still have a long way to go if we’re going to achieve wholeness on any of these levels, but again, it starts with you.
As you discuss political or economic topics with friends, take a moment to think through the issue from wholeness and how, from a wholeness platform solutions could be designed. Then as your conservative or liberal friends argue, state: Let’s believe that we live in a world that seeks solutions that takes into consideration the impact of all parts in how they integrate into the whole. How then would we answer this question? This will often enable the group to go outside the limitations of either/or and find new solutions which they realize are not likely to be implemented at this point due to the confines of the either/or mindset but they understand that they could be implemented if the platform was different.
Here’s an example:
More funding for pre-schools. We know that the better the education and development a child receives in its first 5 years is crucial to the success of their whole life. Yet, funding pre-schools requires ever more taxes to pay for schools, teachers, materials etc.
Conservative view: No more taxes—make due with what you have.
Liberal view: Increases taxes—it is penny wise and pound foolish to have so many of our young children miss out on good early childhood development.
Wholeness view: create an integrated community system that builds businesses whereby human capacity development professionals, working from their homes, provide high level human development for our children; then include adults and children with disabilities and seniors who need some level of care to maintain living in their homes. These businesses are integrated with local businesses that surround these neighborhood child development businesses (NCDB) whereby these local businesses fund a portion of the NCDB through contributions and the NCDB supports these same businesses in a cooperative local economy model.
This results in the whole system improving. We create more businesses through the NCDB, we improve small local businesses that support the NCDBs as the NCDBs support small local businesses; our children receive high level human capacity development that incorporates wholeness for them; the environment benefits as these NCDBs have employees that work in their homes and their immediate neighborhoods instead of driving across town etc.
So you can see that a wholeness platform allows us to create outside the limitations that are imposed from the old liberal or conservative views.