During some conversation between our silences, the meditation group I attend regularly were sharing their views of societal consciousness and its evolution in recent years. Some cited all the horrible news in the media and conspicuous dysfunction in our social systems while others pointed out the higher functioning of some members of the younger generations today. My own take is that on an individual level there is much to be optimistic about as greater and greater numbers of people seem to be waking up and experiencing significant personal transformations while the organizational systems we created long ago have become grossly dysfunctional. And it is these systems that make the news most of the time.
I like what conscious evolutionist Tom Atlee says, “Things are getting better and better and worse and worse, faster and faster.” It all depends on what “things” we are talking about.
My own experience in recent years is that there is a movement getting underway – a movement toward more conscious leadership – a movement that hasn’t started developing any real momentum until the last three or four years. The research that my company – FutureShapers, LLC – has been doing seems to substantiate this on a worldwide basis. Early findings are very exciting and we hope to have the research enhanced and published soon so we can share it with all our colleagues in this movement.
Some people are joining local chapters of the Conscious Capitalism Network which is spreading globally. Many are attending a variety of events such as TED conferences, Wisdom 2.0 events and various local or regional gatherings of people who are waking up and wanting to get engaged in changing the way business and organizations operate. Mindfulness and meditation are all the rage in Silicon Valley and many other parts of the world.
Taking a lead from the “coalition of conscience” that Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. made popular several years ago, perhaps we could name this movement a “coalition of consciousness.”
This coalition requires no dues or fees of any kind – no licensing or franchising – simply an alignment of values and commitment.
In my experience, movements are started by the crowd, not any individual. Individuals contribute to movements, some quite profoundly, but the source of the power is the alignment of intention, common values and the felt sense of fellowship that everyone shares. They are truly grassroots.
Dictionary.com defines grassroots as “the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.; the rank and file.”
Examples of grassroots movements or coalitions include the women’s rights movement, civil rights movement here in the U.S., the human potential movement of the 1960s/1970s and the modern democracy movement. There were standout advocates and spokespeople but no person or organization tried to “own” them, brand them or attempted to be seen as their “founders.” If anyone was deemed to be called a “pioneer” or a “leading figure” (such as Betty Friedan, Martin Luther King, Jr or Benjamin Franklin in the respective movements mentioned above) the deeming was done by the masses, the public, their peers – not by them.
So hands off this “coalition of consciousness” all you promoters and leave it to the grassroots, the “ordinary people” to get behind, talk about and innovate – to empower this movement toward a more conscious society and more conscious leadership.