by Dr. Denise R. Ames
Why can’t we just get along? That is a question I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Colliding Ways We See the World. In the rest of the February blogs, I thought I would share with you some ideas that I have been exploring. The first in the series is about worldviews.
What Are Worldviews, Part 2
I find that during the Global Wave, there are many contentious and conflicting ways of living and seeing the world. Iranian fundamentalists established a theocracy in Iran
after a revolution in 1979 and it continues today, while fundamentalists such as Pat Robertson were drawing many followers in the U.S. into the fold, mostly through television programming. The nationalistic fervor characteristic of the Modern Wave, which was supposed to decline with the upswing in globalization, was continuing and intensifying in the U.S. and other countries, even as the world was becoming more interconnected and global in scope.
The traditions of the Communal and Agricultural Waves were being reasserted during this time, as many indigenous people resisted the pressure to modernize or allow resources on their lands be exploited for extraction by multi-national corporations. The push for globalization, both economic and cultural, by the U.S. and other countries was a growing phenomenon that was supported politically, economically, and by the media. It appeared as an “inevitable” process, and we better jump on its bullet train of untold progress and riches or get left behind. Yet, there were those who resisted fundamentalism, modernism, and globalization and took actions to create a different way of life.
Although globalization supporters were garnering the most attention and putting forth an optimistic vision of the future, many other people were voicing different views. But each individual has different ways of “seeing” events, facts, situations, people, movements, information, evidence, spectacles, and ways of living, which make the world an unpredictable and confusing place. I decided that the Global Wave was not an all-encompassing, homogenous view of the world, but that many differing views within it needed to be heard and recognized.
As a result of my research, observations, and experiences, I decided to organize the Global Wave into five worldviews—indigenous, traditionalist, progressive, globalized, and transformative. I thought it would be unwieldly to have more worldviews and I wanted people to remember them. Also, the five worldviews coincided nicely with the five waves in my holistic world history. I would use the term worldview since it most closely described the phenomena that I was identifying.
Part 3 of this blog series will continue to explore worldviews.
Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.