By Dr. Denise R. Ames
It is an unsettling time in the history of the United States. The ties binding us to an older order are breaking apart. The signs of the disintegration of the past are everywhere to be seen.
I chronicle the tumultuous transformations in our human history into five waves: communal, agricultural, urban, modern, and global waves. We are in the midst of breaking from the modern wave and realigning into the fifth wave: the global wave. (see my book Waves of Global Change: A Holistic World History 2nd ed. for full account)
But as I have found, not everyone is following one path in the global wave. In fact, several different paths are vying for dominance. Each has different ways of seeing the world, ways of living, and propositions for a very different economic, political, social, cultural, and moral order.
As with all transitions, the shift from one order to another is tumultuous. People are divided about what a vision of the future should look like, while others may be rooted in the past and resist the rapid and bewildering changes. A dizzying array of propositions are being put forward for conversation, or in most cases, shouting matches, about the details of a new order. Most of the details are ill-conceived, rooted in fantasy, and couched in idealism. Also, ideas shift from day to day, often hour to hour, making change even more baffling. I find it fascinating that most people are eager for change, but have no idea what that change entails.
When there is change in our human story as profound as a shift from one wave to another wave of history, there is a shift in power as well. With the diminishing of the modern wave, the power of the nation-state and its politicians and the economic leaders and large corporations is being challenged. With one power vacuum, the dismantling of the modern wave, another source of power steps in to displace it. What shall that power be? It is undecided as of yet.
I will continue to blog about the cultural divide in our country in March. My forthcoming book—Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them—describes the cultural divide primarily in the U.S. through the lens of five worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. Ideas from the blogs are explained in the book as well.
About the Author
Dr. Denise R. Ames’ varied life experiences—scholarly research, teaching, reflections, and extensive travels—have contributed to her balanced and thoughtful perspectives. Earning a doctorate in world history education, she has taught secondary schools, universities, a community college, professional development trainings, and lifelong learners. In 2003, Dr. Ames founded the educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, developing globally-focused books and educational resources. She has written seven books, blogs, lesson plans, articles, newsletters, and teaching units for the non-profit and clients.
Dr. Ames is now developing a program called Turn—transformative understanding and reflection network—that encourages life-long learners to see things with new eyes, shift perspectives, and understand the balance of all things. She teaches classes and writes about cross-cultural awareness, indigenous wisdom, a transformative worldview, learning from the past, a mythic journey, and transforming travel.