By Dr. Denise R. Ames
As I launch my new book, Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them, I am reflecting on seeing the world through “corona eyes” Despite the coronavirus, the cultural divide is still with us. What does it mean for you and your way of life?
As a world historian, I am intrigued by change over time. So intrigued by it that I have written (Waves of Global Change) and taught about change over time for many years. I have asked the question, “Why do societies change from one systematic formation to another?” What sparks this change? Perhaps one answer is to create a “better” way of life, but that is probably a stock answer from our particular worldview today in the U.S.
Usually there is a tipping point to spark sudden change, such as environmental catastrophe (volcano, earthquake, flood, etc.), humans overtaxing environmental resources, or disease. Today, we are looking at disease as the push towards a possible tipping point.
But when change occurs suddenly, usually only one or two patterns change and they all do not change at once. In order to have a smooth functioning society all the patterns need to be in sync, operating in a holistic fashion in which one pattern reinforces another. The economic pattern, for example, reinforces the social pattern and so on. But this usually takes time for all the patterns to get in sync and function smoothly. In the meantime, tension, conflict, and even chaos may ensue.
I see the economy today as the main driver of our way of life. The economic pattern significantly influences all the other patterns—social, political, religious, moral/ethical, social, psychological, and the way we treat the environment. It guides and informs us in our quests for making meaning of our world. Since 70% of the U.S. economy is propped up by consumerism, there is an intricate and far-reaching system for strengthening our consumerist mindset.
Join me as a I continue this blog series, Friday, April 1. We are now seeing the world through corona eyes. We are all struggling with our new way of life.
I wish all of you well.
About the Author
Dr. 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 in 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.
Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them has just been released!
Divided addresses the question on the lips of every American: why can’t we get along? The cultural divide is threatening our democracy and destabilizing our country. Divided looks at the deep cultural divide through the lens of five colliding worldviews—indigenous, traditional, progressive, globalized, and transformative. This approach helps us make sense of our deep divisions and suggests ways of bridging them.
It is urgent that we understand and bridge the cultural divide. Bridging the divide is dependent upon first understanding it. Gaining an understanding of the five worldviews enhances our success of arriving at sensible solutions and increasing civil conversations. If not, rancor and intractability ensue.