HOW CONNECTEDNESS HELPS BATTLE 21st CENTURY AUTHORITARIANISM

HOW CONNECTEDNESS HELPS BATTLE 21st CENTURY AUTHORITARIANISM

Indeed, “co-creation” has entered the popular lexicon – but do we embrace it? If we cling to the idea that our individual power comes from being the sole keeper of knowledge, contacts or skills, we take our eyes off the prize. The more we engage with each other, making our egos less important than our broader goals, the better “the whole” functions – and we increase our chances of being successful with our own endeavors.

COMPASSION

Compassion is the bedrock of Connectedness. Without compassion for others, and ourselves, there’s very little motivation to communicate or cooperate. The late US Congressman and longtime civil rights activist, John Lewis, wrote in an op-ed piece published posthumously, “Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division.” His life’s work was an example of what the American psychologist, author, and proponent of Buddhist meditation, Tara Brach, calls “Radical Compassion.”

How do we lay down our burdens of division? Compassion, particularly for those from other tribes, is difficult for many. Some may feel that sympathy, empathy, sharing, connecting, will rob them of what they have. Frequently those who once had the least but managed to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” have contempt for those who haven’t done so as well. Never mind that many of those who suffer the most and have the least have no proverbial boots and therefore no bootstraps.

It’s easier to feel sorry for ourselves and envy those who have more than it is to be grateful for what we do have and be willing to share it with those who have less. Until the majority of us can see ourselves compassionately as one human family, our rogue relatives, the 1% who have most of everything and are determined to keep it at all costs, will prevail – by Authoritarian means if necessary.

Compassion, which unites us as humans, begins at a personal level then extends from community to the world at large. But cultural differences are big humps to get over. For example, the French see themselves as a bedrock of democracy, having brought down Louis XVI and [eventually] fighting Hitler. Recently however, right-wing and Authoritarian sentiments have begun to creep into France, posing new threats to both native and immigrant populations with growing anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Similarly, Germany, which unified after the fall of the Berlin Wall and dealt forthrightly with its Nazi past, is seeing an alarming increase in Neo-Nazi sympathies and activities. Germany is not a melting pot – and it’s boiling over.

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About the Author

Nadine HackCEO of beCause Global Consulting and named a Top Thought Leader on Trustworthy Business Behaviour globally often enough to earn a Trust Lifetime Achievement Award, Nadine advises Fortune 500 company executives, heads of state, and other leaders and organizations. Ethical Corporation shortlisted her Responsible CEO of the Year with CEOs of Patagonia, Danone, Accenture, Yes Bank, Globe Telecom and Firmenich; With Master’s degrees from Harvard University and The New School, she’s a Fellow at New Westminster College, created and taught graduate courses at NYU and SNHU, and has guest lectured at many universities.

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