TED Conversations

Efiong Etuk

Founding Director, Global Creativity Network

This conversation is closed.

The threats to civilization are too daunting for humanity to continue to hold onto obsolete self-perceptions that no longer serve us well

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the dreadful situation the world is facing is not because the modern crises are impossible to solve; but because we have not yet developed, or found, appropriate conceptual framework for understanding and for tackling them. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, also, the modern crises are not “economic crisis,” “social crisis,” “political crisis,” or “environmental crisis,” per se. They are not separate crises, either. As such, they are not likely going to be resolved within the framework of the prevailing understandings.

A body of data no one thought and no one knew existed identifies the modern crises as, fundamentally, a “creativity crisis.” This is the inability of the vast majority of people to develop and to engage their natural abilities in significant and beneficial social and ecological actions and, resultantly, the global and spreading epidemic of meaninglessness of which most psychological, social, economic, political, and environmental crises are the symptoms or facets. Close examination of the data also challenge widely accepted beliefs that humans are inherently self-interested, competitive, adversarial, materialistic, and consumption-driven. Analysis of the data further suggests that many of the difficulties the world has been experiencing might be rooted in inadequate and misleading concepts we have created about ourselves and the institutional framework and operational relationships that have been erected on those concepts.

To the extent that this conclusion is valid, the best hope of resolving the modern crises is, first, to correct the misleading views we hold about ourselves and, second, to conform our economic, social, and political decisions and actions to our authentic nature as humans.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 13 2013: I would love to see the data you reference in this post. Humans are very self-interested, competitive, adversarial, materialistic, and have become consumption driven due to the current environment.

    These attributes are the result of some pretty basic human needs. You make it seem like our only problem is a false perception about who we are. You can take a look around the world and see that just isn't true.

    The state we are in today is the result of many different social and economic issues. There is no simple explanation for the problems we face today. It would seriously take hours of writing to cover the complexities of our current crisis.
    • thumb
      Oct 13 2013: It seems, we've come to the same conclusions, but you were faster.
      • thumb
        Oct 14 2013: Greetings, Mike:

        It's nice to hear from you. I apologize, if I appear to have preempted you. Actually not! A friend of mine calls it "cosmic convergence." This is the coming together of seemingly separate or separated ideas and events to produce a particular beneficial effect, outcome, or result. From Carl Jung's perspective ("collective unconscious"), I am merely trying to voice what most people deeply know, deeply feel, and probably want to say. To be frank, Mike, I'm grateful to you and the thousands of intellectual giants on whose shoulders I should like to stand.

        Best Regards,

        Efiong Etuk

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.