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 14 2013: Greetings, Henry:

    Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate them.

    It seems Ted Ideas Worth Spreading does not allow people to provide URL to their works. There was an earlier request which, unknowingly, I obliged; and those comments was promptly deleted. I hope I am not breaching TED’s TOR by indicating that the data are currently available for most ebook reading platforms, in a publication entitled “Creativity: Revealing the Truth about Human Nature.

    I totally agree with you that “humans are very self-interested, competitive, adversarial, materialistic, and have become consumption driven due to the current environment.” This seems connotes that people are not naturally self-interested; but have become so “due to the current environment.” That is exactly why I am suggesting that we rethink that environment to accord withhuman nature.

    I also agree that the human problem is many-faceted; but most of them seem to be rooted in false perceptions about who we are. This is a universal and age-old problem – probably as old as culture and civilization.

    Sure, there is no simple explanation for the problems we are facing today; but some solution strategies seem more critical, more pivotal and, potentially, more useful or more fruitful than others. And in the interest of economy and effectiveness, those are the one’s to which humanity might wish to pay particular attention.

    Best regards,

    Efiong Etuk

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.