An Insane World?

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Philipp Graf von Hardenberg President & Executive Chairman of Thanyapura World Pte. Ltd. Co-Founder of United World College Thailand (UWCT) Founder of the Yaowawit School, Thailand

The world we see, that seems so insane, is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds. - William James 1842 - 1919

This more than century-old quote from an American philosopher and psychologist William James is still very adequate today.

Do you remember your grandparents often getting frustrated with the world around them? “When we were young, in the good old days, everything was better!”, they claimed. And their parents said it too – the same refrain, in every generation. Adults don’t like change, and that often makes them think and act out of an outgrown believe systems. They feel an attachment to the past because it makes them feel safe.

Most people resist change. They don’t accept, that change is a constant process, happening anytime, anywhere and anyhow - whether they like it or not. And those who wear blinders and avoid change, usually anger those who want to make change happen. Anger, in turn, causes confusion and frustration, resulting in a sense that the world has gone insane. This raises fear about the future and blocks their minds.

This vicious cycle, which already existed in the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, will only be broken, when we start to educate the next generation to be mindful, empathetic, curious, creative, and life-long learners. If we want our children to perceive the world differently, to treat each other better than we do, to be more responsible, and not be afraid of the future, then a major change in our education system is in order. For an open-minded paradigm change of our education system, we need people, who do not, in the depth of their minds, believe that everything was better in the past.