melting ice capsDo you have a cause your really care about? Is there a particular global issue that gets under your skin and makes you want to shout out about it?

Have you ever felt so saddened by the enormity of world problems affecting our environment, dwindling resources, finances, the rate of extinction of our flora and fauna, people pre- during or post war, some states of humanity …. that you shut down or move into a space of denial, hopelessness or helplessness?

Quantum physics is clear that we attract more of what we are. Therefore it would be fair to say that shutting down, getting sad or mad doesn’t help your mission. In fact, the opposite is true.

What do you do?

Learning and education are tops for me. At a recent seminar for post and present students of Futures Studies at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Futurist Jose Ramos of Melbourne, Australia shared educator David Hicks’ five psychological stages that are triggered as global challenges and issues are considered.

I want to bring Hicks’ clarity to you because you can apply these stages to the way you view your own process in terms of the concerns in your life.

1. Stage One starts at the information gathering, cognitive level – where global issues are intellectualized.

2. Sadness, worry, frustration and anxiety may set in as you think about two hundred species becoming extinct each day, or you consider the plight of the moonbeams or the polar ice-cap melt. This is the second of Hick’s phases which engages the emotions. This he calls the affective stage where your sense of emotional responsibility is heightened and your levels of despair for the planet are deep. My partner, Derek – talks about “going into a black hole”. Can your relate to that?

3. The third stage is existential where you can reinterpret who you are in a new context. You might challenge existing identities and practices and rethink who your early are in the context of any new learning you’re acquiring along the way.

4. When you enter a sense of agency and engage flexible pathways paved by new solutions, attitudes and methodologies – you become the change agent. This is the empowerment stage in David Hicks’ model, and the fourth phase.

5. Transformative projects that are practically embedded, with individuals, communities, organisations constitute the fifth level of the process. This is where action instigates experiential change.

If there the empowerment and action stages are missing, it’s impossible to move through the existential shift and you’ll experience escapism or denial. Therefore the fourth and fifth phases are fundamental.

Please note, this process is not linear, rather a dynamic synthesis of parts of a process engendering a journey that begins in awareness and, hopefully instigates positive transformation in the world. Hicks, D. 2002. ‘Lessons for the future, the missing dimension in education’. Teaching about global issues, the need for holistic learning.London / NY: Routledge Falmer.

Here’s to Your empowered action-taking and Your magnificence!




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