Hands up anyone who has stayed in a relationship that was ‘pretty good’. A job that ‘wasn’t bad’? Eaten a chocolate croissant (or two) just because it was there?
And hands up anyone who looked for a big conflict to force themselves to change? Picked fights so it was easier to leave your partner because they just don’t understand you? Left a job when your boss suggested for stress leave? Ate more brown rice after a bikini-shopping experience drove you to mass chocolate brownie consumption?
It’s so much easier to change when it’s all gone to shit, right? (A self-confessed expert who has left way too many relationships way past their use-by date, only left a career in engineering when chronic fatigue meant I couldn’t get out of bed and am still, at 30, learning that 3 chocolate brownies in one sitting is not good for me.) Once you leave the job/relationship/bad habits there is space to explore more of what you really want. To grow.
Which came first – the desire to change, or the push?
So how does this look for groups of people and to the world? Back in the day, it was mammoths threatening your tribe. We invented (er, at a guess) weapons. 1000 years ago perhaps your village was under threat. Behold the castle and the moat! In modern days your country was under threat. Enter stage left technology and (attempts at) international diplomacy.
The world as you knew it was under threat and you adapted. Survival.
Now it’s climate change and the end of the earth and global humanity as our world. We are now capable of ‘getting’ that our world goes beyond ‘me’ (OK, we all know the exceptions), beyond our family, our city, even our country. If we keep going like we are, our world as we know it will descend into chaos. And oh my we can’t have chaos. Anything could happen.
Based on the two minutes I have spent studying chaos theory over coffee and a custard tart, chaos always proves to be non-random.
We’re always on the edge of chaos because chaos is just one milli-step ahead of what we know right now. We’re scared of change because who knows where it will lead? (Kylie Minogue – wisdom in ‘Better the Devil you Know’?!)
But if chaos beyond our control means the end of the world, we fight tooth and nail to make sure it doesn’t overcome us.
Some questions for a Friday night:
Is the chaos real, or something we dream up to force (inspire?) change.
Is chaos really non-random and analyse-able, or are we just so keen on analysing everything that we can put anything into a mathematical model, just to feel ‘ordered’?
How do we progress without the need for chaos?
Which came first – our desire to progress, or creating the chaos that moves us to progress?