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A Vision for 2012 and Beyond

It's time to plan for extraordinary change

by John L. Petersen

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It may not be clear yet where we are going, but what is clear is how to get where we decide we want to go. The future doesn't just happen; we make it happen. It is the product of our desires, interests, perspectives, visions, and actions. What we think and what we do makes a difference. It makes the only difference.  We need to change the world—around a new vision. It's important to keep in mind that we're talking about a new world.

Envisioning the world of 2012, big extraordinary change happens. There is a new realization that we are directly related to the planet, all other people, and the rest of nature in very concrete and practical ways. It has also become clear that we are interdependent in ways that are obvious but not yet fully understood. This mind-set is reflected in…

An increased emphasis on connectedness and interdependence.
The Internet, the global economy, the environment, and many other aspects of life have made transparent that we are all directly and indirectly connected to each other and the larger context in which we live in ways that were previously not obvious. All transactions now take these linkages into consideration. Because of this interdependence, it is logical that nonconstructive relationships are intrinsically destructive and that there has been …

A shift toward cooperation and away from competition.
The interdependencies that we live with coupled with the highly destructive potential of advanced technologies have made it obvious that finding ways of working together is much better than fighting over differences. This has translated into a …

Commitment to conflict resolution without resorting to violence.
The potential destructive capability of new technologies juxtaposed with the need to build a new world has mandated that violence, especially between developed nations, as in all-out world wars, is no longer feasible. Sophisticated methods of negotiation and influence become the main tools of persuasion.

A commitment to justice for all people.
Since in an interconnected society injustice to some ultimately affects all others, a broad-based commitment to justice for all is imperative.

A world of abundance.
The resolution of energy problems and the advent of advanced information-technology applications presents the possibility of a world without intrinsic scarcity. Equitable access to and distribution of food, knowledge, shelter, and work could well become possible.

Individual self-realization.
The crucible of phenomenal global change would produce a new perspective of oneself and the untapped potential in each of us. A dedication to self-realization would be reflected in all aspects of human activity.

Individuals choose for themselves rather than taking their cues externally.
Interdependency coupled with unsurpassed knowledge and a common allegiance to justice weakens the requirement for centralized authority.

Harmony with nature.
The fact that everything that lives on this planet is connected with everything else means that we live with nature, actively cocreating the context within which we live. We therefore see ourselves as part of the larger, global system. Maintaining harmony with nature is a priority that produces personal, spiritual, physical, and economic benefits.

A shift toward localization.
The failure of global supply chains initiates a reliance on local suppliers rather than distant ones. This is especially true with food items, for which local farmers and ranchers become preferred.

A commitment to healthy food.
Fresh, healthy food is a necessity for sustaining the physical and mental requirements of living in the new world.

The key to getting to this new future is a vision. We need a picture of a viable global future to guide us going forward. In practical terms, this new world needs to be pretty idealistic. After all, we're really (really!) going to build a new one in a new context, which makes all kinds of things possible that certainly wouldn't work right now. That's what we should aim for. That's the contextual objective we should carry around in our minds.

Excerpted with permission from A Vision For 2012 ©2008 by John L. Petersen, published by Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO. Available in stores or visit www.fulcrumbooks.com.

Related Info:
Learning Universal Responsibility
Revisioning Agriculture for the 21st Century
The Bells of Mindfulness
Lester Brown on environmental change
Rebuilding Your Local Food Chain
Brian Tracy on self-actualization
Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance
John Hagelin, Ph.D. on meditation and bringing peace to the planet
Helen Caldicott, M.D. on healing the planet

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