Questions and Chaos

Life in the 21st Century

A New Mental Map

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No one wants world hunger; no one wants global warming, no one wants the extinction of species. How is it that as a society we create conditions that we as individuals don’t want? Human beings are, perhaps, in the unique position of relating through the world through the filter of our beliefs. We make decisions based on our mental map. Frances Moore LappĂ© argues that what will change conditions in the world is changes to our mental map. We need to change our mental map from one that is scarcity based and anti-life to one that is life affirming. The premise that there is not enough of what we need in the world leads to beliefs that take us into a spiral of powerlessness. Speaking here, in Oregon on October 2, 2008, she discusses how we can reframe our beliefs on environmental issues in ways that open us to new solutions.

Everything we know is based on past experience, either ours or someone else’s. It is only in giving up what we know, and being willing to experiment with what we don’t know, that we are likely to find new directions. As Frances Moore LappĂ© says, “It is not possible to know what’s possible.”

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