A person’s worldview is the way one looks out at the world. It embraces a spectrum of attitudes, memories, values and often reflects the norms and culture of a place. More profoundly, a worldview informs one’s thoughts, beliefs, actions; and provides the basis for one’s view on political orientation, philosophy, and religion. It supposedly helps to answer the question of Who am I? What is my purpose?
My Big Question is: How might I look out at the world in a way that would motivate me to make a transformational shift to widen and deepen my sense of SELF, IDENTITY and PURPOSE? If my motivation is to make a positive change in the world and move beyond my own self-interest, what would I do?
The willingness to extend oneself in meaningful ways requires a wider version of ‘self’, benefiting not just those close to us, but also the broader community of humans. In my view, a wider “sense of self” manifests through the connection to community and nature, consciously impacting a positive direction for all life forms. Link to image of Model
An intimate engagement with the natural world develops a more holistic view and understanding of the complexity and inter-relatedness of all life systems. In particular, Indigenous people teach us that there is always an exchange between humans and nature with a deep reverence and gratitude for all that sustains us. While our interest is to move toward a transformational shift, we also want to learn how to enhance our own potential connecting us to healthy life networks and contributing to mutually beneficial relationships.
I believe this is what a new worldview is asking of us in order that we can be more relevant in co-creating a hopeful future. Our challenge is to learn how to integrate an alternative pathway that begins with adjusting our own beliefs and letting go of attitudes and behavior that no longer work for us. Each of us is capable of offering a more generous, humble and collaborative spirit to approach complex issues in our current state of the world.
For the sake of our own survival, it is time to see ourselves emerging as part of the planet’s processes that began millions of years ago. Could our first step be to understand that as humans we are expressions of a web of life in an evolutionary process with the planet, and that this process will continue on into the future? Now, in this moment of human history, a choice has to be made… will that process unfold in destructive ways or regenerative ways? We need hope and we need to see a positive pathway toward the healing of deep wounds we have caused people and the planet.
Thomas Berry, whose profound life-long wisdom on spiritual, human and scientific studies helps us to shape a new worldview, states: "The Universe is composed of subjects to be communed with, not objects to be exploited. Everything has its own voice. Thunder and lightning and stars and planets, flowers, birds, animals, trees—all these have voices, and they constitute a community of existence that is profoundly related."
Is it possible for us to weave our sensibilities, our ‘wider-self’ and deeper sense of purpose, into positive relationships to benefit other humans and non-human life? With humility and compassion, I believe we can set an example to advance our human evolutionary process in a positive direction. With a collaborative spirit, we become partners with nature in the co-evolution of life’s processes on a restorative course for a healthy and flourishing planet. In the spirit of this new ‘being-ness’ and with a broadening worldview, we will be re-enchanting our relationship with the natural world and bringing joy and harmony to our life’s remarkable journey.