Over the course of our lives, change is a mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual disruptor. From our earliest memories to our death, change is a part of life. While some changes are small and almost imperceptible, others are life-altering. Yet for as many changes as we experience, most people approach each change as something new and unique. In fact, while the catalyst for a particular change might be new, the path through it is not. Joseph Campbell called that path the Hero’s Journey, and said of it:
Looking back at what had promised to be our own unique, unpredictable, and dangerous adventure, all we find in the end is such a series of standard metamorphoses as men and women have undergone in every quarter of the world, in all recorded centuries, and under every odd disguise of civilization.
Not only is the journey the same each time, the patterns of the human response to change are universal. While they show up in different ways in different cultures and different settings, they are embedded in our DNA.
The Audacious Idea! What if we taught children how to move more easily and successfully through the disruptive changes in their lives? What if we taught them the universal change journey; the ways in which they inherently respond to change; and the path through it? Such knowledge (and with practice, the skills they would develop) would lessen the feeling of disruption that change inevitably brings. It would allow a more intentional approach to change and make it easier (even when not easy) to experience the changes that they face. It would also increase the likelihood of successfully moving through even the most difficult changes. Learning to navigate change will contribute to personal, family, organizational, and social well-being. And that, in turn, will contribute to a better future for our planet.
TED and The Bridgespan Group host an annual Audacious Project competition; last year they funded eight such projects. With more than fifty years of intentionally engaging change I bring the deep understanding of change that this audacious project needs. And I have access to some of the world’s most brilliant (and practical) change practitioners.
The request. I am in search of a partner with a proven track record in national, international or global education that is eligible to receive charitable contributions in the US. Together we can propose to change the way future generations approach change. That would be audacious! If you have any thoughts on potential partners please email me at [email protected] .
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