A Creative Attitude Towards Life
Excerpt from the ‘Social Dimension’ of Gaia Education’s online course in ‘Design for Sustainability’
“Some people drift along like a cork on a river, feeling that they cannot do anything except drift, moment to moment. This is an attitude of mind. Everyone can be constructive even in tiny ways.”
— Edward de Bono
Many people think external circumstances are the major forces that guides their lives. They only consider two types of response: either to accommodate to circumstances or to react negatively against them. In both cases these people accept unconsciously a basic premise: we cannot do anything against circumstances; we don’t have any power. Even when we react against them, circumstances keep on conditioning our life path.
Developing a creative attitude means focusing our lives on what we want to see manifest, without utilizing external circumstances as an excuse for inaction or for permanent reaction.
To live life as a ‘cultural creative’ — an artist and designer of the ‘sustainable everyday’ — is to become proactive and consciously shape the world we live in, in full recognition of the limits our ‘not-knowing’ and as humble apprentice of the inherent creativity of the unifying process of life’s evolutionary journey.
The “D” in the Gaia Education’s ‘Design for Sustainability’ programme stands for DESIGN. One way to define design in general terms is as human intention expressed through interactions and relationships (see Wahl, 2006). We are all co-designers of the world we live in. As participants in life’s creative process we cannot but change the world — for good or for bad.
The choice the cultural creatives make is to consciously step into this role as humble co-creators of a more sustainable and regenerative culture — starting in our own communities and working outwards, as Bill Mollison advised in Permaculture — A Designer’s Manual.
Chances are, that if your are reading this and have decided to invest time into studying the material put together by Gaia Education, you are already a cultural creative and a conscious co-designer of a better, more beautiful, thriving and regenerative future for all of humanity and the community of life as a whole.
Becoming conscious or our own creative powers and responsibilities, stepping into the role of evolutionary activist and cultural change agent is putting your own creativity into the service of the wider whole of which your are and upon which all our lives depend. It is the creative opportunity and obligation of the generations alive on Earth today.
It is time for all of us to wake up to our power, individually and collectively, to co-create our future, and to manifest a vision of regenerative cultures intimately and elegantly adapted to the unique bio-cultural diversity of the places they inhabit, and supporting a global transition through the free sharing of knowledge and technology in global-local collaboration (see also ‘Designing Regenerative Cultures’ by Daniel Christian Wahl, 2016).
[Note: The 2017–2018 online course in ‘Design for Sustainability’ starts on October 23rd, 2017 and is enrolling now. The course starts with the Social Design dimension, which this excerpt is taken from. The material for this dimension was mainly written by José Luis Escorihuela (Ulises) who also leads the online team for the Spanish version of the course. This excerpt has been co-authored by Daniel Wahl and Ulises Escorihuela. Other sections are by Alyson Ewald from Dancing Rabbit ecovillage who is a mentor on the Social Design dimension.]