As previously discussed in the defining growth post I promised to link personal growth to national growth. So here goes…
There is normally much debate around how to uplift a nation and the split is usually between the conservatives and the liberals. On the one hand the conservative will tell you that the focus is on the person – work harder, greater moral development, discipline, etc. and on the other hand you have the liberal that says you need to change the system, create opportunity and put safety nets in place in order to level the playing field. Conservatives therefore focus on the personal or interior and the liberals on the system or exterior aspects.
All of this is quite good but the fact of the matter is that we are measuring specific things that are indicative of growth – we value certain things. As you may well know, globally we use Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the main indicator of a nation’s growth. Have you ever thought about this measurement? Is it a good one? What exactly does it measure? What is excluded? Can it be improved?
Without going into too much detail I can say with certainty that there are definitely better ways to measure our progress as society that includes other very important aspects and starts to bridge the gap between interior and exterior. One of the new approaches includes much broader aspects such as foundations of well-being and if you are interested to learn more go over to TED and see what Michael Green and the Social Progress Index is all about.
There are also many more movements, too many to mention right now, maybe more later, that are focusing on the development of the interior person and how this relates the development and growth of our exterior world. Once again many thinkers, writers and scholars are making some very important progress. There are different ways of looking at the challenge but the bottom line is that our inner condition is most certainly part of the cause as I wrote in Fix the Hole.
It doesn’t help we change a system, build a school or produce more cars and never ask why! Sometimes we can do exactly the same thing but with a very different why – a very different purpose that emanates from a transformed interior.
Now that is going from just surviving on this planet to really living!
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