A reminder of what is possible
As we are approaching the Christian celebration of Christmas it is worth considering what this represents in historical terms. The American historian Will Durant describes it thus: “There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of a few Christians, scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with a fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting the sword with the word, brutality with hope, and at last defeating the strongest state that history has known. Caesar and Christ had met in the arena, and Christ had won.”
The early Christians practiced Encounter, unconditional love for the other which was the driving force and glue that built order within a slave-based empire.
I see parallels with our situation today. We even hear the terms ‘wage slavery’ and ‘debt slavery’ being used to describe working conditions for increasing numbers of people in the world.
How Encounter is being practiced today is different. Coaching and High Performing Teams in the work environment - both rely on trust and unconditional acceptance to function. Both these activities build order in environments where fear or apathy are the norm.
In the social sphere, the recognition and rejection of child abuse, and the rejection of domestic (and other) violence against women is driven by the universal belief that everyone deserves to be accepted and treated with respect.
A very different set of circumstances from those pertaining two thousand years ago. Yet, little by little, a different order is emerging to challenge the hierarchical status quo.
Our children will be at the forefront of this change, this is why they need 21st century skills, skills which are grounded in collaboration and creativity and courage.
Through Christmas we are celebrating a remarkable event in human history. For me, it is a reminder of what humans can achieve when they simply love and respect each other, unconditionally.
So, I should like to wish all my readers a happy and holy Christmas and a successful 2019.
This blog will be back on 8th January.