Paradigm Shift: Where to Begin with Changing Society

by | May 4, 2023 | Social Issues, Societal Issues | 0 comments

Photo by Alexander Suhorucov

Chet Shupe’s seminal book Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature provides readers with a reflection on how civilization fundamentally changed the human psyche.

People want change. Everyone is looking at their surroundings and their societies, listening to and watching the news, and generally becoming aware of the inescapable interconnectedness of the modern world and human civilization. Chet Shupe’s Rediscovering the Wisdom of Human Nature offers readers a theoretical and methodical approach to how modernity came about and what was lost or suppressed in human nature during the process, but it rightfully distances itself from making any objective proclamations about how to fix things. 

Of course, one man does not have all the answers. 

If a change, a paradigm shift, is to happen in contemporary society, it is incumbent on all (or the majority) of its participants to be part of the shift and work hand in hand to bring about equity and freedom for all humans–even those that live lives antithetical to the human experience.

As is often incorrectly attributed to Gandhi, people have to “Be the change [they] want to see in the world.” This means being a proactive citizen, a staunch advocate, and a smart activist. It is only when the beneficiaries and the dependents of society have taken up the decision to change themselves and the world around them that a paradigm shift can occur. Nothing in the world happens because of trite circumstances; everything is because someone, or a lot of them, pushed things along.

Although there are plenty of aspects that need to be touched upon to bring about a paradigm shift, here are some areas in that individuals and groups can participate in fixing: 

Areas of Concern for a Better Paradigm Shift

Arbitrary Discrimination

While there have been milestones in the fight for equality and open-mindedness, the fight is still a long way away from being over. In almost every society found on Earth, there are still aspects that are riddled with discrimination, racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, religious schisms, and other damaging inequalities. What makes these prejudices terrifying is the ultimately arbitrary origins of it all. No one is superior because of their skin color, their chromosomal attributes, or their culture.

The myriad injustices and issues the planet and humanity face cannot be solved without including everyone in the fold. More division only leads to fewer hands, and fewer hands lead to fewer solutions.

In a world that is facing great struggle, there must be a central message that advocates peace—true peace that strives for justice–above all else and the acceptance of the differences that all make up the whole of humanity. Universal respect and acceptance are critical to a lasting and more impactful paradigm shift.

A Broken Education System

Although it is universally acknowledged that education is the great equalizer and is the aspect of society most important with regard to its continued advancement and promulgation, it is also one of the facets that are most commonly ignored, underutilized, and overburdened. Society expects too much from education while providing it very little in terms of resources, prospects, and accessibility. There are not enough schools and not enough teachers. Children are laden with too many institutional and cookie-cutter requirements, while their personal and societal roles are not taken into consideration or are minimized to an absurd degree.

It is said that democracy is the worst form of government, but it is the only one that works. This is because, for much of human society, only a minority of the populace had a standard education—it is only recently that universal education has even become a reality. For a true democracy to function properly, its electorate must be well-informed about the world and knowledgeable about how government works.

Knowledge and information can only ever be useful when the populace has the tools necessary to engage with them. With an educated populace, the required changes needed for a paradigm shift become much easier to achieve.

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