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Our World is Changing Are you in or out? By Dr. Gerhard van Rensburg It is to state the obvious to say ‘our world is changing’. What is not obvious is how many of the changes we experience in our daily lives link with others to become major forces and trends of change that will determine much of our future. What is also not so obvious is how our thinking and actions are influenced by systemic and cultural changes, and how well or poorly we not only cope with the changes, but learn from them and use them to our advantage. Moreover, for the sake of our sanity, identity and inner security, what do we hold on to as the firm core of our existence? Consider the changes I describe below (most of them are highlighted in Rolf Jensen and Mike Aaltonen’s book The Renaissance Society). How do you feel about them – neutral, positive or negative?  Being independent A growing number of people in the world consider themselves to be ‘independent’. In other words, they no longer feel themselves to be dependent for their security or well-being on the many different organisations, institutions, movements, parties, or groups in society. They choose to think for themselves and follow their own ideas. As a result people don’t respect authority as they used to and as a further consequence it is much more difficult to ‘manage’ people from above. As a matter of fact, hierarchies are flattening out. The outcome is a much more diverse society with many different levels of thinking, perspectives, viewpoints and creative contributions. The more we are exposed to diverse views in the safe context of democracy and freedom of speech, the more we form our own independent opinions. We see and experience this diversity mainly in cities. If we take into consideration that by 2025, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, the trend is clear. With an independent mindset, ownership and self-development becomes a way of life. The yardstick for progress We have become used to a world driven by materialistic values and the measurement of financial wealth as the ultimate indicator of progress.  However, slowly but surely, people are taking cognisance of the fact that contrary to the expectation and faith in material wealth, Personal Excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 11.2014 Submit your Articles 21


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