Change comes about when it is ready. Not when I am ready, you are ready, or we are ready. When change is ready.
Back in June I noted Beck and Cowan’s six conditions for change: openness to the potential for change, the presence of solutions for the current problems, sufficient dissonance and turbulence with the present, the ability to overcome the barriers within self and others, insight into the patterns in play, and consolidation of understanding that leads to change.
These six conditions are not a recipe; just ‘doing’ these things is not enough to see change, let alone make change happen or last. Beck and Cowan are very clear on this: even if all conditions are met, awakening new ways of thinking MAY happen. It is not a given.
Change is a complex matter. A small action (or realization) may have huge unintended consequences. It is possible that all conditions could be met and no change would take place. There might not be sufficient dissonance, for example. The potential intelligence might not be there. There could be barriers that can not be overcome. It is possible that we are not even able to see and feel what is wrong with the current life conditions, let alone begin to imagine what new possibilities could exist.
When I look at our cities and how we live together, I see that collectively we are experiencing dissonance with how we live. Everyone seems to be unhappy, some of whom see new ways of being and living together. There seems to be a gap between what we ought to do and what we do that we barely understand as individuals or as a collective.
Changes needed to resolve tension in our cities will come when the conditions are right.
An essential practice: notice if it is time for change. If not, be patient. If yes, seek out the ways you can influence the conditions for change. My next posts will explore other critical practices that support our uneasy journey.
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This post forms part of Chapter 4 – An Uneasy Journey, of Nest City: The Human Drive to Thrive in Cities.
Nest City is organized into three parts, each with a collection of chapters. Click here for an overview of the three parts of Nest City. Click here for an overview of Part 2 – Organizing for Emergence, chapters 4-7.