Disorder and the power of small steps

There is much instability in the world at the moment. Whether it is the disruptive effects of technology, the fickle economy, the environment, the Ukraine, Isis, or even the impact of a separate Scotland on the rest of the UK.

I tend to be a half full rather than a half empty sort of person, and resist the doom and gloom message of the media, BUT there are no guarantees that we will face these challenges and do well. Our old, centralised ways of doing things aren’t up to the job. The grown ups have lost the plot.

When I was speaking in Latvia a couple of years ago I found myself walking around large, concrete housing estates, full of tired, depressed looking, former Soviet state workers. I thought of the challenges of an old order collapsing and how little as an individual you can do to stop that. I thought of programmes, like the one I was supporting, to rebuild the fabric of a productive life. I thought of the typical state supported initiatives that would just create new dependencies for the people. I thought that not everyone can be entrepreneurial. I felt powerless to help and thought “What’s blogging going to do for these people?”

But then I thought that any lasting solution is going to come from small steps. Adding value to someone you know. Helping the person next to you do something they currently can’t. It comes from relationship, from one person reaching out and connecting with another. From rebuilding trust. From taking responsibility.

We have the tools to reach out, to work harder at understanding, to see more opportunities for connecting, to get better at taking responsibility and helping each other. It all starts with that next blog post or update.

2 thoughts on “Disorder and the power of small steps

  1. Saw this quote that I think is on similar lines about small steps: "Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it’s a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I’ll try again tomorrow."

    I have been thinking about how remote the suffering of our fellow human beings seems when it is not on our doorstep or within our closest circle of family and friends. I was thinking about a particularly shocking incident in Ukraine about the random death of two very young children that BBC correspondent Fergal Keane so ably reported: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-29119829 – and, my God, that needs some understanding.

    I was thinking that in some way events like that reflect on us all – if we do nothing they diminish us as members of the human race. We have a global responsibility to try and do our bit as energetically as possible to make things better and to make sure bad things don’t happen in the first place. We are all responsible and the more access we have to wealth and resources and so called civilized, peaceful, democratic society – the more responsible we are and the more small steps we should take to help.


    1. I agree. The way to prevent such things is long before they are even considered – not after. We have such an ill divided world yet get all moralistic when people behave appallingly. So complex and interconnected but only going to change at an individual level first.


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