I was struck by the title of Jared Diamond's new book, Collapse, how societies choose to fail or succeed. As I read it, I thought to myself...choice--I wonder how many people would actually accept that societies 'choose or don't choose' to collapse. Wouldn't most people assume that the collapse of a society was less a choice and more a result of a catastrophe to which they were the ultimate victim?
I've read only a small amount of the book so far, but because I've worked with the Choosing Continuum tool when teaching the Life Puzzle model, I would have to agree with Mr. Diamond--societies CHOOSE to fail or succeed, just as people choose to fail or succeed.
It is very easy to determine whether a person operates from a 0-5, reactive, unconscious, victim pattern of living or a 6-10 proactive, conscious, self-responsible pattern of living. And since people make up societies, a society is the sum total of the number of 0-5 reactive people vs. 6-10 proactive people. From this awareness it becomes obvious whether a society as a whole is choosing to succeed or fail.
Which is what scares me right now. Because after 15 years of teaching the Life Puzzle model to individuals, groups, systems, I've asked them all--where are you on the Choosing Continuum, 0-5 reactive or 6-10 proactive? After all these years, the grand majority of people continue to answer that question and acknowledge that they fall on the 0-5 side. We are reactive, unconscious, passive. And it is in that passivity that we choose to fail--ourselves, our families, our communities, our world.
There is still time to change this! But will we choose to become proactive 6-10 and choose to succeed? We don't have much time to decide--within the next 5 decades we'll find out. Did we choose to fail or choose to succeed. Did we Collapse?