Breaking Brown

July 20, 2011

Umair Haque’s way forward

Umair Haque“Industrial prosperity has reached its limit. Stagnation, decline, impoverishment and a general kind of misery mark the end of an era of one model of growth. A great reconfiguration of the global economy is inevitable.” – Umair Haque

What I interpret Haque as saying is twofold; 1.) We are living from a 20th century model. 2.) To steal a phrase from President Obama, we can’t “win the future” from there.

Haque does us all a favor by sketching the way forward in his Harvard Business Review column, but as evidenced by the budget debate, we’re not taking notice.

The problem is that Haque is part of a minority, a growing minority of which I’m a part, but a minority all the same. The rest of America lives aspirationally.  They’re indoctrinated by marketers and DO want everything bigger, faster, cheaper, and nastier. To them, a quarter pounder with cheese is a tasty meal, and this observation is helpful since it exposes the average American’s limited contact with hearty sustenance; slow cooked stews, hand crafted salads, and knuckle kneaded breads.

Their senses have been deadened by a hypervocal and bratty consumer culture that thwarts their inborn connection with themselves and their tribe. They don’t know what it means to be truly fulfilled anymore so it’s difficult, damn near impossible, for anyone to point them in the direction of pathways that will take them there.

The difficulty in focusing their attention on the damage done by the bailouts and horde culture lies in the “me too” vantage point from which they view all dilemmas. You can’t critique someone who has a lot of stuff because the average Joe or Jane will robotically respond, I want that “too” or I would do that “too” if I had the money or the power. It’s an aspirational life lived from the perspective of someone who wants to be something else, someone who is living a life imagined, but not someone who owns the life they’re actually living.

You can’t very well convince someone to re-imagine a life well lived if they are totally immersed in an illusory world. Simply put, we must merge with our true selves before we  can build the honest life that leads to a valuable life. We’re not there yet. But Umair Haque is helping us map the way forward.

 

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2 thoughts on “Umair Haque’s way forward

  1. We don’t value independent thought as much as we used to. People take what others so “generously” offer them, without thinking of the consequences for giving up little bits of their souls. Capitalism has changed our country, and not for the good. Money has over-influenced individualism simply because they don’t want people to think as individuals. That would mean that they would lose control. So, they tempt you and they taunt you. It takes a strong person to resist.

    I think that some people are now accepting that call to arms, some even using drastic methods (ethical hacking) to get us to see our errors. The majority don’t see that we are creating our own end times because of our greed. In order for change to happen, we have to push back against peer pressure, group think, or whatever you want to call it. Find something you love more than yourself, something that moves you on the inside. Until we’re moved on the inside, we won’t move on the outside.

    Individuals who march to the beat of a different drum are out there in droves. If they weren’t then we wouldn’t have such a vibrant creative streak around the world. It’s going to be up to those individuals to find a way to give people a choice so that they aren’t tempted by the fool’s gold. The only good thing about all of this disastrous economic nonsense that is happening around the world is that we have finally realized that we were the fools to have believed in their gold!

    I’m with you guys who want to make a change because I’m sick of the little hamster wheels that we tread on. My soul has finally had enough, and it’s fighting for me to fill that hole inside of me that knows I can try to make the world a little better with what I have to offer. That’s what I’m trying to do everyday from here on out. Even if others don’t get it.

    (Sorry for the length, but you bring up a topic that I hold dear. Keep pushing back. I know I will!)

  2. Yvette says:

    Carolyn,

    I agree with every word you just said and, remarkably, don’t have much to add. You articulated it perfectly.

    Yvette

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