In these extraordinary times it is easy for us to lose focus on the concept of a global balance, but, I firmly believe that our survival and our futures depend on it and also that the current imbalance has led us to where we are today.
When I first shared the principle of Global Balance in one of the Compassionate Leadership Academy core principle blogs (www.compassionateleadership.academy) I had not considered just how important this would become; it was written in a different world to the one we find ourselves in now.
The balance I refer to is that between our economy, our society and the ecosystem, and, that there is a specific, sustainable order.
Picture in your mind 3 concentric circles – at the centre lies the economy and the supporting political systems, surrounded by society, our communities, and all encircled by the outer ring of the ecosystem. By ecosystem we mean the complete biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment”; it is more than just the “environment”, it is everything within and is the hugely complex and finely balanced relationships required so all can thrive.
The sustainable order is simple and is servant, outward focused; the economy serves society which, in turn, serves the ecosystem. As the economy prospers so it enables society’s service to the ecosystem. All is well and in balance. Or so it should be!
We have got this fundamentally wrong at the moment, with an inward focus & dependancy; as we have become slaves to the economy, so we have manipulated the ecosystem to serve us, and to such a degree that it is crumbling. We twist and torture the ecosystem to our needs as we become trapped within an economy that is, in reality, serving fewer and fewer of us as we witness with the unethical and growing disparity between the “haves” and the “have nots”, the rich and the poor, both within nations and between nations.
You could argue that our current physical crisis has come about as we have forced the natural world into unnatural alliances and relationships as we demand that it serves us; mixing species that would never have met, creating alien environments thus enabling new species of virus to come into our world with such devastating effect.
This has been made much worse by the economic imbalance, as the poorly resourced health systems of the developing world are unable to cope with the massive surge in demand – the death rates from Covid-19 will be hard even to quantify. Across the globe, there has been the need to enforce draconian restrictions of liberty and trade to attempt to control and slow the onslaught that even the most affluent of nations has struggled with. A microbe is punishing mankind for our arrogance.
Even across Europe we witness the tension between north and south, rich and poor, and the reluctance for the rich nations to change the status quo; it would appear that the principle of globalism does not extend to a global responsibility, but it will need a global solution.
We need to readdress this imbalance & order at an individual, national and global level.
The impact of our imbalance is plain for all to see, we cannot deny it, it is a reality. We now have an opportunity to reset the balance, to challenge the way we have done things to date and shift the focus back to where it should be. To change the way our political and economic institutions work so that they benefit a broader spectrum of society. For our global community to realise its imperative to be aware and care for our ecosystem, which, in turn, would then be able to do what it does best – sustain life, nurture life, enable life.
A society is in balance when we understand that success is not measured by wealth but by the fulfilment of all 4 quadrants of human growth – the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical. Surely the new measure must be happiness, contentment and well-being for all?
We are not owners of our ecosystem, we are a small yet influential part of it. It is not ours to play with, we belong to it. It is not for us, it is for future generations. It is not just for humanity, it is for all beings. Being influential in our impact we must act as conscious guardians. Society (you, me, everyone) must serve the ecosystem, and the economy that we create must enable our society to do so, and serve us all.
The definition of compassionate leadership is to secure the best for all. It is a “win-win” philosophy – balance and order serves all.
As a compassionate leader we can ensure that the organisations and companies that we lead restore the global balance. By creating economies that serve the wider society, so society can resume its responsibility to serve the ecosystem upon which it needs for its very survival.
The coronavirus has exposed the fallacy of our current model and so has provided an opportunity to reset and restore balance and order through compassion.