Youth is the man [sic] of whatever age who risks believing in the possibility of change.
We take risks like that here in the conscious community. We've become conscious of the need for change, as individuals and as a group-or groups. We try to put bad habits behind us and we habitually reach out to strangers with open minds. We are on the watch for new ways.
We are often out of step with the mainstream culture and we love it that way.
Humans as targets
Last night, U of T Professor Dilip Soman provided a seminar on marketing in which he focused on approaches to behavioural change and the need to ensure that "outcomes are both welfare-enhancing and ethically defensible." He asked, "What does it mean to be human?"
Apparently, we like to keep things in the future and we only make decisions when asked. The task of marketing is to overcome mindless behaviour, to help people think, and to remove the often trivial obstacles to that end. To marketing experts, humans are targets for prodding. The expert sells the latest ways of pushing us out of our set ways so we'll try something new.
Professor Soman is an expert who advises governments and very large corporations, so he speaks with authority about human behaviour. His research is creative and impeccable and has helped to change the behaviour of millions, not only in their purchasing decisions but in matters like filing taxes more promptly or bequeathing their organs.
Marketers live off and feed mainstream culture. They target apathetic and uncritical minds by pressing the buttons that awaken self-interest, acquisitiveness, the desire for convenience and comfort. What does it mean to be ethically defensible? To push products and processes that the powerful deem to be in the best interests of us all. Money's just a tool of exchange and our welfare is measured by gross (!) domestic product.
To the New Human City and the conscious community we target, humans are basically amazing learning beings. Changing behaviour doesn't take prodding, it's essential to why we love life. We aspire to change and to be change agents for each other.
The ethics of our interactions are moderated by our peers. If the group we meet with begins to seem exploitive, it's easy to catch on and move on. Our standards are set by the examples we set for each other.
NHC had the working title "OM Union" for most of this year. It stuck for a long time, maybe because we liked the consciousness of an "OM", or because we were sure there was a void to be filled: a union of like minds, hearts, spirits and bodies to be nurtured.
Our community reaches out, ethically and for the well-being of all. Behavioural change comes from inside, naturally, not from analysis calculated to target our purchase habits or to streamline our behaviour in completing questionnaires. To the extent we can be, we are free to reach for the changes that beckon.
First published by newhumancity on September 13, 2016