Layers of society

27 Sep

Around us we see fellow humans walking, sitting, eating, driving. While traveling we sit next to people we never see again. In a way, we’re all connected, as we walk the same earth, breathe the same air and look at the same sun and moon, yet our closest concern is ourselves and our family. Lately I’ve encountered some theories that puts a name on this phenomenon of world-view according to the self, and I’ve decided to shortly type down my understanding of it all.

1) Our closest concern is the self, and here we find the term ‘ego-centric’, however this idea extends to the closes developing circle and involves the family as an institution. The last level of ego-centric is the contributing group of main occupation (colleagues, boss, students, teacher).

2) All of the different levels from above can see itself according to other groups or communities. A child can relate to the child next door, a family can see itself in relation to other families, a school to other school and a workplace coöperate with other businesses. When the worldview extends to this perspective it’s called socio-centric.  The interest is in the need of a community and not individually or a small institution. In the last level of this you can find the interests of a country.

3) When the interest and concerns extends across borders this is a world-centric worldview. Transnational and international coöperation is becoming exceedingly important and it’s getting easier to communicate wit people across the world. In the first stage of a world-centric worldview we find coöperation with neighbor countries. Then we go on cooperating with distant countries and even continents can coöperate. The UN is an example of this.

4) The last stage is Beyond world-centric, and this is when we start looking at bigger issues, as the impact the universe can have on earth. Closer to our heart however, is the nature, and the interconnection between ourselves and others. The realization that we’re all connected, as we walk the same earth, breathe the same air and look at the same sun and moon. Here we start realizing that the world, in the end, is not a room of dependency, but interdependency.

This is where the role of an activist, or someone advocating a world-centric model for good change comes in. People with this worldview should take upon themselves the role of an educator of others, communicating the need of the world. The danger of it is forgetting about the egocentric perspective. Gandhi is an example of a great man who had a worldview beyond world-centric, however his egocentric perspective was not a priority. It’s important to remember all parts of society, and aim to work with all of them in one way or another.

(main inspiration: Hochachka, G., 2009. Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self: An Integral Approach to International & Community Development. 2 ed. s.l.:Trafford Publishing)


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