Shared – dare I call it – WISDOM

‘Testing Questions’ For All Theory And Practice

Professor Stuart Hill

 

PRINT THIS OUT

To use these when considering change of practice or incorporation of new ideas or when working within your communities.

  • Ask of all theory & practice – what is it in the service of? – before supporting or copying it
  • Work sensitively with time & space, especially from the position of the ‘others’ (ask: who, what, which, where, when, how, why, if & if not?)
  • Don’t get stuck in endless ‘measuring studies’ (‘monitoring our extinction’) – these are often designed to postpone change that is perceived as threatening to existing power structures
  • Most of what is remains unknown – which is what wise people are able to work with; so devote most effort to developing your wisdom vs. your cleverness, which is just concerned with the very limited pool of what is known (Einstein was clear about this!)
  • Work mostly with ‘small meaningful achievable initiatives’ vs. ‘Olympic-scale projects’ (most of these are abandoned or fail, & have numerous negative side-effects)
  • Take small meaningful risks to enable progress, transformational learning & development
  • Don’t let ‘end point’/goal differences prevent possibilities of early stage collaboration
  • Collaborate across difference to achieve broadly shared goals – don’t end up isolated, alone in a ‘sandbox’ 
  • Keep working on & implementing – especially with others – your (shared) benign visions
  • Outcomes are only as good & sustainable as the people creating & implementing them – so start with the people; & remember that we are a relational/social species!
  • Always be humble & provisional in your knowing, & always open to new experiences & insights
  • Act from your core/essential self – empowered, aware, visionary, principled, passionate, loving, spontaneous, fully in the present (contextual) – vs. your patterned, fearful, compensatory, compromising, de-contextual selves
  • Devote most effort to the design & management of systems that can enable wellbeing, social justice & sustainability, & that are problem-proof vs. maintaining unsustainable, problem-generating systems, & devoting time to ‘problem-solving’, control, & input management
  • Work with business & the public/community; government will always follow, but rarely lead!
  • Learn from everyone & everything, & seek mentors & collaborators at every opportunity
  • Celebrate publicly at every opportunity – to enable the good stuff to be ‘contagious’
  • See no ‘enemies’ – recognise such ‘triggers’ as indicators of woundedness, maldesign & mismanagement – everyone is always doing the best they can, given their potential, past experience & the present context – these are the three areas to work with
  • To achieve sustainable progressive change, focus (at least first) on enabling the ‘benign’ agendas of others vs. trying to impose on them your own ‘benign’ agendas
  • Be paradoxical: ask for help & get on with the job (don’t postpone); give when you want to receive; give love when you might need it, or when you might feel hate
  • Focus on enabling the potential of people, society & nature to express itself – so that wellbeing, social justice & sustainability can emerge (in integrated, synergistic ways)
  • Use the media – let me repeat – use the media! – such ‘political’ communication is key to change   Note: These were compiled in 2005, based largely on Stuart’s university and international development experience over the past 60+ years