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Creating a climate for development

Our view of the world influences how we see things. With so many cultures, religions and belief systems it is difficult to find one world view that works for everyone. The way that we see the universe and how it operates determines how we perceive life. Some people believe in fate, some believe in luck, carma, reincarnation and so on. If you believe in luck, you do not think that you can control your destiny.

SECULARISM views people as “mouths,” consumers of scarce resources. No worse than “other” animals – but no better either.

ANIMISM “Mother Nature” is god! The only way to increase one’s supply of “wealth” is to take from someone else.

THEISM There is one God, Who is Personal. The Mind is the ultimate resource. Resources are created and discovered by the mind of man. Wealth is found primarily in the minds of people and only secondarily in matter.

While working with people we observe that, some are defeated in their minds because they believe that because they were not born on the right side of the river they have no chance in life. They feel that they have no hope and are just a waste of space. Whichever world view you belong to, it affects how you see your circumstances and the world around you. You can either become a victim of your circumstances or you can believe that you can use your mind and the power within to change your life. Political parties take on these world views and this is observed in how they formulate policies ad deal with social issues. Ultimately this sets a climate that is either hostile to development or that encourages development.

 ‘The things that work well in development are consistently based on an understanding of life that affirms that:

  • The Universe is Personal, Ethical and Intelligible (it makes sense!).
  • Human life is precious (although people are rebellious); all people and nations are unique and equal in value to each other; work is a sacred activity.
  • Creation (nature) is an open system that can be explored and utilised; there is constant progress in the material world; Wealth can and must be created and used wisely.

 

This understanding has led to a Development Ethic which happens to coincide with the Judeo-Christian World-view – and it works! Micro MBA

Different communities respond differently to their environments. There is a religious sect called the Apostles who believe that they should not work because their employer would require them to work on a Saturday, which is their designated Sabbath day. However they have chosen on the most part to follow the trade of making pots and pans from scrap metal. Basically this whole sect has become metal workers. Obviously anyone within this sect will have a tough time believing that they could actually start a business that doesn’t involve metal work. Our world view limits us and places restrictions on us. When we open our minds up to different ideas we can achieve more, but we can become resistant to change because of the way that we have been programmed.

“the ultimate constraint upon our capacity to enjoy unlimited raw materials at acceptable prices is knowledge…..and the source of knowledge is the human mind.” Julian Simon

The Israelis believed that their God had said that Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey, therefore they planted forests, developed agriculture and are today the third largest exporter of cut flowers in the world. The Palestinians believe that Allah has cursed the land, therefore they keep goats and have created a barren wilderness.

Our mindset creates our world. The mind is a powerful instrument. In order to create a conducive climate for development we need to renew the minds of the people that we serve. They need to understand that they are responsible for their lives. We empower people to believe that they can change their lives. We are not choosing their values or their world view, but empowering people to take responsibility.

Those that believe they can – and those that believe they cannot – are both right!

 Material used in this post is adapted from Micro MBA

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Categories: Business, Development, Zimbabwe
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