The most effective means to change the outside world is to develop a solid core of resilience, kindness, and goodness within. As that core, deeply connected self develops, an understanding of the interdependence of all beings, and the ecosystem that sustains us all, naturally arises. The original dictionary definition of the word “development,” in fact, was literally “to unfold from within.” More recently it has been supplanted by a new definition, “to exploit from without.”
The exponentially self-destructive growth of human impact in our current era, the Anthropocene or human era, is evidence of a mass dissociation from our own selves, and thus the environment around us.
The interior dimension of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by reconnecting our true power to the guiding Source of Being that lies within, can be a turning point. The most impactful step we can take now in the evolution of our living planet is to focus on holistically developing the minds and hearts of our children, mitigating their trauma, and fostering the interior freedom that supports the resilience and creativity they will need to envision and create a new world that works for us all.
“The present is pregnant with the possible.” ~ Erich Fromm
The Heart and Soul of the SDGs
The UN’s SDGs offer a holistic, unifying vision for restored planetary well-being in this time of existential endangerment. The function of vision is to clarify the will, hopefully our shared will to act for the highest good of our global commons, the entire living system we are part of. Though focused on outward action, altruistic will is an interior capacity of our consciousness. Collective good will is the motive force, the dynamic system integrator, the heart and soul of the SDG goal system. Already implicit in the subjective language of the Preamble (i.e., “We resolve. . . are determined. . . are committed”), the Preamble’s call for “capacity building” should include broadening its “We” to include the creative will in the hearts of the world’s children, where our longterm future already resides.
Development means literally “to unfold from within.” Holistic human development, cultivating the capacities of children to express their co-creative best selves, is the process most needed for achieving SDG outcomes. Educator and researcher Daniel Kropf (researching process metrics for UNICEF) writes: “Through the lens of dynamic wholeness, [well-being is defined as] “realizing one’s unique potential through physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual development in relation to self, others, and the environment.”
Feature Image: Gordon Dveirin hosting a Synergy Circle call among Evolutionary Leaders including multiples members of the SDG TL Circle.