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30. März 2008, 2:12 Uhr, Geschrieben von Miriam Meckel

Change whose world?


Before starting off to our individual travels throughout the USA we did some nice group exercises for preparation. One covered travel experiences and change by this given statement:

„What I learn during my Fellowship travels can change the world.“

The task was to form in groups of five and ask as many questions as possible and write them down on an easel pad. Each group then has to define the three most important questions.
Lots of questions related to change, of course. Like: „What needs to change?“ „Am I ready to change?“ „How do we influence others to change?“ „How do we measure the success of change?“ „What is the focus of change?“

But there were other questions that are intensely related to big change and much more sophisticated: „Is God black?“ „What comes after consumer society?“ „Does a woman leader make a difference?“

The most philosophical question to the above-mentioned answer I really liked very much was: „Whose world?“ That’s presumably just the point: What world do we individually live in? Do other people really want to live in that same world the way we do? Does it make sense to define this specific model of our individual world as applicable to all people all over the place? I think not. Our individual interpretation of our world is the precondition for our individual definition of change. We have to find why, what and how we want to change and if this is acceptable and desirable for others, too. Maybe we should at least ask before imposing our model of interpretation and the derived necessity of change on others?

Change is dialogue. It’s never equivalent to assigning one situation or process from one context to another. In one positive sense change is the synthesis of thesis and antithesis. And then it is not just change, it’s also innovation.

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  1. 30. März 2008, 8:28 Uhr, von Walter

    The credo of someone I esteem…

  2. 30. März 2008, 8:52 Uhr, von Walter

    What about better readable handwritings (on the pads) ? ;-) It’s just like different languages: if You can’t read them, they’re passing by.

    We have still wintertime here. But outside, summer is preparing- slowly.

  3. 30. März 2008, 9:08 Uhr, von Mesm

    Change is a complex thing, it is both a mental state (why and when) and a very practical thing (how), what is the right change for some, may not be the right chance for others. And finally, is change only development? In some society’s today people want to go back to old values, so even though they are changing and moving forward, they are in a way moving backwoods?

    I agree that change is dialog, or a least in an ideal world should be, but what if its not, a lot of change is initiated for economic and personal reasons. So before change for the common good, comes change for the individual and underneath that is pure survival.

    As human beings we change all the time, every second we live is a new one. That is the same in all societies, but the way we actually handle change, is different, simply because we have different values and different perspectives.

    We in the western world sometimes think we have the only solution to how the world should work, I think that perspective is long gone, mostly because of globalisation, today we live in a world where everything is connected, it doesn’t matter if you are member of the Danish consumer society, like I am, or a farmer in Ethiopia. He has to sell his coffee to survive – I drink it. The difference is, I can choose whether I want to drink his or somebody else’s coffee. That is a great privilege and important to remember and respect.

    In 1985 I travelled through China, that was the first time I ever experienced a society, besides my own western, that as the most natural thing claimed to be superior, because of their history, because they invented everything (gunpowder, pasta, you name it :-), but first and foremost, because they as a society had self-confidence. For me that was a wakeup-call, and look at china today.

    …..And, by the way, If anyone can tell me what comes after the consumer society, J would be most grateful. My business deals in selling dreams so maybe I am not in to much trouble, but it would be nice to know beforehand and at least I will be able to change at the right time, in the right direction, for the right reasons and therefore survive…………. ;-)

  4. 30. März 2008, 11:51 Uhr, von Angela

    This article is about the philosophical notion of idealism. And he likes to sing about.

  5. 30. März 2008, 12:21 Uhr, von Angela

    Kein Blog-Kommentar:

    Ist es möglich den Link unter „he“ mit diesem hier auszutauschen:

    Der Schauspieler im ersten Video passt nicht zum Thema.

    Danke und gute Reise!

  6. 30. März 2008, 12:24 Uhr, von Walter

    Whose world?

    ‚When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‚Let us pray‘. We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.‘

    Desmond Tutu, born on Oct 7,1931

  7. 30. März 2008, 12:24 Uhr, von Sophia

    Alright, progress is only possible through the dialogue with others. We should make sure that our model, our understanding of what needs to be changed, isn’t unacceptable to others. And if so we need to discuss why: not to impose our personal model on others, but to understand.

    But I also believe (at least I hope so) everyone has some main principles, some “model of interpretation?, some things he expects of the people he deals with as a given. In my case: I worship tolerance as on of my main principles. Something I expect of others. On some occasions I do have a hard time dealing with intolerance in an understanding way (I have to bite my tongue so often…). It’s the point where I know I’m not willing to move a millimetre. Just because I believe I’m right. I guess I’m intolerant against intolerance.
    I don’t see it as imposing my model on others, but as creating a free atmosphere for all involved.

    My point is: You can look at almost everything from more than one perspective and discuss it to death, but maybe some things which need to change (I’m speaking of general things, tolerance, equality,…) have to be accepted. Not to please a specific group of people, but to serve everyone.

  8. 30. März 2008, 12:25 Uhr, von Natalie

    Here in Cologne we do have summertime – on the clock and on the thermometer. The thermometer on my windowsill is faking 29 degrees centigrade /~85 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, it’s about 15 (on the Coke Light / Hamburger-scale) or 60 degrees (on the Diet Coke / Quarterpounder scale).
    The pic with the flip charts reminds me pretty much of my teacher training. We overdid clustering, mind-maping a.s.o. then.

  9. 30. März 2008, 13:15 Uhr, von H.

    „If many little people
    In many little places
    Do many little deeds
    They can chance the face of the earth“

    (African Proverb)

  10. 30. März 2008, 17:40 Uhr, von Fabian

    „Is God black?? – I would say it depends on his parents :-)


  11. 30. März 2008, 17:45 Uhr, von S.

    In der aktuellen c’t (Ausgabe 8/08) wird das Thema „Das Glück der Unerreichbarkeit“ auf wunderbare Weise aufgegriffen:

  12. 30. März 2008, 18:09 Uhr, von Brigitte

    Not bad, @Sophia but how is it possibke to create some main principles? How
    Do you need violence, authority, patience, lucky chance,…? Idealism is desirable but a mission impossible. Too bad!!! Nietsche´s poem does it in a very simple way:

    Hier saß ich, wartend, wartend, – doch auf nichts,
    jenseits von Gut und Böse, bald des Lichts
    genießend, bald des Schattens, ganz nur Spiel,
    ganz See, ganz Mittag, ganz Zeit ohne Ziel.
    Da, plötzlich, Freundin! Wurde eins zu zwei –
    – und Zarathustra ging an mir vorbei…

    Sorry, I can´t translate it but i try to explain it:

    gute Gedanken – good ideas – good conception(s)
    gute Worte – good words – good dialogue(s)
    gute Taten – good works – good life(s)


  13. 30. März 2008, 18:12 Uhr, von Brigitte

    How do yqu move material things? In german: Wie steuert man Materie?

  14. 30. März 2008, 18:24 Uhr, von Janna

    in my opinion, the interesting point is „how can we combine the individual parts of life (my world-your world, different opinions etc.) with the thing Cate gave us the summary yesterday, the logical (mathemathical) form/pattern. And how far does logic influences our small, chaotic life ?

  15. 30. März 2008, 18:29 Uhr, von Angela

    Perhaps we can find Frau Meckel with this page and see, how she is changing the world. In 20 years the program will start from another place…

    I’m interested, what really will be changed in the good way.

    @Janna, a good question.

  16. 30. März 2008, 18:58 Uhr, von Jette

    > „Is God black?? – I would say it depends on his parents :-)


    does any other fellow have his own blog?

  17. 30. März 2008, 19:00 Uhr, von Fabian

    Comment tuning:

    Is God black? It depends on her parents.

  18. 30. März 2008, 19:10 Uhr, von H.

    Unfortunately I´m not really able to express my thoughts and feelings about the topic in English (neither in German), so I decided to choose this song (by John Mayer)/lyrics:

    Waiting on the world to change

    Me and all my friends
    We´re all misunderstood
    They say we stand for nothing and
    There´s no way we ever could

    Now we see everything that´s going wrong
    With the world and those who lead it
    We just feel like we don´t have the means
    To rise above and beat it

    So we keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change
    We keep on waiting
    Waiting on the the world to change

    It´s hard to beat the system
    When we´re standing on a distance
    So we keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change

    Now if we had the power to bring our neighbours home from war
    They would have never missed a Christmas
    No more ribbons on their door
    And when you trust your television
    What you get is what you got
    Cause when they own the information, oh
    They can bend it all they want

    That´s why we´re waiting
    Waiting on the world to change
    We keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change

    It´s not that we don´t care
    We just know that the fight ain´t fair
    So we keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change

    And we´re still waiting waiting
    Waiting on the world to change
    We keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
    One day our generation
    Is gonna rule the population
    So we keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change

    We keep on waiting
    Waiting on the world to change

  19. 30. März 2008, 19:15 Uhr, von Fabian

    „Am I ready to change?“

    I thouht about it too, but I figured out that it’s much easier to change the world.

  20. 30. März 2008, 19:20 Uhr, von Angela

    Is it? Let´s try…

  21. 30. März 2008, 19:26 Uhr, von Fabian

    Just kidding … :-)

    Last one:

    „What comes after consumer society?“ The spiritual society: Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

  22. 30. März 2008, 19:29 Uhr, von Susanne

    >>In one positive sense change is the synthesis of thesis and antithesis. And then it is not just change, it’s also innovation.>>

    No offense, but that’s not an earth-shattering conclusion – this occured to me when I was around 16/17 years old – well… Maybe I’m Einstein… Or at least Miriam Meckel in a better shape ;-D

    I’m quite amazed with/by the above questions:
    Is God black? (who cares?)

    What comes after consumer society (do we live in one? To consume things is nothing new – the more interesting area is – IMHO – production; but: who cares anyway…)

    or: Does a woman leader make a difference? (I bow my head and cite: It’s the difference that makes a difference! The question in itself is discriminating btw).

    BTW: Without an aim it makes absolutely no sense to change – it’s not some kind of sport, not even an intellectual one.

    Naja, hauptsache es macht Spaß… so in der Gruppe und so… ;-)

    Viel Spaß noch!

  23. 30. März 2008, 19:35 Uhr, von Cate

    It’s an oxymoron from the first. When you decide to change the world you perceive, you aren’t floating inside of a vacuum. Even if you are aware of the fact, that’s is the world seen only from your own perspective, you are nevertheless part of it. Your view is like a 360° panorama view, that begins and ends at your own position. So at the very moment you step forward to do a change, your whole perspective changes, too. This change gets back to your position again and might in turn change your will or way of changing. So even the item „my world“ is instable all the time.
    And if you add the fact, that there are others, who cross your panorama view and whose you cross as well, things get even more complicated. The moment you turn to someone or a group of people, even a whole society, you lose sight of another part of your perspective, when you move from your previous position. A slight turn is enough. It’s a geometrical fact. If you chose any point of a circle and declare it to be the center of rotation, you will change the position of the whole circle by turning that one point.
    Now, I was talking about circles. But the full perspective of each is in fact a globe!
    To have an eye on really everything you would have to move so you are at 4 x pi x r² points at the same time, when r is infinite. Now, that would have to be very very fast and I don’t think anyone in the world could do it.
    But what happens is that: We connect our perspectives, so we have a greater overview all together as a community or a system. This is culture, this is law, this all we live in. We aren’t always aware of that, but it’s the basic thing we’re all into.

  24. 30. März 2008, 19:41 Uhr, von Angela

    It would be nice, if Frau Meckel not only write, what is happening. Is it possible to do geocatching? So her students can visit the USA later.

    (Hätte ich bei Miss Bennett im Englischunterricht doch besser aufgepasst.)

    Cate, what can I say…

  25. 30. März 2008, 19:46 Uhr, von birgit

    Bleibt alles anders.

  26. 30. März 2008, 19:54 Uhr, von Susanne

    @ Fabian

    “What comes after consumer society?? The spiritual society: Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

    Some people already live in this society – a post-post-modern version of „I have a dream“ and if it doesn’t come true we can all join and sing: that joke isn’t funny anymore… (the Smiths)

  27. 30. März 2008, 19:59 Uhr, von Cate

    Or: You’re no fun anymore. ;o)

  28. 30. März 2008, 19:59 Uhr, von Jojo

    @ Fabian

    it reminds me
    to one of your
    further comments


  29. 30. März 2008, 20:02 Uhr, von Cate

    According to the question „Is God back?“: Has anyone seen „Dogma“? God is Alanis Morisette and Jesus was black. ;o) And the prophets are two weed smoking idiots. A great and philosophical movie! ;o))

  30. 30. März 2008, 20:22 Uhr, von Jojo

    Bleibt alles anders.


  31. 30. März 2008, 20:23 Uhr, von Fabian

    Susanne: I know. Watch also out for the „Lohas“ „Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability“

  32. 30. März 2008, 20:26 Uhr, von Fabian

    How does „Kartoffeldiagramm“ spell in english? :-D

  33. 30. März 2008, 20:36 Uhr, von Sophia


    I’m not sure you can CREATE main principles. I think you have to experience the world (or your perspective of the world) as it is, identify the things that make a society work, and pick out the reasons it does. And the reasons are often main principles or rules everyone in a specific territory acts after. And it’s not plain idealism, it’s what makes living together in a civilized way possible. Don’t get me wrong I’m not voting against individualism, exactly the opposite: those main principles which are given make individuality possible. Will take some time to get there I guess ;-).

    And I missed something on MM’s list of questions about change.
    She mentioned: WHY, WHAT and HOW we want to change?

    I miss: DO we want to change?
    I’m not so sure if changing is a desire all people share.

  34. 30. März 2008, 22:01 Uhr, von Jojo

    @ Fabian


  35. 30. März 2008, 22:57 Uhr, von Anja

    Dogma is one of my favorite movies:
    „This is not a drill! This is the apocalypse!!!“ ;-)

  36. 30. März 2008, 23:10 Uhr, von Walter

    Change is a kind of program and self-expectation. It’s a kind of new religion too. But first we have to define the challenges and the goals. – Says Senator Clinton.

  37. 30. März 2008, 23:36 Uhr, von Anja V

    While thinking about the question ‚Change whose world?‘ I remembered the latest book by MM „Das Glück der Unerreichbarkeit“.

    On one hand, you have people who can’t handle the communication by electronic systems, if it gets to much (mass or/and content). It is more difficult to select important information and to distinct them from less or no important ones. Whereas some communicate themselfs to a comatose life, other people are out of reach too. But they can not choose if they want to surf the ‚world wide web‘ or not. An onther question is, if they want to, if their world is not interweaved by those from the other cosmos. We think, that we can nearly find anything on the web, but a very big part can not be find.

  38. 30. März 2008, 23:42 Uhr, von Anja V

    „Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness“

    This includes communication/reachability too.

  39. 30. März 2008, 23:58 Uhr, von Clö

    Did you to turn out your cooker, your coffee machine and the candle lights before you left your flat in Germany? :-)

  40. 31. März 2008, 0:05 Uhr, von Angela

    Clö, no, that makes restless…

  41. 31. März 2008, 0:07 Uhr, von Angela

    (Better perhaps: Clö nö.)

  42. 31. März 2008, 0:11 Uhr, von Anja

    My personal aim is to go on holiday tomorrow and perhaps I can change my own world for two weeks.
    I hope that this time inspired me the view of the things to redefine.

    I wish you much success to expand your experience during the fellowship and I am very excited about the following itinerary!
    Many greetings…

  43. 31. März 2008, 0:22 Uhr, von Clö

    people are restless…, angela

  44. 31. März 2008, 0:39 Uhr, von Angela

    Yes, you are right, Clö.

    To change the world. When I was 20, I thought, I could change a lot. Now I only can do a little bit. But I try.

    (Wenn Menschen größere Dinge zum Guten wenden können oder anderen die Augen öffnen, dann finde ich das wirklich klasse. Und Medien-Menschen haben doch eigentlich gute Möglichkeiten, um auf Missstände aufmerksam zu machen. Ich weiß, dass hört sich jetzt alles pathetisch an.)

  45. 31. März 2008, 1:13 Uhr, von Clö

    What I learn during my Fellowship travels can change the world.“ „Whose world“?
    Your own world… What you learn during your Fellosship travels, travel will change your mind.
    You can’t make a new world or a new planet. It’s like the designers: They can’t invent the trousers once again. But you can create and invent your own world. Maybe this is to put on a level with your above-mentioned innovation.
    CHANGE SIMPLY YOUR OWN WORLD. No Stress. It would be happens during and after your travels. You will get it.

  46. 31. März 2008, 1:39 Uhr, von Kata

    „Is God black?“ – right, who cares. I liked Cate’s question (20:02) much better which happened to be „Is God back?“
    Now THAT is a question that has been keeping different religious groups going on for centuries!
    Seriously, discussing the color of God’s skin just proves that the God lots of people believe in is in fact man-made. I mean the image of God peope have in their heads – I don’t want to start any holy war here! ;-)
    But that image of God is responsible for a lot of change imposed on people who in fact didn’t ask for it.
    I think if you really believe in something – and it doesn’t have to be anything relating to religious faith – it is hard NOT to try to impose it on other people.
    Take human rights, for example. Western people generally believe in them, in fact take them for „universal“. It is nearly impossible for us Westerners to really accept lifestyles where for example the rights of the individual aren’t so important. In our eyes, human rights should be imposed upon the whole world.
    Of course we don’t run around brandishing swords and decapitating people for not wanting to believe in our way of life any more – there are more subtle methods today. But in some way it still is a crusade…

  47. 31. März 2008, 14:11 Uhr, von Dowanda

    Well, a customer of mine just changed MY world for a short time. He stepped into my office, placed a six-pack with bavarian strong beer on my table, nodded sympathetically and told me „It’s monday, it’s gonna be over sooner or later“. If I wasn’t gay, I would marry that guy right away.

  48. 31. März 2008, 15:21 Uhr, von Anna

    … definitely not his world. ;)


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