Development as a Way of Life
way development has been conceived of in this book goes far beyond a
comparison of countries in economic achievement. All kinds of
dimensions are considered, economic, military, political, cultural
and social = structural and cultural. All spaces are there, nature,
human, social, world. And above all an overriding very simple theory:
diversity and symbiosis, with equity.
that translates into a program for development as a way of life, for
you, for me. There is a message worth considering: if you want to
develop, unfold, then cultivate diverse potentials in yourself. Your
selves. Do not go for only one for your whole life, go for many,
maybe not for all at the same time. Do not see them as separate
compartments in your self, but open the walls between them, let them
flow through the walls, let them inspire each other. You love nature,
you love running; so run in nature. You are a social scientist, you
like writing more literary stuff; so write about the human and social
drama. You like travel, you like history, so build your travels
around historical themes.
equity in your mind. Conceive of your potentials not as competitive,
but as cooperative. Try to avoid seeing any one of your potentials as
the one, the single axis around which your life rotates, even if
society has defined you that way. Rather, praise them all, see
yourself as blessed with potentials in plural, even if only one or
two of them earn your bread. See your development as unfolding; as a
goal in itself, not a means.
so and a richer life will come to you as a ripe fruit. Moreover, its
seeds will spread to others around you. The more you are enriched the
more you can enrich others. Compete, but with yourself, to improve
yourself, not with others to beat them.
you should try to enrich, and if they happen to be your partners
enrichment may become reciprocal. You will enrich each other, both
will get tenfold back. Of course your potential profiles will have
similarities and differences, so find a basis for equitable symbiosis
across differences, within and between.
is useful here. "To develop" is in this context not
transitive, but intransitive, reflexive, reciprocal. "I develop
you", meaning I am the cause of some effect in you, is
influence, power, grafting me onto you; not development as you
unfolding. "I develop" makes sense, stating the fact that
unfolding is going on. "I develop myself" is even better,
with my self entering as both subject and object, meaning I work on
myself, identifying my potentials, letting them unfold, dropping
some, improving others.
the best of them all is "we develop each other", meaning
mutuality, reciprocity. "I sense some potential in you left
un-unfolded; I appeal to it and will watch it unfold, blossom. Do you
see some unattended potential in me?" Maybe more generosity,
more spirituality, more attention to form not only content in
language and body language. There is mutual benefit in enriching each
other if not equally at least not flagrantly unequally.
this within your own gender, generation, race, class, nation and
state and you develop friendship. Cross the gender line and you may
enter love or deepen a friendship. Cross the generation line and you
build a family. Do all of this and you build a humanly and socially
rich community. The more equitable and the more reciprocal the more
easily will enrichment resources flow between persons. To accept
being inspired by others is easier when you yourself are accepted as
a source of inspiration. Mutuality can become highly addictive and
human and community development, so also countries. The same applies
to their relations. If development is practiced within oneself, and
in the relations to significant others, then it may be easier to
understand what works and what not. Thus, one-way "aid" or
"assistance" to "catch up" will have to yield to
two-way development assistance. All countries have deficits and
potentials, all can benefit from advice and help from others. And the
time to start is now, two-way, equitably.
the minds of others implies willingness to be shaped by them; like
letting development models--buddhist, islamic, Western liberal,
Western marxist, Japanese, Chinese--flow both ways. Using other
persons by relating only to one aspect--muscular power, security,
money-making, menial services, sex--with no broadening of the
relation is anti-development for persons.i
Like preparing Third World countries for delivering resources only at
ever higher quality over price, pitting them against each other in
competition, rewarding them for knowing their place in the world,
punishing them--by military intervention--if they do not.
parallels are many, the isomorphism is rich. And the morale of the
story: if you are eager to develop something, why not start with
yourself, making development your way of life? Like learning to
listen to the diverse potentials longing to blossom inside yourself,
enriching each other. From developing your own selves proceed to
others, at the least not standing in the way. If you want to relate
to others through your best insights then others might want the same,
beyond being listeners. Like a country wanting "Made In..."
to stand for high Q/P and C/N, high quality and culture, mindful that
others might want the same. Make development your way of life; and
you will be amply rewarded.
In conclusion, also
as a summary, let us spell out some implications of this for the
spaces of development, both within them and between them:
Beyond the obvious implication to protect abiota and biota diversity,
and such symbiotic processes as photosynthesis--including putting CO2
to work in a maximum of greenhouses--comes another implication:
exposing nature and humans to new challenges, like in the oceans, in
space, rather than waiting for mutations.
this calls for rich, complex, contradictory cognitions and emotions,
nursed through rich and complex lives, and a quest for syntheses,
tolerance of ambiguity, inner dialogue.
this calls for human diversity, cooperation, harmony, friendship,
love-sex, new partnerships with equity across faultlines, like
inter-race, inter-class, inter-nation marriages.
this calls for dialogue and equity across faultlines like gender,
generation, race, class, included-excluded, nation, state to enhance
this calls for borderless trade and exchange for mutual and equal
benefit, enhancing diversity.
this calls for neighboring countries with overlaps in deve-lopment
models because of overlap in codes to come closer together, in
veto-free associations, communities, unions, like the European and
African uni-ons, the South Asian and Southeast Asian associations and
the likely region-nal organizations for Latin American, islamic and
East Asian countriesii,
based on diversity-symbiosis-equity, and relating to the whole world.
this calls for a maximum of RDCs, reciprocal development circles,
sharing positive, and cooperating on nega-tive, externalities in
trade, for global conflict resolution, a veto-free UN, and diversely
selecting and eclecting the best from all religions, cultures and
this calls for a global democracy, not First Past the Post (the
winner takes all), but coalition governance and global referenda
(Swiss model); UN reform by expanding the Security Council and
abolishing the veto, a UN Governmental Assembly, UNGA, for states, a
UN People's Assembly, UNPA based on direct elections, and a UN
Corporate Assembly, UNCA.
the basic point would be to think, speak and
act, globally, regionally, nationally and
locally, for more diversity and new forms of symbiosis with equity.
And human, social and world development will reinforce each other
thousand development flowers unfold.
The implication for trade is obvious, and this is why there is so
much emphasis in islam on not treating each other only as buyer and
seller, but getting to know each other beyond that.
See Galtung (2009), Part Two on regional and global alternatives to