If I didn’t know better (but I’m not sure that I do), I’d say the world was having a midlife crisis. Whether it’s about half-way through it’s life span, I don’t know; but I do think that it’s behaving just like a middle-aged guy. As I read my morning Washington Post today – with one eye on my hyper male force reviews midlife projects – I couldn’t help noticing the parallels and similarities between the factors that I’m dealing with in my midlife programs and what’s happening across the globe. Two of the three principal causes of midlife crisis (denial, blame, and isolation) are at work. Just see how long the ‘experts’ had been shouting down those warning voices that were predicting trouble ahead. Notice how, now that the bubbles are bursting all over the world, the finger-pointing is in full bloom.
Only isolation seems (at least on the surface) to be missing, because, regardless of their political convictions, even the most diverse members of the international community have put aside their philosophical differences to wallow in the distractions of rabid credit-fed consumerism. We now live in a global community (vive free trade!), so there’s no pretending we’re on our own anymore. When my house is in foreclosure, your property value goes down. And yet, if I dig a little deeper, I wonder whether we’re really such an interconnected global community after all. Certainly, our fortunes are inextricably linked one to another (nothing could be more evident than that we stand or fall together), and yet our life-defining decisions are still being made with a sort of reckless disregard for the consequences to our fellows. Only the world’s fundamentalists are maintaining their doctrinal purity – but talk about reckless disregard for the consequences!
I think that all of us are just standing here feeling stunned, confused and powerless as we watch the interplay of never-before unleashed political and economic forces swirl around us. I have noticed one fact, though: these forces that are wreaking havoc on a global scale are so incredibly male! In our (unsuccessful) preoccupation with creating a hermaphrodite society, where we’ve tried to plaster over the core differences between masculinity and femininity, we may have lost some of our appreciation for the vast differences in cultural approach to decision-making that characterize the two sexes. The masculine culture is predominantly competitive, while the feminine culture is essentially cooperative.