Yesterday, I looked at some statistics from Roberta Gilbert’s book, The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory, that show that our society today may be in crisis. That, according to Family Systems Theory, or Bowen Theory, we may be in a time the theory refers to as Social Regression.What do we do about it? How can change the course of society? In a family system, in order for the system of change, one person in the system, preferably a parent, will need to make a stand for higher and better functioning of self. They will begin to function better in the system, and in time, the system will react differently and change in the system will come about. Can we apply this to Society as a whole?
Roberta Gilbert makes the following suggestions of how we can make a difference:
1. Learn the facts and begin to make a difference. If societal regression is to turn around, people will have to get out of denial and start learning what is really taking place in society. This will mean reading more books and searching outside the usual media sources for facts. There is little time on TV for imparting the big picture – all the facts.
2. Learn to “think systems” in families and in organizations. Under the effects of heightened anxiety, people tend not to see the “big picture” or to think systems.” Rather they tend to think “cause and effect,” laying blame (on others).
3. Get clear on one’s guiding principles and learn to think according to them rather than what society tries to dictate. If one believes the family to be important, for example, one will already be standing contrary to what much if not most of society dictates.
4. Take a stand, after careful consideration address the problems in accordance with principles. With clarity on the facts, and as much information on the process as possible, guided by one’s best principles, a stand must eventually be taken.
Tomorrow, one final thought on the problem of social regression according to family systems theory.
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