Citizens: Work for Quality of Life
How Can I Claim Quality in my Life?
Quality of life arises from every way I organize or am organized to do, perform, produce or relate; e.g. as city resident, family member, employee, government tax payer, auto driver, energy consumer, and waste generator.
Ken Wilber’s work identifies the social threads that affect the quality of my life as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Social Threads
|Key Social Threads||Detailed Social Threads|
|· Roles||division of labor|
|· Social Relationships||marriage, friendship, kinship, work|
|· Civil & Civic Organizations||government, civil society, private organizations|
|· Infrastructures||water, sewage, energy, transportation, communication; technology; agricultural systems (planting, harvesting, animal husbandry)|
|· Industrial Systems||resource extraction, manufacture, financial, marketing|
|· Organizational Systems||feudal, federal, hierarchical, matrix, teams|
|· Information Systems||hardware, software, communications, databases, knowledge management, networks, relationships|
I can work to improve my quality of life by becoming aware of the social structures and infrastructures in the city. My outer structures of room, home, street, work, recreation, education, health, financial, economic, government, social and environment systems are inextricably interlinked with my inner structures. Thus the quality of my outer life influences integration (and/or disintegration) in every area of my life.
The structures and infrastructures of the city are usually operated by organizations. Like individuals, organizations have a tendency to increase in complexity as they organize to respond to more complex life conditions. In my world today, all the forms of organization that have ever been created co-exist. This makes my quality of life subject to great variation as I am influenced by all these kinds of organization.
Figure 1: Organizations Develop Complexity & Co-Exist (adapted from Spiral Dynamics, 1996)
Table 2 shows some examples of organizations from my city at different stages of complexity:
Table 2: Examples of Organizations in My City
|Complexity Sequence:||Examples of Organizations|
|· Families & clans
· Tribes & regions
· Feudal States
· Early Nations & Bureaucracies
· Industrial Revolution
· Social Services
· Global Alliances
|· Family Neighbourhoods
· Sports Teams, Corporate Tribes
· Military; Police Force
· Civil service, churches, hospitals, government
· Corporations, Stock Markets
· Health Care
· Web dot coms
· Multi-nationals, UN
As organizations develop they tend to become increasingly complex with increasing capacity to span time, place, people, priorities and environments. This tends to improve the quality of life for all the organization’s stakeholders.
To work towards improving the quality of my life (and others) I can match or exceed the growth of organizations by developing as a leader, to become increasingly:
- aware of the causes of personal, team & organizational ineffectiveness and inefficiency
- self-correcting, therefore increasingly effective and efficient
- self-generating, self-renewing and innovative
- able to act in the moment with an awareness of a longer time horizon
- impactful over a longer time span
- able to act locally with an awareness of a larger spatial horizon
- impactful of a larger and more spatially distributed sphere of influence
- mutuality-seeking thus broadening moral span
- empowering of individuals
- compassionate toward all
- aware of life conditions as socially constructed reality