Saturday, May 14, 2011

Developing prosperity consciousness through education

By Oliver Mills:

Many Caribbean countries are currently experiencing difficult economic and social challenges to a degree greater than has previously been the case historically. There are budget cuts in many critical areas, additional taxes on others in order to raise additional revenues, salary cuts and various deductions from incomes, despite the fact that incomes on a personal basis are already low. Deductions are therefore being made to incomes, even though the economies are not really experiencing the kind of growth required to sustain economic livelihoods.

Oliver Mills is a former lecturer in education at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. He holds an M.Ed degree. from Dalhousie University in Canada and an MA from the University of London. He has published numerous articles in human resource development and management, as well as chapters in five books on education and human resource management and has presented professional papers in education at Oxford University in the UK and at Rand Africaans University in South AfricaThere is also increased crime and violence in many of our societies, high employment, and we do not seem to be able to come up with the kind of economic and social model that would place us on the path to sustainable growth and development. Because of this, those members of our society who still manage to survive despite inroads being made on their ability to accumulate capital for further investment and development, become the victims of forces in Caribbean societies bent on committing anti social acts, often preying on the economically better off, as well as on the little that other deprived social groups have.

However, despite these challenges to our social and economic stability, and image, there is the highly important and critical factor of education being the strategy that could develop and sustain our hidden prosperity consciousness, which has been buried by the many years of doubt, social discontent, assumed helplessness in the face of overwhelming economic odds, and the intrusion of false, even negative values into our discourse, and everyday interactions with each other.

With so many socio-economic issues, we often feel burdened down, and many of us tend to either give up, or escape to other countries where we feel our futures would be better secured. It is not so easy, however, since many of the countries we see as havens, experience the same problems we seek to evade through escaping. Because we experience a sense of hopelessness, our consciousness of our authentic capabilities becomes dulled, which results in a paralysis of the will. It is here that education can be used as the elixir with the necessary potency to lift us up from the falseness and negativity that surround us, and provide the tools that would help to rebuild our consciousness of who we are, and our capabilities, and that would catapult us to transforming our situation through an awakened prosperity consciousness.

But what is education, in relation to developing a prosperity consciousness? Education is about how to create and live the good life. A life of success, enjoyment, caring, and transforming ourselves, others, and everything else we touch and interact with. This is its true meaning. It does this by exposing us to critical thinking, critical self-evaluation, and a logical approach to our experiences, so that we are able to manage them in a healthy and positive way. In this sense, it resurrects our smothered consciousness of who we really are, helps us to realise that nothing is ever lost, or unachievable, and that despite our economic circumstances, and those of our societies, we can think differently by formulating and developing a prosperity consciousness, which, when acted upon, brings about unimaginable blessings, economic well being, and prosperity, despite the contradictions around us.

Through critical self-analysis, we are able to change the way we think about ourselves, and the conditions of our society, and so change our way of living and being, so that we begin to live a far richer life, through developing a consciousness that is prosperity oriented, rather than poverty directed. Neglect-oriented thinking disappears, and we are therefore stimulated to redirect our energies to making our situation better, by engaging in those healthy activities that foster abundance. An abundant and prosperity mind-set enables us to attract these qualities to ourselves, and we then operationalise the activities that manifest them.

Engaging in self-discourse is another educational strategy that promotes the development of a healthy prosperity consciousness through education. Whenever we are faced with any adversity, or interact with others with an unhelpful frame of mind, an inner discourse begins, which alerts us to the fact that a situation which is not good for us, and needs our attention. Through self-discourse, which is integral to education, we deal with the cross currents of ideas that preoccupy us, work them out coherently, eliminate the negative elements, and choose only those discourses that are self-enhancing to us. Education is therefore integral to self-discourse, and is itself self-discourse, in a dynamic way. Through self-discourse as education, we change our perspective to one that involves abundance and successful accomplishment, which are directly related to enabling a healthy prosperity consciousness, which fosters positive results, both psychologically and materially. We are able to strengthen our resolve to act, and so set in motion those energies that enable achievement and success to come about. Like attracts like, so that a prosperity consciousness brings to itself prosperous benefits.

Rational analysis is another element in forging a prosperity consciousness through education. It unburdens us, and results in clarity of thought. It also presents us with various alternatives we could choose from, and enables us, through a process of elimination, to choose the one that brings the greatest prosperity benefits. We are therefore never overwhelmed by events and circumstances, but are able to master and direct them to our own good, and the good of society. Economic and social upheavals become opportunities to use our educational training to benefit and progress further and so become victors in any situation.

With rational analysis, we are never victims or casualties, because we constantly analyse various shifts and turns, and therefore develop possible responses. We are never caught napping, because we are intellectually agile, with a philosophically oriented outlook which is prosperity conscious. We are therefore able to harness those tangible and intangible forces to our benefit, and as a result, live in abundance and success. We always see opportunities, not barriers, and therefore act with a knowing, not suspicion, that what we do will work out in our favour. A prosperity consciousness therefore brings prosperous results, since belief precedes, and brings about what we want to be manifested.

In a wider sense, a prosperity consciousness through education transcends myths, precedence, and everyday experiences. We are not held back, or dissuaded by society’s myths and legends, because we have a more transcendent perception of possibilities. Prosperity consciousness means that everything is possible and achievable, that everything changes, never remains the same, and is always in our favour. Most importantly, we project and live what we would like to see, have, and be. It enables us to become and achieve whatever we can conceive. It is more than just faith, rather it is a deep sense of knowing that whatever the situation or issue, we can transcend it to our advantage, and be successful in what we desire. We are therefore not bothered by what happens in our space, because we know we will prevail and reap abundantly despite the experiences of others. No economic, social, or personal challenges can therefore affect us negatively.

Education then, not only builds a prosperity consciousness, but develops it further. It does this by analysis, the process of elimination, and using the best and most rewarding logical selection from among the alternatives that emerge through the process of dialogue and discourse, which are often internal. Through this process, awareness develops, enlightenment occurs, and consciousness regarding which prudent choice will best serve our ends surfaces. Prosperity consciousness therefore emerges as an educational event brought on and sustained by philosophical deliberation, and educational critique. It is not haphazard, or ad hoc, but systematic. It is about being aware of the best among other options that contributes to our greater well being and enhances our personhood.

Having a prosperity consciousness further results in healthy thinking, a positive approach to life, optimism, and expectancy. We expect that everything will always work out well for us. It fosters sensitivity and tranquility on our part, which contribute to a noble and ethical life style. Events always work to our advantage, we become winners, our longevity increases, and it brings about joy, and a sense of inner peace. Education liberates our prosperity consciousness from being smothered, and covered by the dynamics of everyday life, so that we become conscious choosers, who are constantly favoured, and who always experience abundant success.

May 3, 2011