Social Thinking & Creating Respectful Mindshifts #Iraq #SocialCapitalism #Hammurabi #SocializedMedia
In many ways, social thinking - particularly through social media - has become a spectator sport, a gladiator show that challenges people to capture attention in the hopes of winning mindshare. But when we subscribe to that way of being, it seems we’ve gotten it all wrong. The things, the places, the ways we interact and share information online are simply bi-products of who we really are, and who we become over time, especially as a collective whole.
We must try to remember that networks are the cornerstones, not technologies.
People are the media that we ultimately share.
And if we’re sensitive, respectful and thoughtful enough to be put up to the task, we have an opportunity, every single day, to reinvent ourselves within the context of each other. I’m not talking about creating an online identity or updating your Facebook or Twitter profile, or even the things we marshal via Foursquare or Gowalla (although it can certainly start there...), rather the things we do that define who we are, and allow us to create a legacy to pass along to our family, friends and respective peer groups.
And the little things that we can do, that often matter the most.
Just today, Adil E. Shamoo, a senior analyst at Foreign Policy in Focus and a professor at The University of Maryland School of Medicine, wrote a great piece on Iraq’s small steps towards democracy. Despite some of our personal views of the war, the reasons for being there and the internal conflicts that still preside, we might find some solace in the fact that the Iraqi people are taking matters into their own hands by respecting tradition with open minds.
If a stable and functional government is formed, the Iraqi people will have another opportunity to sustain and cement their democracy. Central to this process will be the strengthening of civil society. Civil society is not new to Iraq. Hammurabi's Code, the first written laws in human history, was instituted in Iraq nearly 2,200 years ago. Iraqi attempts to build a modern civil society must overcome the triple challenges of history, current sectarian strife, and ongoing American intervention. Respecting the Iraqis to go through their own process of democratic trial and error is all part of restoring the rule of law to the land of Hammurabi.
Social thinking gives people the opportunity to recontextualize their historical legacies in order to create new building blocks for the future. And if media, or socialized media, can play a key role, then even better. There are plenty of stories waiting to be told that will likely affect legions of people all over the globe.