…until the culture of governmental mismanagement is changed, we can expect anything we give the government to do to be many times less efficient and more expensive than it should be. How much better off would the needy be if all that is now being wasted in administration actually reached the needs?—Rick joyner
Culture is formed by interpretation of facts, ideas and thoughts and these phenomena are dynamic. They can change.But what is it that causes a shift in cultural orientation?
Precipitants of Culture Change
There are many factors that cause cultural change or culture shifts. I cannot begin to presume to know all the factors that converge to spark a revolution in culture. SO today I will not even attempt to do that. I want to just share 2 things which at least from the testimony of history have been observed to aid change culturally.
- the first is growth of the critical mass
- the second is the passion with which the few impact the whole i.e. the principle of the leaven or yeast
The Critical Mass
This principle can be seen in grassroots revolutionary movements such at that which transpired in what can been coined the Jasmine revolution or the Arab Spring. This is what also occurred through the Protestant reformation that resulted in what has been termed the protestant ethic.
In such a scenario, a number of assumptions are made. One such assumption is that the general populace of a nation or region might be suffering from information deficiency i.e. lack of adequate information based upon which they can take decisions. Another assumption is that the populace are afraid and cower though they have information because they fear the governing class. Whatever the situation might be, when the critical mass of folks who have adopted a new way of thinking begin to increase, sooner or later they will through the power of ideas topple the former ideology and its attendant culture.
When change occurs within the psyche of the critical mass in any population the culture will also change or shift. Culture follows thinking. This is why cultures with a good sense of self-worth and identity thrive and those with self esteem issues end up in the quagmire of retrogression and under-development.
If a critical mass of the business community within a city e.g. Accra-Ghana undergoes a change in their thoughts and ideas about how to conduct business, the business culture in Accra will shift from that which was precipitated by the former way of thinking to one birthed by the new thoughts, ideas or mindset.
If the critical mass of people in a business community believed in bribery as a means to supplement income, a culture of corruption which undermines efficiency and productivity will prevail in the business community. However, if new thoughts and ideas that promote integrity, equity, justice, ethics, accountability and responsibility are introduced into this community and these new thoughts are accepted by a critical mass of the population, a culture shift will occur. The once corrupt culture will metamorphose into one of integrity that promotes efficiency and productivity.
The passionate few
From history we learn that in many cases there need not be a critical mass of populations believing a particular new way of thing for change to occur. This can be accomplished by a select few …
- if the passion with which the passionate few pursue their new way of thinking is fervent and …
- if the masses look on apathetic, indifferent and unconcerned
When the masses stand by idle and allow through their passivity for the passionate few to advance their cause, sooner or later the leaven or yeast of the new way of thinking will work its way through out the entire dough of the society, nation or continent.
Owing to all the above reasons, a great need of any society, nation and continent is positive or moral change agents—culture shifters—persons or systems which sow seeds of right and just moral thoughts and ideas that develop into positive values and customs that can serve as triggers of cultural changes that ultimately enhance the quality of life for the society, nation or continent.
History is a collection of culture shifts precipitated by the change of mindset of the majority or the passionate few.
When colonized Ghanaians became literate and got exposure to the rest of the world, their thinking changed and it eventually led to independence—liberty from imperial hegemony. The knowledge of the truth doth set free.
Our culture is a photograph of our mindset
A culture of endemic corruption in an organization or nation is a clue as to the collective mindset of the people within which the corrupt practices inhabit and thrive.
The way many underdeveloped nations have historically elected or condoned corrupt or bad leaders in their executive, legislative and judicial arms of government is a pointer to the state of the mindset of the people. It is a gauge of the ‘internal selection system’ which is the mechanism that informs our selection criteria which results in the type of leaders we elect ourselves or allow to elect themselves through rigged elections.
Our leaders point to the thoughts and ideas of the critical mass of the population of our society. Where this is the exception, i.e. where the leader is not a true reflection of the thoughts and ideals of the critical mass, it means that leader is a dictator and a despot and eventually the critical mass will invariably rise up against such a leader and oust him or her.