The win/lose approach to life which results in the well being of a few at the expense of the many is showing itself to be unworkable. Conflicts are escalating and environmental systems are breaking down.
The time is ripe to build an ALL-WIN world which works well for all, including our environment. The world has become interdependent and this means that it is in the interest of all of us to ensure that all people can achieve meaning and happiness in their lives in their own unique ways providing they harm no one else and that the health of our environment is nurtured.
Where discontent reigns we find that individual people can do a great deal of harm. (That is why the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has become traditional international law.) So it is in the interest of us all that each child, woman and man can find their own unique happiness as long as they do not harm others and respect the environment. That is the all-win principle.
Therefore, it is important that all those in government learn to base their own actions and all policies on the all-win norm by constantly asking the questions: Does this action harm anyone? Does this help to strengthen our natural environment?
This norm may be hard to understand for many since the inevitability of the win/lose norm has been successfully propagated by those powers that benefited from it.
Therefore it will not be easy for civil servants (and others) to transform their values. It will require ALL TO BE EDUCATED AND GET PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE TO DISTINGUSH BETWEEN WIN/LOSE AND ALL-WIN ACTIONS.
They will then realize that there is a huge constituency of people who already support all-win norms. These often belong to non-governmental organizations (there are 1000s of them in the U.S., and 10,000 in a tiny country like Bangladesh alone). All these dedicate their money, energy and time to actions that benefit the greater good.
Using all-win policies, the U.S. Administration will gain their support. This will be a mutually reinforcing relationship. They can support all-win actions by the U.S. administration; and with the backing of the U.S. Administration, these groups might form a more cohesive force.
Integrating the all-win norm into U.S. politics is essential for the U.S. to regain respect in the world and for President Obama to live up to the great expectations his excellent policies are generating. Integration of the all-win norm in global politics is also essential if our world, inspired among others by the U.S., is to complete the globalization process in a way that strife is transformed into harmony and enmity into goodwill.
The all-win norm is visible throughout nature: the cells in the human body function on the basis of all for one and one for all and so do all elements of an ecosystem. We see the all-win principle at work in global society in the form of traffic rules, postal and other communications systems. Through the latest crises, the all-win norm is increasingly catching on. It is realistic and absolutely essential if our world is to work well for all.
Perhaps we can get together and see how a number of us can help in this process?
Wishing President Obama all the best in the wonderful changes he is making,
Dr. Lisinka Ulatowska
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