In this video – more timely today than ever – James Baldwin explains that “reality” depends on our point of view:

How you view the world is largely shaped by where you are in it.

The cultural narrative we believe in dictates our understanding of reality:

This makes our understanding of the world and our place in it dependent on the dominant narrative of the country, region, even family, that we live in. Going against the dominant narrative is dangerous. In some instances, it can cost you your status in society, your job, and even your life.

So how are we to solve any of our wicked problems at all?

We must create a shared view of reality:

The starting point for agreement must be what we hold in common, our interdependence. Henry Mintzberg has put together a Declaration of Interdependence that reads as follows:

The shift is from self-interest to common-interest. It is time, as the declaration states, to get our collective act together.

To do this requires two forms of leadership: one, the leadership of We, the People and two, the leadership at the top which, so far, has turned a blind eye to the world’s most urgent problems.

In the absence of leadership at the top, it is up to us.