My Fellow Americans: A revolution is coming. All the conditions are in place. In 2011, half of all Americans were living in poverty, and by all estimates, this number will continue to increase. An article published in Time magazine declared that “every pillar institution in American society—whether it’s General Motors, Congress, Wall Street, Major League Baseball, the Catholic Church, or the mainstream media—has revealed itself to be corrupt, incompetent, or both.”
Trust in our system of government has never been lower, and for good reason. Unless you are rich, white, male, Christian, and heterosexual, the government does not seem to be particularly concerned with your needs. This is not a partisan matter. Issues like climate change, lack of adequate health care, social and economic injustice, loss of privacy, contamination of food and water, and gun violence affect all of us. “When the rain falls,” sang Bob Marley, “it don’t fall on one man’s house.”
Given the inevitability of the coming revolution, it might as well be effective. In Deep Creativity, I identify vision as one of six qualities that predicts the success of creative endeavors. Vision is the ability to conceive of new possibilities that lead to new realities. These possibilities tend to exist beyond the scope of most people’s imagination. As Jonathan Swift observed, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
One of the most articulate and misunderstood revolutionaries of the Twentieth Century, Angela Davis, recognized the importance of vision as a means to enact meaningful, lasting change. In a 1972 interview, she said, “When you talk about a revolution, most people think violence, without realizing that the real content of any kind of revolutionary front lies in the principles and the goals that you’re striving for—not in the way you reach them.”
A revolution can only succeed if it has a substantive core vision. Here are five guidelines for creating such a vision:
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