The individualism so cherished today has brought unprecedented freedom and opportunity; yet we cannot afford to forget its other face. All individuals are products of their environment, all tied to a cultural past. When we try to impose our concepts on other cultures, there is shock and thunder, not only to other tribes involved, but to ourselves.
We cannot afford to imagine ourselves untouched by trauma to members of our world family. When a culture’s roots are torn away, its values and traditions scattered or lost, the world becomes a poorer place, but that is not where problems end. Reverberations from the pain and loss come back to strike us in the well-meaning face.
This year’s Civilization in Transition conference will explore hidden and open trauma, and ways of facing and learning from the terror produced by these.