I don’t remember where exactly I encountered this concept but this idea has been growing inside me for a while now. The concept uses the thinking of an individual based on any situation(or environment) to separate them to four distinct phases of understanding. The uniqueness of this concept is that an individual doesn’t need to go through all the four phases in their lifetime and that he/she need not move from one phase to the next, they can go to any phase from any other phase and can be in different phases wrt different relationships and environments.
The 4 phases of Understanding
- I am wrong, The world is wrong
- I am wrong, the world is right
- I am right, the world is wrong
- I am right, the world is right.
I am wrong, The world is wrong
Even though this is the first phase in the list, yet hardly anyone starts from here. In this phase the individual looks at his life and choices and feels strongly that they have made or are making grave mistakes in it. They look at the world(environment) around them and see is crumbling and failing. This stage is a stage with little or no hope, very synonymous to depression. Most self destructing behavior and suicides happen from this phase of thinking.
I am wrong, the world is right
In this stage the individual is always second guessing his/her choices and actions. They are bullied by the world to give up who they are and fall in line with the expected behavior. Sometimes these are people who feel child like on the inside and need to be directed to what to do next. In this stage people just choose to flow with the currents of every day events and don’t make a conscious effort to make their world better.
I am right, the world is wrong
In this stage there is lot of anger. The lack of acceptance is symbolic of the individual in this phase. Lot of innovators spent their most productive years in this phase. While having the confidence and the drive to change the world is commendable yet the worst villains of the world committed the worst acts in this phase. This phase is the most blinding and it can lead to both massive improvements or destruction to the people and world around them.
I am right, the world is right.
This is the most mature phase of Understanding. In this phase the Individual seeks to be a functional and productive part of world. They are more understanding to the others choices & rights and yet don’t compromise on their own rights and freedom. This might not necessarily be the most productive of phases but this is the phase with the most peace and happiness. Most Great People with the greatest impact on the lives of people and countries wrt their ideas came from this phase. This was because they dedicated their lives to understanding themselves and the world around them.
The World in the above concept relates to any environment or relationship. It can be your home, office, school, college or your relationship with your mom, dad, relative, friend, colleague, boss or even strangers. We can be at different phases in different worlds.
The ‘Phase’ we are currently in tends to dictate how we behave in each situation and colours our outlook of possible decisions and actions.
While these phases seem generic, the framework has been very enlightening to me when viewed through the lens of my personal experiences. The final phase is still a distant dream in most of my worlds but knowing that is the goal has greatly improved the way I look at different situations and react to them.