Before we can have a shift, we need to know what a paradigm is. Once again, I went to my friend dictionary.com for the official definition. There were several, I’m listing the relevant one here:
A framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.
That translates to: a fundamental principle of science.
Another key word there is “community.” Even if we apply the term to the non-scientific, a paradigm shift is the change of a fundamental principle held by a group. A corporation is a good example of a community that can experience a paradigm shift.
Why Write about Paradigms?
As a word nerd, proper word usage is very important to me. “Paradigm” is one of those words that I think people use too freely. Moving from the world is flat to the world is round is a paradigm shift.
Many people believe that when they change how they – personally – view things, they have had a paradigm shift. In my book, that’s a personal revelation or an emotional revolution. Without community involvement, there is no change of paradigm.
Don’t be Stupid Trying to Look Smart
I think this is really what gets to me; people using big or uncommon words inaccurately to sound intelligent. I promise, the ability to use those words correctly is much more impressive than just scattering them into your conversation or writing.
Poor word usage is also very counter-productive to clear communication; my first, and only, passion.
OK, to sum this all up:
- A paradigm shift is impossible for an individual.
- A paradigm shift is a BIG DEAL.
- A paradigm shift takes time.
A corporation implementing a recycling program is not a paradigm shift. However, if that corporation goes from a “consume as much as possible” culture to recycling everything, producing their own electricity, and donating 20% of profits to charity – I would consider that a paradigm shift.
I hope I’ve offered you something with this blog, even just a giggle about how worked up I can become about certain things.