So Grandson Kyle from DC, in town for the weekend (already my favorite Christmas present!) asked, “What is a paradigm shift?” I started to give a long answer, and realized I needed to create a short one. Something to wrap it all up, make it clear.
A paradigm shift happens when we as a culture / society go from one set of unquestioned principles to another. For me, the shift is both the process of getting there, and the place where we arrive.
For instance – in the 1950s, women, once married, stayed home and raised the kids. Which, of course, included all of the tasks running a household requires today, basically without the labor saving devices. Today, mid-shift, we expect almost all women to be in the labor force, before, during and after children. We are getting used to women CEOs, folk, not just nurses, having women bosses, women as presidents of universities. We had a serious, credible woman candidate for president last election.
Once we’re through the shift – in just a few years – women will hopefully be just people, with the same hopes, dreams and possibilities as the other half of us humans. I would expect some pretty specific changes to be happen between now and then, though. For instance – women priests will surely come. It’s just a question of time – plus economics and a power shift. Catholic women could force the change in a hot minute if they just stop contributing to the church right now. Which is probably already under way, and will no doubt get bigger. But whether they actively stand against the church or not – the change will come. The arc of history, as President Obama might say, is bending that direction.
All of this will make a book – so you’re getting the really condensed version. But that’s my definition – plus a specific and concrete set of examples. More will follow, as I’m writing every day on the shift. Wish me luck on this journey!