history helps interpret the present time.
The show occurs in a time of value shifts and changing norms such as the marriage by the youngest daughter to the Lord’s chauffeur, the local doctor without title and money is correct in his diagnoses, and the need for change in managing the large estate viably. All these events are contradictory to the Earl of Grantham’s value system; but that he believed and what he lived by seemed no longer relevant. In a changing world he is expected to give up many values and adopt new ones…and struggles.
Downton Abbey is happening now in Australia, in fact the Western World at
large. We again are experiencing large shifts in values and norms and collectively struggle to deal with them. Two shifts are particularly unsettling:
The first is the rising awareness that continued economic growth is an out-dated unfeasible worldview, the second that governments are out of touch with the people. The first shift is happening due to the finite resources of our earth, the second due to society undertaking a values shift from a government being the power holder over the people to one being in service to the people.
So what can we do about these shifts?
Both, the structure and culture of our nation is impacted. Just like transplanting a tree needs preparation, creating the right environment and nurturing, we need to start preparing for these shifts. History has shown that each replanting, each change in society, has lost something, but also brought new opportunities. We can take the opportunity for change or leave it, but must realise that our choice will impede on future generations. For our grandchildren and great grandchildren etc. to have an opportunity and life, we must realise that the tree needs replanting now and that we have to start
building a vision for the future now. As individuals we can support or hinder these shifts through our behaviours.
If you want to help create a vision for future generations join me and other dedicated members on Society Thought Leaders on LinkedIn.