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Human Planet


This picture is one of dozens showing on a slide-show of Timothy Allen’s still pictures taken as part of the BBC’s Human Planet programme shown last week. What can we learn that is relevant to humanity, human development and coaching?Timothy Allen has selected some wonderful people living in extremes. He says that they all have the same hopes and dreams as we do: a roof over our heads, a mate, feeding ourselves and looking after our children. Many people have forgotten these basic truths and are caught up in their own relatively meaningless agendas or by the meaningless agendas of others who we give our power of destiny to. These pictures and Timothy’s voice-over inspire.

The planet offers scant protection for those living at the extremes. These people are not only surviving where we are frail, but confident, talented, inventive and massively alive. In coaching practice we see elements of all these things resurrected in those that have lost their way. And when they grow again, they take a little of our humanity, our resourcefulness, our courage and their ownership of values (what is important) away with them. In this way coaching can and must be a pivotal force for change in placing humanity back at the heart of our existence just as it must be for these people – and we call ourselves ‘civilised and advanced’ yet they are more civilised and advanced than we are!

There is no other path. World economics is based upon confidence in markets, and this based upon ‘perpetual growth’. Only a fool thinks this is actually a never ending story. But we are led by fools whose agendas are power and greed alone. Only when we take back the path to humanity as individual human-beings can we understand the politics and economies of sustainable life and make a difference.

And these people in these wonderful pictures deserve so much more than we do. Let’s give something back. Let’s celebrate and promote our human values in diversity, frailities, talents and compassion. Let coaching be at the centre of that movement.