I've been out of town for a couple of days, but have been following this thread on my phone.
I wanted to say something that may or may not be obvious. Humans are extremely adaptable creatures. We might not seem so considering how we get caught up in manufactured or manipulative cultural traps, but consider it now from a wider view: From nomadic Kalahari bushman, to the Inuit of the high North, to the Yanomamo of the Amazon, just look at the variety in culture, tradition, and how we have adapted to our environment. Just look at the variety of traditional dwellings, and then go into the more conventional ones in the modern world and then branch into how people also live on the streets or in dumpsters or shantytown slums. Adaptability is our Nature. We are hardwired for this, but those wires have been either severed or fused, or are somehow disconnected. I will get into this a bit, and what I think are the core reasons.
How could adaptability be taught to kids, in schools or out? How can adaptability be taught to adults? Learning the hard way is a harsh way to learn, is there such thing as video games that teach how to think adaptable? Because I think that part of turning this culture to adaptable will start with a higher percentage of people being able to think this way.
The thing is, kids are naturally adaptable. Drop a little kid into a third world country, and he or she is speaking the language faster than any parent could. And it's not just language. It's only with our programming and schooling that children become non-adaptive. Kids are knowledge sponges and learn things naturally.
The problem is teaching the adults who are full of experiences that have managed to get them through life. People are always battling change, whether they are conscious of it or not. I've heard this is so because people are constantly-on a subconscious level-equating their present survival with their past acts. No matter how potentially unproductive, or potentially damaging, or counter-intuitive, or whatever the past acts were, they amounted to that person surviving, and thus... are,by some twisted internal logic, worth keeping. So teaching someone to step outside this box is not so easy. Taking a risk in this regard is not easy. It's a leap in consciousness to break out of that fear. I believe it can be taught. But with adults, it will be different person by person on how they absorb or defect this information. See the example of my mom below.
Part of the issue, I allude to early on in this post. Our school system, and our culture, in general, are not serving to teach us how to learn. They teach us to remember facts and regurgitate them, and to follow the leader, even if they have no leadership qualities and respect authority-even if it's not necessarily authoritative on the subject/task. These things teach us how to NOT LEARN. This is partly because they are against the grain of logic, and serve only to create an unstable system where Authoritarian structures tend to insert themselves and dominate.
So the beginning of it is to teach kids to follow their natural passion to learn things. Our job as teachers is to figure out ways to teach the kids the basics through them learning about things they want to learn about. So if a kid wants to learn about fish, he can learn reproductive biology, ecology, math, creative writing, physics, geometry, social studies... it just goes on and on... but it needs to be guided properly by the teacher, so the kid isn't just learning about fish for fish's sake.
The next thing is to ensure that people understand what real leadership is, and then they are put in roles where they can delegate authority to get a complex job done. Leadership can be taught. Most people do not have really great leadership skills... and this includes most people who are presently in leadership roles. <--Most of them are actually more interested in puffing up their own feathers, and or controlling others.
People have to want to learn. They have to want to change. This can't be forced at all. You have to be gentle about it, for sure.
Choices are going to be key to teaching adaption. Let your kids, and whoever you are working with and doing things with, make choices so they can be as self-determining as possible. Nicole alluded to a lot of this stuff in her recent post.
This can also be very difficult with adults. My mother, for instance, is a shop-a-holic, and has, for the most part, always had her poor spending habits supported both by the greater culture and my father. Giving her choices means that she buys stuff impulsively or basically does whatever she wants without thinking much about it. She's basically like a badly schooled spoiled brat in an adults body, and with a credit card and freedom... I just shake my head. I don't even know where to start, and at 70 years old, I doubt I'll be making any easy progress with her even if I put in a concerted effort. It was pretty obvious from a pretty early age that my mom bought all the bad sides of the consumer culture dream pretty fully, but there was nothing a kid could do about it, but go along with it, and enjoy the tragedy when it spilled over into my side of things. It wasn't like we were rich, or anything, but we weren't poor. If we had been, I'm sure she would have learned to adapt slightly to deal with that... but I have a feeling she would not have learned much more about it than she did having more cash at her disposal. I had to completely unlearn everything that she taught me as I became increasingly independent in my youth. But it was not completely apparent just how much her programming had affected me until I moved out on my own and was forced to assess my needs and my wants and balance my budget.