Lews Therin

Green youth who "go orange" as they get older

25 posts in this topic

Hello, i am currently reading the spiral dynamics book, and one thing puzzles me.

People who, as youth were apparently green (fighting for human rights and etc) and as they get older, they seem to "go orange" finding orange jobs and calling the new youth as "young idealists" and saying that "when you get a job you will understand the real world".

There seems to be quite a lot of people following this pattern, and actually, there is even an example of that in the book, right in the beggining, where they mention a human rights activist from london who, after some time, gets a job in marketing i believe and becomes more or less your standard orange type. Unfortunately, after that, they haven't mentioned said example anymore.

I know there can be regressions, but it seems to me they tend to have a reason (wich so far, this one hasn't beem explained) and be somewhat temporary (Most of the people i know who "went orange" are orange to this day, with maybe some hints of green here and there).

So, what are your thoughts on this?

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I mean you can have an orange job and still have green values. 

I think another factor is dealing with constant discouragement and setbacks from society as a whole because they aren't ready for your ideas yet. So instead you end up trying to work within the system to generate potential change instead of attacking the system head on. 

I don't know about the specific example you're taking about with the activist who gets a job in marketing but I know that you can do marketing in a conscious way that take into consideration society, where it's going, and how to appeal to people accordingly. Even though marketing and business is typically orange you can use things like sociology and anthropology to do it more holistically. Typical orange marketing involves saturating the landscape with ads and appealing to peoples desires to trick them into buying your product. I'm also seeing half-orange, half-green marketing that also tries to tie in social issues and their commentary along with their products (such as Nike with BLM and Gillette with toxic masculinity). When marketing comes from a desire to connect and understand people instead of just making a profit, it can start to lean more green. 

I guess people find more traditional outlets such as corporate jobs to conduct their green ideals through instead of simply marching on the streets and demanding change. Being an activist is still important don't get me wrong, but that isn't the only way to in act change nor should it be if you want change to penetrate every area of society. I think with age, people realize that more and more and then consequently look as though they are falling in  line. 

Also I'd think that with some people, they end up "regressing" back to earlier stages in a way to integrate healthier forms of those stages or to sort out any short comings they might have whether intentionally or unintentionally.


The heat that you curse in the summer is the same one you yearn for in the winter. 

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@soos_mite_ah Well, i know your job doesn't define your stage, but these people i know in my life have actually gone from being social activist to claiming liberalism is good and that the government should be minimal... Don't know if that's some ideological hate from my part, but they seem to have somwhat regressed.

 

Here are the excerpts from the book:

social activist1.jpeg

social activist2.jpeg

social activist3.jpeg

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social activist5.jpeg

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This is pretty much my story in a nutshell. I remember in high school I was all into the Green Party and Ralph Nader. I was super against the Iraq War and would also read spiritual books like Eckhart Tolle. In many ways I was all the stereotypes of Stage Green. Then in college I fell in love with a stage Orange woman who later became my wife. I remember one of our first major fights was when she told me I should work in advertising. At the time, I was studying photojournalism in college and interning at NPR and wanted to save the world through my photojournalism. I was furious at her for suggesting such an ego-centric toxic career such as advertising.

A week after graduating college I was hired by...you guessed it...an advertising production company. At the time they were doing a lot of non-profit work and documentary projects that were very stage Green. My very first project for them was for American Express. I didn't think anything of it at the time, and my next project was for a climate change ngo, so I saw it as trade offs - needing to build my career and make money from the corporate stuff in order to fund the "for good" projects.

A couple years later, the production company took off and so did my career, and suddenly I found myself directing soda commercials and fast fashion garbage. I knew in my gut that what I was doing was wrong, but I basically didn't want to turn down the money, life opportunities and career "success." I continued to balance commercial gigs with documentary projects (often for non-profits), but it wasn't long before I was living the cliche Hollywood material life (the opposite of my Green values). I clearly hadn't fully integrated my Orange yet, so I was half Orange half Green during all this time. After 7 years in advertising, I was burnt out and felt I had lost my soul (aka my Green values). I quit my job, left LA, and fully transitioned into Green. 

My guess is the woman in the Spiral Dynamics book, like me, had not fully moved through Orange yet, even though her center of gravity was Green. When the "real world" caught up to her, she settled for Orange despite what I'd assume was a deep down feeling of unease in her gut, which I felt every time I walked onto a commercial film set. But in retrospect I don't regret anything. It was all part of my journey, and the money I made from my Orange career has afforded me the time off work to move through Green and into Yellow.

Edited by tuckerwphotography

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11 minutes ago, Lews Therin said:

Well, i know your job doesn't define your stage, but these people i know in my life have actually gone from being social activist to claiming liberalism is good and that the government should be minimal... Don't know if that's some ideological hate from my part, but they seem to have somwhat regressed.

People can be raised in a Green environment and become a 'hollow' green when they are teenagers and young adults. They are hollow for orange and often seek to fill that hole.

There are many different expressions of Green. In general, Green does not like top-down government and authority. One expression of green is limited government. I lived in a Green anarchist commune for a couple months - they were against hierarchical government. Yet this is distinct from libertarian. An orange libertarian would want limited government with strong personal identification, personal responsibility, personal property, property rights etc. A Green anarchist commune dweller doesn't want authoritarian government, yet they have a shared sense of responsibility and shared possessions. In the commune I lived, everyone's doors were open and they shared stuff. There was a very weak sense of personal possessions. As well, I couldn't tell who the parents of children were. There was a community sense of responsibility. 

If someone is for small government (or no government), one way to distinguish between orange and green is to ask them how they view personal responsibility and personal property. If they are Gung-Ho for personal responsibility and property - you've got yourself an Orange Libertarian. 

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The syndrome being described pretty much sums up the entire Baby Boomer transition from free-love hippies to 1980s corporatists bringing us the so-called decade of greed.

With hindsight, the supposed green stage was driven by rebellious feel-good antics more than a true oneness or reverence with nature. Hence, it was only a small step to devolve into outright self-indulgence and sell out on any sort of ethical pretensions. All of this is a part of a legitimate evolutionary process, but mother nature only has a finite amount of resources...

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@Lews Therin

That's the power of the system.

The system doesn't maintain itself because it's easy to jailbreak out of and disrupt. It maintains itself because it's the exact opposite. Incentives point towards maintaining homeostasis.

Practically this might look like a wide-eyed Greenie who wants to save the world, but ends up working in finance because shit, life is expensive. Rent, maybe a family, student loan debt, etc. You can't really blame them. Those are the incentives that are laid out.

Same thing happen with a lot of hippies in the 60s/ 70s. The incentives of the system yanked them back in.

It's similar to having an ego-backlash when you think about it.


Loving a new world into being.

Energy healing, music making, tree hugging, sacred being.

YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/k_gzVJIeTlI

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This happens because a YELLOW transition is not just walking up the steps like the lower stages but a momentous leap into second tie thinking, which is why YELLOW will take a much longer time to emerge in the world and society will many times regress into ORANGE before YELLOW can happen.

The Scandinavian countries are already regressing into YELLOW.


''To be happy we must not be too concerned with others''.

Albert Camus

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I'd say this type of situation (Green seemingly regressing into Orange) might be described as The Achiever stage in Susanne Crook-Greuter's ego development model (which Leo has a video on). The Achiever stage is a mix of Orange/Green. This describes where I was starting in late high school through age 26 during the time I worked in advertising. 

Yes, the "system" certainly incentives this behavior since America has been mostly Orange, but bluntly speaking I truly did love making a lot of money and experiencing material success, so I'd say it was equally as much if not more my stage of development. 

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@Lews Therin It can be fake woke and fake green. Easy to preach peace and love when you don't have to struggle. Something as minor as no food for a day will turn a Westerner into a savage. 

What you need is to build character. 


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I think this is not a real green because there are many fake greens out there. 

When a person is a fake green, it's easy for them to not actually jibe with it but simply give out platitudes. Deep down they still believe in chasing achievements like stage orange. 

It means they have a Narcissistic green shadow to deal with. 

They are probably doing good things for social causes only for Getting approval from Society to look good, an egoic desire. This is reflective of Stage Orange just parading itself as Green to score some brownie points. 

The other reason can be that they have realized the Failure of Green in society so they regressed back to keep some balance and prevent themselves from going all Hippie. 

And of course there are bills to Pay! 

And another reason can be that they think that by having a strong Orange source of income and power, they will be able to execute their green interests more freely and be taken seriously. 

 


Create your own life system. 

Preety preety

And then my dear, you can take a bath in suds. 

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6 hours ago, Husseinisdoingfine said:

The Scandinavian countries are already regressing into YELLOW.

Lol, no were not, were orange/green, dont be so hasty young hobbit, the Swedish government is a huge exporter of weapons to other nations, thats toxic orange that we still have. And most citiziens just care about living a comfortable material life. Lastly the blue/orange backlash is catching up to us, the third most popular party is a nationalist right-wing party with a history of neo-nazi ties. 

ps. Why do you say regressing? you mean transitioning? 


How strange it is to be anything at all

 

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@tuckerwphotography And before high school, before addopting green values, had you explored the orange ones to any extent? or did you go straight to green? what about blue?

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On 2020/10/4 at 8:34 PM, Husseinisdoingfine said:

 

The Scandinavian countries are already regressing into YELLOW.

I meant to say regressing into ORANGE as they’re going through austerity


''To be happy we must not be too concerned with others''.

Albert Camus

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15 minutes ago, Lews Therin said:

@Preety_India what is a fake green? a blue that defends "green" values?

Yea. A blue person who actually doesn't believe in green deep down but rallies along with Green agenda to get brownie points from society. 

It's fake activism that a lot of celebrities do just for extra points on the resume, not necessarily because they truly care about the green issues or activism. 

In real life, they could very well be a strong blue, or a toxic Orange who is only trying to be deceptive to help their business or reputation. 

 


Create your own life system. 

Preety preety

And then my dear, you can take a bath in suds. 

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2 hours ago, Lews Therin said:

@tuckerwphotography And before high school, before addopting green values, had you explored the orange ones to any extent? or did you go straight to green? what about blue?

@Lews Therin @Preety_India I don't know if I buy this whole fake Green thing. Perhaps it applies to teens who grow up with Green parents but are still at stage Blue themselves. That said, in my case, when I was sitting in my bedroom spending hours researching Green Party policy platforms and reading spiritual books and all this stuff, I wasn't doing it for anyone's approval or belonging. None of my friends were interested in any of that shit. I was genuinely passionate about it. I think it's important to remember that people are not only one stage, we're many stages. So I was maybe 25% Green in high school, 50% Orange and 25% Blue. That doesn't mean my Green interests were somehow "fake" just that my center of gravity was still in Orange, so ultimately when I graduated into the real world and had to pay my bills etc, the Orange part of me took center stage and dominated. Once I fully worked through Orange, my Green values came back and with far more intensity than in high school since I was now more fully in Green. 

Regarding your question above, Lews, I think my Blue days were mostly middle school. I definitely wanted to fit in and conform to my friend group, school culture and the town I was raised in. My parents were atheist so the religion stuff didn't apply to me, but definitely the conformity was very present in middle school and early high school. By college, I had fully moved through Blue and was hardcore focused on my career (Orange). I was probably 50% Orange, 50% Green. 

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@tuckerwphotography  most greens aren't fake. 

But only some are for political reasons, meaning for identity politics, to get votes and impress people. 

Generally greens are genuine but you can have some phony ones entering the protest rally. 

 


Create your own life system. 

Preety preety

And then my dear, you can take a bath in suds. 

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@Preety_India I see what you're saying, I would just word it differently. I don't think the stage Blue teens at BLM rallies are being "fake" I just think they're being stage Blue people in a stage Green society. They're doing exactly what one should expect them to do: conforming to the dominant culture around them. In some urban areas, that dominant culture is Green. 

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