Global Events

With regard to the WOW, life tasks and life forces are connected to global events that relate to global environmental issues, such as pollution, overpopulation, economic exploitation, wars, diseases, violation of human rights, unemployment, competition for limited resources or poverty (Sweeney, 1998). Sweeney (1998, p. 84) argues that all human beings are part of the “ecology of living in a ‘global village’ on the Planet Earth”. Because of mass media, rapid transportation and instant communication methods, individuals and societies cannot ignore global events, particularly not if human beings strive for a lifestyle of wellness and prevention (Sweeney, 1998, p. 84). The author assumes that global events and cosmic consciousness are related and that they both influence the health, well-being and wellness of the individual.

Global events generally affect the life and life quality of humans, the global context and the existing environment in which humans live (Sweeney & Witmer, 1991). Almost 20 years after having referred to the influence of global events for the first time, Sweeney (2009) emphasises that the global influence on an individual’s wellness might increase dramatically through the increasing influence of the global network, media and the internet. The global awareness and connection might increase the impact on the individual’s wellness, self-esteem and perception of wellness in the context of global events (Myers, Willse, & Villalba, 2011). It also relates to life career courses (Smith, Myers, & Hensley, 2002). However, Nortje et al. (2013) highlight that life tasks and life forces within the HWM relate not only to human, but also to natural global events. Moe et al. (2012) emphasise that both global human-made events, such as the 2008 crash of the global finance markets, and global weather events, such as drought, storms, or floods related to climate change, lead to changes in wellness and well-being.

While being aware of the impacts of global events on individuals, it is at the same time assumed that human being can adapt to challenging situations and experience and understand these as “fruitful endeavour”, which is understood as the phenomenon of resilience (Davey et al., 2003, p. 348). In this way, individuals can overcome global impact challenges by using their individual adaptation and coping strategies.

The components of the WOW, the life-tasks, life forces and global events will be referred to with regard to the findings in Chap. 7.

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