I have kids ~ I also love kids, they remind me to be hopeful. It also pains me to no end that the world we are giving to the next generations is operating in support of so few, and ecologically deteriorating at a rate that makes me worry about my own elderlife, no less the future for those to come.
There is a better way. But we have to build an imagination that shifts the direction of this hopeless trajectory we are on. We must collectively visualize and believe that things can change ~ we must see that change in order for it to manifest. Let us call this future PEACE. Jimi Hendrix said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” This is the formula for the shift.
It is really that simple.
I was sitting with Susan Hailman, the person whom I hold up as the example of integrity when ever the opportunity presents itself ~ which is quite often. We were discussing the absence of limits of greed that is the hallmark of this time in which we live. It is embarrassing to be a human. Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu, also had another answer over 2600 years ago. Lao-Tzu offered, “He who knows he has enough is rich.” Susan said, we need to introduce the understanding of ENOUGH! She’s right. I am sure you will hear more from her on this, so definitely stay tuned.
As an idealist, I have come to believe that change, even massive change, at the level of what we speak here, is possible. I also believe, as is evident from the title of this blog, that each of us holds the power to move the entire planet. We rarely exercise this power, so things move in the direction of the prevailing trajectory ~ social and environmental decay. It is time to trouble these troubled waters. So what can we do to shift this reality? We need to make the change ourselves ~ with every ounce of integrity we have. The change is mostly within our imaginations. As the prophetesses En Vogue once said, “Free your mind and the rest will follow!” Here are the three ingredients to beginning this work.
First we must create in our imaginations a compelling vision of peace. To me, peace is the state of actualizing our collective responsibility to ensure that everyone is OK. As I was writing this, I observed a Black woman in the coffee shop who was struggling to attempt to carry two large drinks from the counter to her table while trying to juggle her clutch purse at the same time. She had to leave one of the drinks. Without a word, a Asian sister who clearly didn’t know the woman, picked up the other cup and followed her to the table, delivered the left item, then simply walked away. That is my vision of peace. Yeah, that was just a coffee cup. But the message behind the act is the transformative genius. “I will be your hands.” The fact that these two individuals were demographically different drives home the point that race and other forms of perceived difference is simply a myth that masks the truth that we belong to eachother. Imagine if this way of being spread across the planet with the same compelling power as capitalism.
The two other ideas that need to be engaged are those spoken by Jimi and Lao-Tzu. We must raise our level of loving above our need to fill the emptiness we feel. What I mean by love is our knowledge that we are not individual beings, but cells comprising the same organism ~ earth. Would a body try to accumulate all of the blood for only its head? We must also learn to operate in a state of enough. Enough is about balance. It means we can actualize our potential ~ both as individuals, and collectively. Over-consumption is a sign of insecurity. What are the “minimum specs” we need to reach our potential? What would it take to be willing to trim down to that scale and release the power of enough to engage our true wealth. How do we use the residual resources to “lend our hands” to others to ensure their ability to reach their potential? This is how we create peace through our lives.
One last little thought. Imagine if the worst crime committed was disturbing the peace ~ being out of balance with the flow of resources to create peace. What would the world look like? How much the richer we would all be. Maybe that insatiable hunger for more, and the accompanying feeling emptiness inside, would disappear.