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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hold the vision: We are the one!

In the course of my daily promenade through the blogosphere, I happened upon an interesting meme that's going around courtesy of Jennifer Jones' Goodness Graciousness site (thanks to Jeane at Binding Ink for bringing it to my attention). Jennifer's seemingly simple request: "Blog about your vision of what is possible" (see Hold the Vision - You are officially tagged for her much more eloquent description of the meme).

I've always been a believer in the power of vision and the ability of the creative imagination to positively influence the world, so this is an idea I whole heartedly embrace. I could probably write pages on the subject, but I'll limit myself to a single notion that I think will help move us forward.

Today we find ourselves entering an epoch of human history that demands we set aside the constraining ideologies of the past and pull together to solve the daunting challenges that confront each of us equally. The threats are many and inter-related; ranging from our environment, to our physical and mental well-being, to our economic stability.

Our society is increasing characterized by polarization along political, theological and philosophical lines. In almost every case, the belief systems that inform these debates have become outdated, and make little sense in the context of modern times. Unfortunately, its their connection to the past that cements adherents' resolve not to relinquish them. Nostalgia is gaining an ever greater hold on people's imaginations, and fearing the uknowable future they try to move society backward to an idyllic time that never existed.

In contrast, just as subjectively we're isolating ourselves into warring camps, technological advances are creating the conditions to erase old boundaries and dividing lines. Information is flowing freely across the fiber that wires the continents together, and our collective consciousness is growing more aware of the possibility for united action. The strength we'll find in our common causes can overcome any individual self-limiting doubts. Opening ourselves up to this new paradigm, exposing our inner selves to the world in a Garden of Eden nakendness, and freely transmitting our talents and labors to all that can use them are the first steps toward building a new world.

The operative motivator right now has to be universal compassion. Our choices have to be informed by an understanding of what the least fortunate among us face in life, and that empathy can't be limited to any specific racial, ethnic, sexual, religious or national identity group. It's only by ensuring the well-being of the worst off around the globe that we can safeguard our own.

That is my vision for the world; one that truly embraces the best characteristics of the various spiritual traditions from around the globe and moves beyond the petty desire to prove the supremacy of a particular ideology. The punk band The Avengers described this idea much less prosaically in their song "we are the one." (Check out Penelope Houston's website devoted to the band and her solo music.)

we are the one
lyrics and music by Penelope Houston, G. Ingraham, D. O'Brien, J. Wilsey

we are the leaders of tomorrow
we are the one to have the fun
we want control we want the power
not gonna stop until it comes

we are not Jesus Christ
we are not fascist pigs
we are not capitalist industrialists
we are not communists
we are the one

we will build a better tomorrow
the youth of today will be the tool
american children built for survival
fate is our destiny and we shall rule

we are not Jesus Christ
we are not fascist pigs
we are not capitalist industrialists
we are not communists
we are the one

I am the one who shows you the future
I am the one who buries the past
a new species rise up from the ruins
I am the one that was made to last

we are not Jesus Christ
we are not fascist pigs
we are not capitalist industrialists
we are not communists
we are the one
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