We are at an interesting crossroads, having made the long march up from the scarcity of our hunter-gatherer days, up through the genius of agriculture and animal husbandry (and the miracle of settled human society they made possible; up through the game-changing Industrial Revolution which birthed to the middle class and brought a tenfold increase in wealth to the capitalist countries — though often at the expense of people and the planet. Now we’re in the grips of another great transformative moment in human history, which I call The Interconnectedness Revolution. It’s marked by our growing awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, and our growing recognition that every man is our brother and this planet is our home. It’s the culmination of man’s 11,000 year journey from scarcity to abundance, and a high-water mark in the evolution of the human race.
The Zen Master Bernie Glassman spoke poignantly about this idea of interconnectedness in a recent interview on Charlie Rose, where he appeared with the actor Jeff Bridges to promote their new book, The Dude and The Zen Master. There, he asked that we imagine that our left hand, right hand and right leg are part of the same body but do not know it. He then asks us to imagine that this right leg is injured and that, instead of helping, the left hand and right hand say, “I’m not gonna help, it’s not my problem,” and, in the end, no one helps, and finally the body dies. For most of human history, we have been like the left hand and right hand that don’t know they belong to the same body as the leg. Now, we are waking up to the idea that everyone, and everything, on this planet is part of the same body, and that we’ll perish or continue as one.
Tags: Bernie Glassman, Revel World Revel Life, The Interconnectedness Revolution, The Vision
Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, and mark the second Inauguration of President Barack Hussein Obama. I was moved to tears writing this sentence, just as I have been moved to tears again and again throughout this day, which more than any in recent memory captures the long and beautiful arc of history.
Tags: Inauguration 2013, Martin Luther King, MLK Day, President Obama, Presidential Inauguration 2013, The Declaration of Independence
Hendrik Hertzberg published a piece in The New Yorker called “Calmly, Obama Fights” in which he quoted these words from President Obama’s gun violence announcement of Wednesday, in which he referenced The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, about the rights Americans have other than the right to bear arms:
“The right to worship freely and safely: that right was denied to Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The right to assemble peaceably: that right was denied shoppers in Clackamas, Oregon, and moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado. That most fundamental set of rights: to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness—fundamental rights that were denied to college students at Virginia Tech and high school students at Columbine and elementary school students in Newtown, and kids on street corners in Chicago on too frequent a basis to tolerate, and all the families who’d never imagined that they’d lose a loved one to a bullet—those rights are at stake.”
Tags: Gun Control, President Obama, Revel World Revel Life, The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, The Vision
Veteran’s Day is Sunday. I look forward to a day when we raise no army and wage no war, but until then, let’s honor the brave men and women who do a difficult and often thankless job in times of peace and war. My uncle Jack was in the military. He served his country until the time of his death, under mysterious circumstances, when his body was sucked out of a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean.
Tags: Calling, Revel World Revel Life, Service, The American Experiment, The Vision, Veteran's Day
Over here at my house (and at the home of the friends whom we celebrated with last night), we are dancing in the streets. I expected President Obama would be re-elected (just as I suspected he’d be elected the history-making first go-round), but there’s nothing like having the bird actually in hand. There was a lot at stake in this year’s election, and though I can generally respect opinions from all sides of the political spectrum, in recent years, the far right has led the Republican party off the solid path of things I don’t agree with but respect, into the wilderness of things that simply have no factual basis and must be rejected out of hand — such as the idea that Creationism is a science, that a woman who gets pregnant can’t have been raped, or Mr. Ryan’s idea that religion should shape policy — an idea expressly rejected by the way by, oh, I don’t know, the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
Tags: Barack Obama, Election Results, President Obama, Second Term