What does a positive world future require?

earth12My friend Hank Stone is collecting one-page answers to the question:

WHAT DOES A POSITIVE WORLD FUTURE REQUIRE?

I offer my web log as a place to post these One Pages.

Submit your One Pages as comments, and I’ll promote  the comments to inclusion on the page.   Please, no profanity, vulgarity, hate speech or libel.

We now have 11 One Pages.  The latest one was added March 12, 2013,

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[Feb. 3, 2013]

A POSITIVE WORLD FUTURE REQUIRES VISION, STORY AND PATH

Vision:

3114A world peace system based on democracy, justice and freedom gives sustainable prosperity.  Technology provides clean air and water, and enhances long-term life.  Both economy and democracy serve humanity.

We are friendly people, loving parents and engaged citizens.  We have satisfying work, healthy food, adequate housing and a doctor when we need one.

Oceans teem with life.  We enjoy the wonder of diverse humankind cooperating to improve global happiness and increase health, vitality, goodness and beauty.

Story:

This vision may sound foolish, because it is inconsistent with the old story of endless growth, and institutions based on that story.  “Experts,” decision makers, the media and most people agree there is no alternative to the status quo.  But they are wrong!

A New Story is required, on which new institutions will rest.  In the New Story, people accept their membership in the human family (and the family of life on Earth) and their stewardship of Spaceship Earth.  The New Story is cooperative; our positive future requires cooperation.

Path:

We don’t oppose the status quo, but create the New Story.  We can have the New Story and new institutions for our positive future, because we get to choose the stories we believe.

An idea whose time has come is especially powerful in the Internet Age because very large numbers of people can change their minds at once.  New ideas, presented well, can literally circle the world overnight.

Scientists agree that tinkering with fossil fuel usage will not save the climate.  Bank and corporate controlled government has been tried and has failed.  Every empire has failed.  Exactly when decision makers desperately cling to the status quo, people are withdrawing support from the ways of the past that have brought us greed, ignorance, waste and war.  People are discovering their personal power to choose the future, and the New Story is gaining support.

Our role is to nurture and refine the New Story, to address the needs of the future in a generous, open-minded way, weighting old and new possibilities, considering differing needs and viewpoints.  It must feel right to people of good will, it must be inspiring, uplifting and beautiful.

The scale of the Universe is vast, and our Earth occupies just one tiny corner.  But from Earth we see the unfolding over billions of years of increasingly complex life, including our lives.  We show respect for the investment made in us, and honor our long ancestry, by creating a sustainable, just and peaceful world.

==Hank Stone

hstone@rochester.rr.com

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[Feb. 3, 2013]

What does a positive world future require?  What does it look like?

Image converted using ifftoanyIt is, for me, a world in which we respect the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happines—regardless of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, species, level of intelligence, politics or stage in development.  It is a world of tolerance and respect for difference in peoples, religions and species.  It is a place where we still feel awed by the miracle of nature.  It is a place where education is valued for its own sake.

So it requires: Peace, tolerance, humility, justice and sustainability.

Love, tolerance and empathy—New values, a new culture

We have to ensure that cooperation, gentleness and, above all, empathy are taught and encouraged so that these traits receive the same reputation and prestige as egotism and greed do now.  Empathy is the 6th sense and unless we can feel we will not truly be able to put the needs of others above our own wants.

We will need a different type of hero and heroine.  As long as our role models are ruthless and greedy, as long as they carry guns, shoot people and treat nature with contempt, as long as physical strength carries more ‘street cred’ than mental or moral strength, we will not offer reputation and prestige to the gentle.

The world needs to set up a body whose job it will be to agree a shared educational truth (on evolution, global warming, history, etc.) so that we can have an international agreement which will include the basic fostering of this new culture in all national curriculums.

The co-operation of theologians

We cannot expect to endorse a universal respect for both genders or for nature or other species when some of us believe in ‘domination’.  If we believe, as most of us do, that this beautiful miracle of life is not ours to destroy, then we will have to find a way to rewrite some of the religious laws of old which allow, and approve destruction, war, overpopulation and discrimination.

We need to immediately set up a forum at the UN with the respected elders of all the major religions to seek common ground and a way forward.

Small is beautiful

We need international ‘site to sell here’ laws for global companies and fair trade laws for global exporters.  Tax laws should encourage small, family or cooperative business and we need to invest in sustainable ways to earn our livings—farming, education, law, medicine, clean energy, police and fire protection, etc. etc.  Rather than sacrifice values for the sake of unsustainable work, we may need to reduce working hours, share available work.  And we will need to eat and work locally and accept that we cannot travel at the expense of the planet.  But in so doing, we can put work and family back within people’s own control and bring an end to the awful injustice of wage slaves.

International regulation is required for banking reform, with speculation on food prohibited and interest replaced by administration fees.  Banks should exist to serve the people, not the other way about.

Share the world

We need international laws on ecocide, taxation and social justice.  We need basic welfare in all states and an acceptance that the rights to food, water, housing and security are human rights.  And we need open borders.  The world’s people should be free to travel the world.  Because only when they are, will we be free of the old tribalism, racism, them-and-us, that have blighted our history.

We need internationally recognized and protected global commons and a jury for future generations, restorative justice and polluter-pays policies.  And we need an international ban on the manufacture and sale of arms.

We need national and international juries whose sole purpose is to scrutinize proposed laws to ensure they protect the rights of future generations and are inclusive of the aims of sustainability, justice and peace.

Countries who house global commons (the Arctic, the Amazon, the Boreal are just a few examples) must be paid by a global fund to preserve them rather than exploit them.  Global funding, paid for by taxation, rather than aid, would ensure that children do not starve in one part of the world while consumerism takes away a sense of value in other parts.  Each country would give and take according to their means.

World Federal Government

All of this requires, at the very least, a global commitment to international regulation with the resulting partial loss of sovereignty.  We need for all countries to be included: our new world requires a cessation of criticism of different politics, life styles, religions, human rights and levels of tolerance.  No country has a perfect record and we all are at different stages of development.  We are included by virtue of the fact that we reside on this earth and our actions either protect or destroy it.

==Liz

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earth-from-space[Feb. 3, 2013]

If the human species and “civilization” as we know it are to survive into another century, a global government is an absolutely necessary component.  Without global government, nations will continue to waste resources of all kinds of futile wars, preparation for wars, or competition with other nations.  Violence and confrontation lead to escalating violence and confrontation.

If the human species and “civilization” as we know it are to survive into another century we must develop a long term sustainable relationship with our earth home which, even acknowledging human ingenuity, is a cornucopia with limitations.

If the human species and “civilization” as we know it are to survive into another century, the “energy disconnect” must be resolved toward dependence on sustainable sources, which may also have limits.  Civilization as we know it depends deeply on energy use, but the continuing use of exhaustible fossil fuels, in whatever form or current supply, exacerbates our survival problems.

If the human species and “civilization” as we know it are to survive into another century, it is essential that efforts focus on education to overcome brainwashing in its many manifestations, to eliminate poverty and overpopulation, to turn people from individualistic greed toward concern for the health of large and small communities, and energy research to develop long term sustainable sources.

==Dave Christensen

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[Feb. 3, 2013]

earth-from-space-1What does a positive world future require?

Expanding our awareness/consciousness, so that we “get” that everything is connected to everything.  There is no such thing as a separate individual or even a thing.  We are all “interbeing,” as Thich Nhat Hanh says.

Raising our primary relational motivation from competition to cooperation, as we discover that it is intrinsically more satisfying, productive, and life-sustaining.

Shifting our operating value from “looking out for #1″ to looking out for the good of the whole–and understanding how all-inclusive “the whole” is, and that it includes the future as well as the present.

Seeing the function of our economy as serving us (humanity), rather than reducing the function of humans to enhancing/expanding the economy (e.g. as “human resources,” “producers,” “consumers,” etc.)

I think if these were in play, everything we need for a sustainable future would follow.

Some human cultures have operated successfully and sustainable with these values–until our “advanced” society plundered, exploited or “assimilated” them. The challenge now is for our moral/spiritual sophistication to catch up to our technological sophistication, so that our technology is really enhancing life long-term.

David Inglis
PastorDave@henriettaucc.org

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[March 7, 2013]

The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17We simply need to remind ourselves that we all are separated as the rays of sun on earth but also, like the rays of sun, we all have come from a common Source. Therefore, the time has come that our vision be like a lens and gather the millions of scattered rays of positive world future from around the world to illumine this darkened earth.

I envision a positive world future journey must start with a World Unity Day:

One day without violence, division, conflict, or partisanship,
One day of universal forgiveness and transcendence,
One day where we can identify the critical problems facing the world,
One day of cooperatively creating a plan how to solve these critical problems,
One day of association, appreciation, and celebration…

Then the one day of unity may become two days of unity and two days of unity may become three days of unity. With this simple act of awakening, we may be able to gradually change the world towards more civility, humility, amiability, and unity.

First, we must realize the old ways of doing things will be unsustainable, costly, wasteful, and unjust. Second, we need a collective unifying vision to bind us together to build the foundation of a positive world future for the well being of all. Third, we must recognize that this foundation must be based on universal law, education, love, ethics, and ideal values instead of sin, salvation, hell, and heaven.

Furthermore, the foundation for a positive world future for well-being of the planet and all her inhabitants must be based on improving the quality of this life instead of the afterlife, creating heaven on earth instead of hell, inward revolution instead of outward revolution, universal virtuous actions instead of words, cooperation instead of competition, helping others instead of hurting others, peace instead of war, justice instead of injustice, equality instead inequality…

And finally this foundation must be based on the principle of oneness—that we are all rays of one invisible Sun, expressions of one Spirit, members of one race, citizens of one planet, share one future  and the roots of our oneness must be celebrated in the beauty and power of our diversity.

Hooshmand Kalayeh

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[Feb. 4, 2013]

OUR CHALLENGE IS NOT TO SAVE CIVILIZATION
BUT TO SAVE THE EARTH FROM CIVILIZATION

Gene Marshall
RealisticLiving.org

30412Saving the Earth includes saving humanity as a vital and illuminating part of the Earth.  Our challenge is to fashion a humanity that is a viable part of the Earth – a humanity that knows itself as Earthlings and that takes responsibility for Earth neighborhoods, Earth regions, Earth continents, Earth atmosphere, Earth climate, Earth waters, Earth life forms, Earth minerals.

Our challenge is also to save humanity from civilization, to understand that civilization has become a rogue form of social organization.  Civilization has had its virtues and contributed gifts to our lives that we need not renounce, but the hour of civilization’s passing has come; its time of service is over.  We are challenged to dismantle civilization and to fashion a post-civilization that ends the oppression of the wealth owners over the common people, that ends the oppression of the highly-developed places over the less-developed places, that ends the oppression of human society over the natural planet.  This does not mean a return to pre-civilization: it means the building of a planet-wide consensus for a new form of social organization, one that is not topdown or pyramidal in its structure, but middle out, horizontal in equity and honor and cooperation.

A fully operative form of democracy lived by well-informed citizens will be required. This means a decentralization of social power to neighborhoods and regions, but it does not mean an absence of coercive force in our social organizations.  We the citizenry must assemble social power at every scope of social organization – social power that can assure appropriate service from corporations, cooperatives, and businesses of every sort. No longer can we allow huge banks and companies to run our lives and ruin our planet.  Through democratic institutions we must take charge of our lives.

Citizens must lead, not simply follow whatever electoral and governing institutions we establish. Citizens must realize that the actions of electoral politics are always a decade or so behind the edge of the historical drama, that minorities of citizens using nonviolent noncooperative methods of educating the public and pushing change will always be needed as part of the mix of care for the planet and humanity.

Our systems of energy sourcing and distribution are the foremost crisis we face.   Fossil-fuel burning must be promptly phased out and solar and wind generation quickly established along with an infrastructure of energy delivery through electricity and hydrogen connectors that cover everything from internet empowerment to electrified ground transportation to liquid-hydrogen jet planes  Ending fossil-fuel burning need not mean a return to the stone age, but it does mean a huge transformation and a period of transition that can wait no longer.   Tar-sands oil and coal are not needed for the transition.  “Moratorium” is the word here.  Oil and natural gas will be needed during the transition, but the oil and gas industries will have to be sternly disciplined, for their business plans include destroying all hope for a viable future.  The established energy companies are rogue organizations whose lying greed is far more vicious than the tobacco companies we the citizens took on earlier.

Citizen education also rises to the top of our social-change strategies.  Oil, gas, and coal companies and other wealth-addicted top-feeders are willing to spend hundreds of millions of monetary units to miseducate the citizens they falsely claim to serve.  So citizen education must be done by the awake and awakening portion of humanity, those persons who see the challenges and are learning how to meet them.  Citizen education has to do with assembling wisdom and consensus building and also power to overcome the current establishments of power. And these “citizens who care” will need to care for one another and put in place the structure of care that will be foundational in the post-civilized world being built.  A deeper more profound humanity is necessary for a viable and flourishing human presence and a life-enhancing planet.

Gene Marshall is a coauthor of a book entitled The Road from Empire to Eco-Democracy.  It is published with iUniverse in cooperation with Berrett-Koehler’s Open Book Editions program.  You can order it from iUniverse or Amazon in both e-book and paperback forms.

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[Feb. 4, 2013]

WHAT DOES A POSITIVE WORLD FUTURE REQUIRE?
10367797-the-planet-earth-from-space1. On a practical level, a positive world future requires intense and unprecedented global cooperation to solve global problems.
2. Therefore this implies a high level of trust so that the necessary cooperation mechanisms work, efficiently and fast enough that we can solve the problems before they overwhelm us.
2.1  In a complex world with many problems and conflicting interests and cultures, such a level of trust cannot be maintained in an ad hoc way or without strong mechanisms.
2.2  In effect, we need to negotiate a “global social contract” between ourselves, inhabitants of the planet.
2.3  Such a global social contract requires on the one hand a written component, and on the other, a psychological component.
3.  Therefore trust on a global level requires 2 elements at least that make up that global social contract:
3.1 – First, a sense of a common identity, which can only [?] be created, as has always been done in history, by a shared narrative expressed in a “global creation myth” just as national identitities emerges as a consequence of national creation myths
3.1.1 The global creation myth that will “birth” Humanity as a deep notion for all citizens of the world itself must be based on elements that are incontrovertibly true but which also equate to powerful and moving emotional statements, these are:
3.1.1.1  – We are all members of one family  =   we are all members of one human species
3.1.1.2  – We all share the same home  =  we all share the same planet (aka spaceship Earth; the image of a boat on the sea of space can be used, everyone in the world understands the metaphor of a boat and gets it in their guts that everyone on a boat must cooperate to survive)
3.2  – Second, common rules, these shall be provided by a basic legal document, in effect a world constitution.
3.2.1  These rules shall be based on two fundamental principles which are at the same time moral, philosophical and political ones and which are given and cannot be proven:
3.2.2  – That all humans share the same dignity (a short version of article 1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the Declaration of Independence: “We find these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…”).
3.2.3  – That political sovereignty belongs to the people (the fundamental principle of the American and French revolutions).
4.  Our top priority first order of business should therefore be to spread the above statements and get a critical mass of supporters to implement them in the real world.

Troy Davis

troydavis@post.Harvard.edu

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[Feb. 4, 2013]

What Does A Positive World Future Require? George Aberle

EarthFromSpaceIn order to address the problems of the current world, we need to find the largest perspective that it is possible for humans to use.  The whole world, the universe, the universes, what?  There is a larger perspective and it is essential.  We have called it by many names:  ultimate reality, all that is, the great void, consciousness, universal oneness, non duality or all the names for god in our many religions and  languages, and the most commonly used word, God.  I’ll just use God, a simple three letter word.

We live in the physical world and we have learned a great deal about it.  But learning about this world is like living in one room of a house and never visiting the other rooms, yet attempting to know the whole house from a careful exploration of the room we’re in.  When we do this, we leave out most of the house.

Every day of our lives we live briefly or longer in three rooms of “our house”.  We know much about the physical, waking room, many of us think that it is all there is.  Yet every day (unless we stay up all night) we also visit the dream state and deep sleep, the other two rooms of the house.  Deep sleep is in fact the whole house and contains the other two.  We can explore the other two rooms, beside the physical, any time we want to and often do, however briefly.  We study our dreams and awake imagery and often learn things from them.  Some of us meditate and come upon the deep sleep or, what is usually called, the spiritual state.  Beside meditation people have had near death experiences or out of body experiences and thus encountered experiences beyond the physical.  In any case, we are there every time we sleep for a significant amount of time but we ignore this, we call it “just being asleep.”

In the spiritual “room” we can, if we wish, meet God, in fact it is where God is in each of us.  Not  in our body, of course, or even our mind but yet easily accessible to us, if we wish.  If we wish, we can experience Who God Is.  Contrary to what all of our religions (except for the mystics) usually tell us, God is completely, unconditionally loving to every human being who has ever lived, is now living, or will ever live.  God has no agenda for us to fulfill in order to be loved by God.  God judges no one, rejects no one, punishes no one.  God created us perfect since God’s only model was God’s self.  God is perfectly free.  We are perfectly loving and perfectly free.  We decided, or some of us did, to experiment with our freedom.  At first we could find our way back with little trouble.  But as we continued experimentation we got to our present global conflicts.  We can, at any time, return to God, but only if we really want to do so.  As long as we’re satisfied with being here, we will stay here.

We can know God and have God’s help and support with any problem that we seem to have any time we really want it.  However, God is completely committed to our freedom and will never force God, God’s love, or anything else on us, ever.  Of course, we have to believe that God is God in order to experience God.  You can’t experience anyone or anything if you don’t believe it exists.

In order to change the world in which we live, we must change ourselves.  To experience love we have to be loving, which we are naturally, when we haven’t forgotten how to be, or we remember how to be  again.  We were created peaceful and can remember that peacefulness and live in it, if we wish.

Above all, God is one, everything, I am God you are God, everything is God, there is nothing else but 
God.  We created the  physical world (which is still part of God) to try to escape God, but in the end it will not work and all will eventually return to perfection, because we will choose it so.

How do you know whether or not any of this is true?  If you wish to find out, sit quietly and listen to your heart as you read these words and see what your heart tells you.

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[Feb. 3, 2013]

In my opinion, a positive world future requires the following:

1. earth-from-space-westernA means by which the people of the world can hold the economic and political elites accountable for their actions.

2. Institutions that are open to reality checks and course corrections.

3. Recognition of the fact that the best people to make decisions are usually those who are affected by the decisions—as expressed in the saying “a fool can put on his coat better than a wise man can do it for him.”

4. Acceptance of the principle of subsidiarity, which means decisions should be made on the most basic level—ideally by the individual, small community or voluntary association.

5. Organizations of world governance that, unlike the IMF and WTO, set standards aimed at raising health, environmental, quality and labor standards, rather than protecting economic enterprises from regulation.

6. Respect for religious and cultural values combined with a respect for scientific fact.

7. A recognition by the people of the world that being of a different face, religion or culture does not make you an enemy.

8. Use of violence and killing as a last resort, not as a first resort.

==Phil Ebersole

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This is the start of a new series of One Pages on Radical Humility

[March 12, 2013]

RADICAL HUMILITY

earth-from-space-artThe Universe is vast, and our Earth is small.  But from Earth we see the unfolding over billions of years of increasingly complex life, including our lives.  A wonderfully patient process has brought us to the present moment.

I believe cooperating with this process will bring us a wonderful future:

A world peace system based on democracy, justice, and freedom, with sustainable prosperity.  Technology protecting clean air and water, and enhancing long-term life.  Both economy and government serving humanity.

Friendly people, loving parents and engaged citizens. Satisfying work, healthy food, adequate housing, and a doctor when we need one.

Oceans teeming with life.  Enjoyment of diverse humankind cooperating to increase global happiness, health, vitality, goodness, and beauty.

But arrogant stories society has told itself have brought us to climate change, corporate-controlled government, unsustainably high population, and unsustainable economics.  We have built doomsday weapons.

Our teachers, corporations, religions, governments, media, friends, and families have told self-congratulatory stories about our exceptionalism.  But they, and we, were wrong.

To reclaim our positive future, we must set aside the comforting certainties we grew up with, and observe the world around us with innocent eyes.  We must create, together, a New Story for our times. We must practice RADICAL HUMILITY to realign ourselves with the Universal process:

•    Because we can “know” things that are not true, we must respect reason and the scientific method of observation and testable hypotheses.
•    Because honest people can disagree, we must dialogue with people with differing ideas to find the truth.
•    Because there are limits to what we can know, we must tolerate ambiguity.
•    Because we share one Earth, we must cooperate with individuals, groups, humankind, and nature.

The Internet has made us all nodes in the web of the world.   An idea whose time has come can circle the world overnight.

We can have a New Story, and new institutions for our positive future, because we get to choose the stories we believe.

We honor the investment the Universe has made in us when we humbly try to create a sustainable, just, and peaceful world.

By: Hank Stone
hstone@rochester.rr.com

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