Saturday, December 31, 2011


So it is the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012.  Much has been said about the coming year and humanity’s theoretical demise, most of which has been based on the Mayan calendar. Have we given up on humanity? Is that why there is such an almost fervent wish in some quarters to have it end?  I wonder what you think of the idea that the world will end in 2012 according to some and be forever altered according to others. Actually that is just a sneaky way to lead into what I think.

We are the stewards of our earth and it is our responsibility to be here. While our world does not need to end, there is so much in our world that does need to change:  Poverty, excessive materialism, lack of compassion to the ordinary human condition, lack of interest in honoring our planet, misplaced spiritual values, inadequate food-shelter-medical care for many humans to name just a few. These are problems we have created as human beings through greed, apathy and ignorance of spiritual laws. Therefore these problems are ours to change. I do believe that it is our destiny to create a new and better world. I believe that we have the capacity to do so and in fact we will make those changes. We must!

Margaret Meade, a highly respected American cultural anthropologist, spent her life studying civilizations including ours. Her studies led her firmly to the following conclusion and I quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

The important thing to understand is that we have the power to make these changes.  Slowly but surely, we can take responsibility and charge for the way our world is. If, as Margaret Meade stated, the only thing that has ever changed the world is small groups of citizens, then we must begin.  What is holding us back?  Is it an overwhelming fear, a sense of powerlessness, even confusion about what needs to be done?  We need to break those patterns. At the very heart of being human lies the power to succeed.

I think we do know what is wrong and what needs fixing. We must act, each of us in our own way. We must stop looking at others and sincerely ask ourselves:  Am I part of the problem or am I part of the solution?  Be truly honest in your appraisal of yourself, and from that honesty will slowly come the recognition that just as each of us have been a part of the problem, each of us can be a part of the solution. We have the power to effect change and we will do that.  Why?  Because we are human beings and the capacity to effect change for the good is our birthright.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Village of 100 people

I read this some time back and it has a way of putting things in perspective. I regret I can not name the source.

                                         A Village of 100 People
If we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following.
There would be:
  • 57 Asians
  • 21 Europeans
  • 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
  • 8 Africans
  • 52 would be female
  • 48 would be male
  • 70 would be non-white
  • 30 would be white
  • 70 would be non-Christian
  • 30 would be Christian
  • 89 would be heterosexual
  • 11 would be homosexual
  • 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world's wealth and all 6 would
  • be from the United States.
  • 80 would live in substandard housing
  • 70 would be unable to read
  • 50 would suffer from malnutrition
  • 1 would be near death; 1 would be near birth
  • 1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education and 1 would own a computer
When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for both acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.
The following is also something to ponder... If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or wrath... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world, about 60% of the world population.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married... you are very rare, even in the United States and Canada.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
We're a fortunate group of people...


Monday, December 19, 2011

We The People

Vaclav Havel, a poet, playright, politician and human rights advocate  died a few days ago. He was a brilliant man who led Czechoslovakia out of communism and in to their multiparty democracy now known as The Czech Republic. Why should we care?  Because he understood things about human nature that have a deep impact on our quality of life. I first learned of him when I read his following quote:

“By nailing a man’s whole attention to the floor of his mere consumer interests, it is hoped to render him incapable of appreciating the ever-increasing degree of his spiritual, political, and moral degradation.”  Slowly but surely the degradation he spoke of has come upon our country as we have sought out bigger and better two door refrigerators, more expensive sneakers, and vacations just a little bit better than our neighbors. One only needs to see or read the daily news to find the moral degradation and the spiritual bankruptcy that is upon us.

The good thing about bankruptcy is that you get a chance for a fresh start. I believe that what we really want are basic human rights for all. Shelter, food, medical care, clean water and air to breath  are all natural human rights.  Still the most precious human right is the right to think and choose.  We must stand up and make clear to our leaders what it is we want and will have. After turning ourselves around, we can lead the rest of the world in right human relations. WE, THE PEOPLE, have the power. We must wake up now. This is our hour!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.