Creating A World That Works For All
The political and economic system is no longer working for us. Our finite planet cannot support unlimited growth, and the economic system we currently have is based on exploiting and mining the earth's resources as if there was no end. People and species of all kinds are also suffering. We need a new system! So in this section I explore some topics that will help us come to grips with our reality, what a new worldview looks like, and the steps we can take to create that world.
Climate Change or System ChangeJune 2016 Visionary activist and founder of Local Futures argues that the deregulation of trade and finance through an ongoing series of “free trade” treaties – is the driving force behind climate change. As a result, the climate problem can only be tackled effectively if governments stop subsidizing globalization, and begin pursuing a localization agenda instead.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that our current corporate-driven economic model is responsible for much of the destruction being inflicted on both people and the planet. It is up to civil society to lead the debate and keep the pressure on governments to change the system behind not only climate change, but the many other crises we face. Read this excellent analysis about how we need to change our system to create sustainable futures by creating more local economies.
A Real Democracy MovementApril 2016 Early in April there was a march from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. planned by the Democracy Spring campaign, and a convergence of other rallies and demonstrations, April 2-16. Over 700 people were arrested for sitting-in and demanding that our government be for the people and not big money. Frances Moore Lappé, best known for her life-changing book, Diet for a Small Planet, is at the forefront of the movement for creating a true, living democracy. Her main message? "DON'T DESPAIR! DARE!" Check out her website, The Small Planet Institute. And read this article in YES! magazine for a great interview with Lappé. For more reasons for further optimism about taking back our democracy, read her article, "Six Pieces of a Real Democracy Movement We've Never Had Before." Progress is happening all the time to reclaim our democracy. We can all join in.
The Heart of ActivismOctober 2015 Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thich Nhat Hanh are models for peaceful, compassionate, and effective activism. Here are thoughts from two contemporary activists and spiritual leaders.
“Marching without heart is just motion. Speeches without love are just words.”
“[For those wishing to create a better world] there is a dual purpose in our activism: to transform ourselves and to transform the world. The principal tool to produce that change is compassion. Many of us are motivated more by anger at what is wrong than expectant joy at what could be right. We need to try not to act from anger or fear.”
Sharif Abdullah, Creating A World That Works For All:
“One of the reasons I founded the Center for Action and Contemplation twenty-eight years ago was to give activists some grounding in spirituality so they could continue working for social change, but from a stance much different than anger, ideology, or willpower pressing against opposing willpower. . . . Don't operate out of the unconscious, don't begin with a "no," which is the constricted and self-promoting you. When you begin by connecting with your inner experience of communion, your actions can be pure, clear, and firm. This kind of action, rooted in one's True Self, comes from a deeper knowing of what is real, good, true, and beautiful, beyond labels and dualistic judgments of right or wrong. From this place, your energy is positive and has the most potential to create change for the good.”
Fr. Richard Rohr:
TerrorismNovember 2015 Seeking to understand more about ISIS and terrorism, I've read a number of informed and thoughtful articles on this complex and deeply troubling problem. While I still have so many questions, these articles bring perspective and insight that I wanted to share with you.
"Paris Attacks and Climate Change Push Us to Fix a World of Broken Systems," YES!
"Why There is No Such Thing as International Terrorism," by Israeli author, activist and pacifist, Uri Avnery.
"What ISIS Really Wants,", The Atlantic
"Fear and Response After Paris," Tikkun Daily
"Globalization and Terror," Local Futures Blog