Killing Our Fellow Humans

killing_our_fellow_humans

Three Guys At The Café

G1: “You’re sayin’ it’s America’s fault?”

G2: “Sure. Who uses the most stuff that ends up in the atmosphere?”

G1: “What about China?”

G3: “Yeah, they beat the Americans by a billion miles!”

G2: “But America’s tryin’ to spread its life-style all over the world—tryin’ to make everybody into gross consumers.”

G3: “But China’s makin’ the most babies…”

{A Gal Walks Up… }

Gal: “Whachu guys talkin’ ’bout?”

G1: “Who’s puttin’ the most shit in the atmosphere.”

Gal: “That’s easy, it’s the rich guys in power.”

G2: “But which  rich guys?”

Gal: “Don’t matter what country, if they got the power they’re gonna trash things for the rest of us…”

~~~~~~~~~

That imaginary scene certainly isn’t deep or precise or particularly wise, but one thing’s for sure—those in power aren’t doing anywhere near enough to save our human family from critical disaster.

And, It’s not China or the Americans; it’s the people in power in those countries. The rest of us, all over the world, are reaping the dark fallout from their lack of wisdom.

“So, Alex, you seem to be saying the rich/powerful leaders are killing humanity?”

Pretty much, yes.

A case in point:

From SciDev.Net: Sea level rise ‘will surpass worst-case scenario’ “A sea level rise of one metre or more is predicted to have a devastating effect on major coastal cities, island states and populous delta areas such as those in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

“A panel of experts speaking yesterday (10 March) at the International Scientific Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, warned that without efforts to curb the rise of greenhouse gas emissions, sea level rise would expose most parts of the world to greater storm surges — increases in local sea level caused by the winds of storms — threatening lives and infrastructure.”

I can imagine one of those guys in the café saying: “So a bunch of poor beggars get a little wet, so what?”

Sorry guy, it’s not just a bunch of poor beggars getting a little wet; it’s millions of our fellow humans suffering and dying because a certain class of humans are addicted to a life-style that harms Mother Nature and makes Her lash out in pain and rage.

I may be attacked for saying this, but the attitude that unlimited freedom leads to prosperity has been clearly proven to be false. The affluent bubble has needles of crisis poking it all over…

From the Climate Change Policy Advisor at Oxfam : Sea level rise spells increased likelihood of disaster for the world’s poorest people “These startling new predictions on sea level rise spell disaster for millions of the world’s poorest people. Poor coastal communities in countries such as Bangladesh are already struggling to cope with a changing climate and it can only get worse. This must be a wake-up call for rich countries are not doing anywhere near enough to prevent these cataclysmic predictions becoming a reality. Rich countries, who created the climate crisis, must cut their emissions from 1990 levels by at least 40 percent by 2020 and provide the $50 billion that is the minimum needed each year to help the world’s poorest people adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.”
famly-roof
Your home may not look like the one in that image but if the kind of home it is makes you not care what’s happening to the people who live there, you need to examine your conscience, make it face reality, and find some form of compassion for the struggling and innocent members of our Human Family…

Spiritual Quote:

“He must not consider divergence of races nor difference of nationalities; he must not view variation in denomination and creed, nor should he take into account the differing degrees of thoughts; nay, rather, he should look upon all as mankind and realize that all must become united and agreed. He must recognize all as one family, one race, one native land; he must see all as the servants of one God, dwelling beneath the shelter of His mercy.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Promulgation of Universal Peace

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Why Do Religions Fight Each Other ?

fighting_religions

Uh… Isn’t religion about peace and love? Why would people of different religions fight? Could it be their “religion” is an imitation; dogma without substance?

From Dong-A Ilbo: No Religious Harmony, No National Unity

From Commentary Magazine: How to Manage Savagery

From Forum 18: RUSSIA: Religious dispute fuels state oppression of Kabardino-Balkaria Muslims

From the Kurdish Globe: The interfaith dialogue in Kurdistan

My personal belief is we were created to love, fashioned for compassion.

When we dip our spiritual wings in the muck of materialism, we find it hard to fly. If we do that often enough, we start believing we weren’t made to fly, we cannot soar, and we must fight to maintain our little plot of dirt…

If there is truly one God and if God’s Messengers speak the same language, we must, somehow, breach the walls of exclusivism, reach out to fellow folk on the spiritual path, and embrace the diversity that lives within Unity.

Here’s a short video about Compassion.

“The ignorant must be taught, the sick healed, the sleepers awakened. The child must not be oppressed or censured because it is undeveloped; it must be patiently trained. The sick must not be neglected because they are ailing; nay, rather, we must have compassion upon them and bring them healing. Briefly; the old conditions of animosity, bigotry and hatred between the religious systems must be dispelled and the new conditions of love, agreement and spiritual brotherhood be established among them.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 239

“The challenge facing the religious leaders of mankind is this: to contemplate, with hearts filled with the spirit of compassion and a desire for truth, the plight of humanity, and to ask themselves whether they cannot, in humility before their Almighty Creator, submerge their theological differences in a great spirit of mutual forbearance that will enable them to work together for the advancement of human understanding and peace.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1989 Mar 02, Promoting Religious Tolerance

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How Hungry Are *You* ?

Cartoons can be brutal in their portrayals yet nowhere near as brutal as the facts.

Who’s starving?
Who’s well-fed and determined to stay that way, whatever the price?
Who deserves to starve?
Who’s working to stop the inequities?

From Reuters: Biofuels major driver of food price rise: World Bank “Large increases in biofuels production in the United States and Europe are the main reason behind the steep rise in global food prices, a top World Bank economist said in research published on Monday.”

From OneWorld.Net: Trade Negotiations Cannot Solve Food Crisis Created by WTO and World Bank “Trade negotiators are using the current food crisis as a Trojan Horse at the WTO negotiations to push an agribusiness agenda on farmers and rural communities around the world,” stated Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “Agriculture should be removed from WTO negotiations until international leaders fully examine the impact on developing countries’ ability to feed themselves.”

Hmmm…
The World Bank states one of the major problems then persists in striving toward a non-solution.

Why are people so subjugated they can’t raise their own food? Why do the multinationals work so hard to deny human rights?

Let’s see . . . Couldn’t be massive greed, could it?

It took me most of 40 years to get the idea that we are One from my head to my heart. During that time, I committed actions that benefited me and ignored my brothers and sisters in our global family.

My head said I deserved what I could grab. I’d suffered and needed those material things to comfort me . . .

Now my heart aches with bleeding feelings that stun my sensibilities. The world’s in the clutches of the temporally powerful. Temporal because the Spirit of humanity will survive and the materialistic “rulers” will turn to dust and be forgotten.

This post and its implications are so grief-ridden I’m reduced to a state of utter hope—hope that my grandchild’s children will see better days.

What’s your estimate of when things will turn from greed to compassion?

~~~~~~~~~

“Good God! Is it possible that, seeing one of his fellow-creatures starving, destitute of everything, a man can rest and live comfortably in his luxurious mansion? He who meets another in the greatest misery, can he enjoy his fortune? That is why, in the Religion of God, it is prescribed and established that wealthy men each year give over a certain part of their fortune for the maintenance of the poor and unfortunate. That is the foundation of the Religion of God and is binding upon all.
“And as man in this way is not forced nor obliged by the government, but is by the natural tendency of his good heart voluntarily and radiantly showing benevolence toward the poor, such a deed is much praised, approved and pleasing.
“Such is the meaning of the good works in the Divine Books and Tablets.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 276

“Unfortunately, the arbiters of human affairs have, instead of embracing the concept of the oneness of mankind and promoting the increase of concord among different peoples, tended to deify the State, to subordinate the rest of mankind to one nation, race or class, to attempt to suppress all discussion and interchange of ideas, or callously to abandon starving millions to the operations of a market system that all too clearly is aggravating the plight of the majority of mankind, while enabling small sections to live in an unprecedented condition of affluence.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1989 Feb 09, Right to Development

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Our Responsibility to Society

map of archetypes

image credit

Don’t let that image fool ya. This post is about our riotous internal lives, not some bone dry realm of abstract psychology.

Even though my highest allegiance is to my Faith, I have studied quite a bit of psychology. I found my most impressive psychologist while I was studying Tarot, Astrology and the I ChingCarl G. Jung.

You can inhale the fragrance of a “Jungian” view of your personality from the site below (this is a simple test but seems to be playing in the right ballpark). Here’s my own result:

INFP – “Questor”. High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.

Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Basically, according to Jung and his theories of the unconscious, there’s a whole zoo of characters beyond our innocent faces. And, the Major task of life is to integrate this menagerie into a Self…

In a previous post, I pointed toward an important paper about treating our own internal realm as a “community”, an approach that lets us be kinder and more compassionate toward unregenerate aspects of our Whole Self.

So, what I’ve been trying to approach in this rather rambling post is an attitude toward our own internal self that lets us relate to others authentically. In the highest sense, we can talk about progressive stages of identifying our “self” to larger and more complex levels of “organization”–an ascending spiral of blossoming compassion.

Every imperfect soul is self-centred and thinketh only of his own good. But as his thoughts expand a little he will begin to think of the welfare and comfort of his family. If his ideas still more widen, his concern will be the felicity of his fellow citizens; and if still they widen, he will be thinking of the glory of his land and of his race. But when ideas and views reach the utmost degree of expansion and attain the stage of perfection, then will he be interested in the exaltation of humankind. He will then be the well-wisher of all men and the seeker of the weal and prosperity of all lands. This is indicative of perfection.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 68

Happy Pangea Day !!!

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Media Guide

Pangea Day’s History

In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim won the TED Prize, an annual award granted at the TED Conference, which honors three individuals with the potential to change the world. She was granted $100,000 and — more important — a wish to change the world. She wished to create a day in which the world came together through film. Pangea Day grew out of that wish. The event has been taken forward by Noujaim, in conjunction with TED and the Pangea Day staff, led by Executive Director Delia Cohen.

Watch Jehane Noujaim’s 2006 acceptance speech for the TED Prize

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s on the program for Pangea Day?

Pangea Day is a 4-hour program of short film, live music and talks. You can find the lineup of films, musicians, and speakers at www.pangeaday.org.

What time is Pangea Day?

The 4-hour program will be broadcast live to the world on May 10, 2008, 18:00 – 22:00 GMT on TV, the Web, and mobile phones and in select digital cinemas. Find your local time here >>

How can people watch Pangea Day?

There are 7 ways to watch the Pangea Day program on May 10, 2008:

  1. At a Friends of Pangea Day event: Watch the program at locally organized Friends of Pangea Day events around the world, from a large Berlin theater to a bedouin camp in the Sahara. Find the full listing of events here >>
  2. On television (local terrestrial or cable network): Broadcasters around the world will carry the live program on May 10, 2008. Find the list of broadcasters here >>
  3. Online: We will be streaming our broadcast online at www.pangeaday.org.
  4. At one of six live broadcast locations: Pangea Day will be broadcast live from Cairo, Kigali, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Rio de Janeiro. Tickets are available to some of these broadcast locations. Find more here >>
  5. Via commercial satellite: We will be beaming our broadcast via broadcast satellite around the world. Some approved venues with commercial downlink capabilities will be able to receive the broadcast this way. (Note: This broadcast cannot be received on home satellite dishes.) Contact info@pangeaday.org for more information.
  6. By mobile phone: Watch selected content from Pangea Day on your phone via Nokia’s new video-sharing site, OVI.com/pangeaday.
  7. In a movie theater: Cinemas around the world will carry the Pangea Day program live in digital projection. A few theaters taking part: Bryn Mawr Film Institute near Philadelphia; Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Cinema Nova in Melbourne, Australia … learn more >>

Who’s involved?

Pangea Day’s advisory board includes film-world luminaries such as producer JJ Abrams (Lost), actor Forest Whitaker, and musician/activist Bob Geldof. See the full list here. Pangea Day’s key global partner is Nokia. Find more about this partnership here >>

How can I contact a local Friends of Pangea Day event in my town?

Use the global event map to find a public Friends of Pangea Day party in your area. Hosts are encouraged to invite and include local press. You can also contact Pangea Day for official comment by emailing info@pangeaday.org.

Where can I download photos and briefing documents?

You can find film stills, photos of speakers, hosts and musicians, regional briefing documents, and much more information on our media resources site. Write to info@pangeaday.org for password access, subject line “Media Request”

“The spiritually learned….”

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.

Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”

Pamela Vaull Starr

I mentioned in a previous post that I’m a confirmed Space Cadet. The Dark Mother of the sky is rich in mystery, wonder, and (importantly) inspiration !

I’ve written a book (free download here) that sets out my opinions on the sky as life-inspiration . . .

Primitive peoples placed (or, discovered ?) their gods in the sky.

Modern people speculate about life on other worlds.

That title up there, “The spiritually learned….”, means, to me, the folks who practice compassion.

Here’s the full quote:

The spiritually learned are lamps of guidance among the nations, and stars of good fortune shining from the horizons of humankind. They are fountains of life for such as lie in the death of ignorance and unawareness, and clear springs of perfections for those who thirst and wander in the wasteland of their defects and errors….They are skilled physicians for the ailing body of the world, they are the sure antidote to the poison that has corrupted human society. It is they who are the strong citadel guarding humanity, and the impregnable sanctuary for the sorely distressed, the anxious and tormented, victims of ignorance.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 33