Orlando… Dallas… Nice… Baton Rouge… Have You Noticed a Pattern?
IN FOCUS, 25 Jul 2016
Orlando… Dallas… Nice… Baton Rouge… Just when we think we can’t get worked up any more, something even more horrible comes along. Just when we believe we have an understanding of what’s happening, something more insane happens.
Many of us just go numb, or bury our heads in the latest virtual reality “game”, or bury our consciousness in our drug of choice… anything but admit that we live in a society that works for none.
We can’t solve our problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
We read that famous quote, agree with it, then go right back to all of our old analyses, all of our old “causes”. And wonder why nothing changes.
So… HERE is a way to recast our recent atrocities, a way to see them all as part of a larger Pattern of behavior.
IT’S NOT ABOUT… “Gun Control”:
While I believe that the proper control and reduction of our current tsunami of weapons is a very good idea, it will NOT stop the killings, when the perpetrators are willing to use fertilizer, machetes or trucks to carry out their deeds. We need… something else. (Gun control may be a step in the right direction… but ONLY IF we see and articulate all of the steps. Otherwise, it’s just a band-aid.
IT IS ABOUT…The Consciousness of Violence:
The problem is that people believe that violence will solve their problems. Lone gunmen and mad truckers believe that. The police believe that. Insurgents believe that. Suicidal sociopaths believe that. And Presidents and Prime Ministers believe that. Until that consciousness changes, there will be more atrocities… on all sides.
IT’S NOT ABOUT… “The Other”
It is not about racial, or religious, or gender intolerance. It is not about trying to become “safe” by separating ourselves from “The Other”.
IT IS ABOUT… “Exclusivity”
People erroneously believe that their actions are separated from the actions of others. The Prime Minister of France, while deploring the atrocities in Nice, stated in the same breath that France would go on committing atrocities in the Middle East, in the name of defeating ISIS. He does not understand a fundamental truth: VIOLENCE BEGETS VIOLENCE. “My” violence is not “better”, “justified” or “superior” to “your” violence.
THE SHIFT IN CONSCIOUSNESS… to NONVIOLENCE
- Make a deep and personal commitment to nonviolence, in thought, word and deed. (If you are not willing to do this, don’t expect anyone else to be nonviolent with you. And don’t be surprised that there is more violence in the world.)
- Stop supporting violence. Stop direct support: get rid of your handguns, assault weapons, brass knuckles, switchblades… Stop indirect violence: get rid of your stocks and other assets – stop profiting from violence. Get rid of your violent video games… violence is not entertainment.
- Practice Inclusivity. Get the workbook, “Practicing Inclusivity” , to learn how to put the Golden Rule into practice.
- Engage “The Other”. End your own isolation, and help end the isolation of others. Turn off the TV, get out of the house and engage with people who are not like “you”. Find out how very much alike we all are.
A Model of a New Society…
In my latest book, “The Chronicles of the Upheavals” , the characters are confronted with a primary challenge: how do we create security for ourselves and others, when we are committed to nonviolence and our “opponents” are committed to violence and are armed to the teeth?
As it turns out, it’s not that hard! Creating a nonviolent security force is not that difficult – once we let go of our old consciousness and seek out new ways and new systems. (If you are interested in new forms of security, you may want to read the following chapters in “Chronicles” :
“The Food Wagon”
“On a Collection “Jumper” Team”
“Managing the Enemy”
“The New Police”
Orlando… Dallas… Nice… Baton Rouge… In times of adversity, people used to turn to our political leaders for guidance and direction. Not anymore… not in our society. In a world where politicians are just looking for ways to score points, we don’t find much wisdom going around.
So, I’d like to end with the words of someone who was both a political and moral leader for his society: the late Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic. Quoting from his Introduction in “Creating a World That Works for All” :
Perhaps the way out of our current bleak situation could be found by searching for what unites the various religions – a purposeful search for common principles. …what I would call the common spiritual and moral minimum.
Could this be a way to stop the blind perpetual motion dragging us toward hell? … [W]ill it take an unprecedented disaster to provoke this kind of existential revolution – a universal recovery of the human spirit and renewed responsibility for the world?
A consciousness shift. An existential revolution. A revolution to a “World for All”.
Shariff Abdullah, J.D., is a consultant, speaker, author and advocate for societal transformation. His mission is to bring currently dysfunctional systems and structures into alignment with our common human and spiritual values, to create a world that works for all living things. Shariff consults with people and organizations on the leading edge of change, including government agencies, businesses and social service organizations. As Director of Commonway Institute, he has visited over 43 countries and over 100 distinct cultures, giving him a unique perspective on our global human and spiritual issues, and a vision which spans culture and class. His books on leadership and societal change include the award-winning Creating a World That Works for All, and Seven Seeds for a New Society.
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