Our call for the next 1000 years is to learn to place our common good first. We should focus more on what we share – our common humanity – that part of our spiritual persona we all carry. We need to place our context, all our instincts, our divisions secondary behind what we share. It is only then can we reshape our world, starting with the smallest of all factions-the self, and moving up through community, province, nation and world.
When we think of ourselves, we try to define ourselves by association. We’re a member of a certain race, or ethnic group or religion, or nationality, or club, or small community, and on and on. We are all those things, but we don’t yet think of ourselves first and foremost as human. We see ourselves as factions of the whole rather than the whole. Our physical structures support and perpetuate this thinking. We build walls around our property, we erect political borders and districts of all kinds and post guards, we divide ourselves in every way possible. Then we expend countless amounts of energy categorizing the differences between those groupings.
In older eras when we were divided by seas, distances etc. it was easy to think in terms of only our smaller faction. Prior to the 16th century people did not understand the true population of the globe or the many different places we inhabited. Even into the last century, communication could take weeks to circle the globe, and then it was only one way communication. We can’t blame ourselves for thinking fractionally in the past, but now we need to know better.
We now, in the last generation, see for the first time the true picture from outer space of the planet we are riding on and how we all share so much. Extrapolate this idea to the larger human context, and we may see clearly how easily we can overlook what is good and best for us all by thinking only of what is good for this one smaller faction.
We will remain different. Lines will continue to exist. What we allow those lines to do in our lives will determine our success in our role as the Noah species.
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