We are One Planet

If there is one thing to be learned from WWII and the creation of the Atom Bomb, it is the very real capacity of man to destroy this planet.  Today’s nuclearthermo bomb is equivalent to the combined total of all TNT bombs dropped during WWII, or two megatons.  Albert Einstein said he didn’t know what weapons WWIII would be fought with, but that WWIV would be fought with clubs and stones, meaning the very real possibility that the technological advancements of future weapons would possess the real possibility of throwing modern man back into the stone age, if they survived at all.

As frightening as this possibility is, it has also had and is having the positive affect of waking more and more of us up to enlarge our circle of family, friends, tribes and so forth to transcend national, religious and ideological boarders.  Modern social networking technology is making that even easier and more vast.  Through the advent of facebook and twitter, it is now possible to maintain relationships and reach hands out to people of nearly every country of the world.  By expanding our circles to people of other lands that we would otherwise only know about through books or world news, we can begin to dispel myths we may have heard about them and come to find that for the most part, they are very much like us.  Any differences in beliefs or approaches to life that may exist are far outnumbered and outweighed by our commonalities.  More than ever, respect and acceptance of people who are different than yourself is needed if we are to survive as a species, as a planet.  Respect and acceptance doesn’t equate to agreement, but are principles of the Golden Rule to give others what you yourself desire.  As the Dalai Lama has said, “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

In the final episode of the PBS series “Cosmos” (Who Speaks for Earth) by Carl Sagan, he said “The old appeals to racial, sexual and religious chauvinism and to rabid nationalism are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.”

As you contemplate your connectedness and dependence upon the vast resources and lands of planet Earth, consider the profound words of the Stoic Philosopher King (Roman Emperor) Marcus Aurelius: “… We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a citizen of the Universe.”  I invite you to broaden your definition of family and kin to encompass all of planet Earth and the life that has sprung forth from her, to love your neighbor as yourself, and to embrace the tenets of the Golden Rule by respecting and accepting people as they are, though they may follow a different path.  If hypocrisy and bigotry is to come to an end, it must begin within yourself.  You may find that accepting and loving yourself just as your are is key to affording others the same gesture and to transforming your own nature.



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3 Responses to We are One Planet

  1. Jaren says:

    To validate what you have written about technology, please understand we have had people from 20 countries read a single post here on this blog. For some that may be a “oh yah” but it fascinates me. This blog has only been around a couple months and has spread solely through word of mouth (social media). No money at all has been spent on advertising or promotion.

    When Kim and I had our family in Cambodia, we marveled that while we were in a third world; the youth were on the web in internet cafe’s. The world has been flattened through technology, truly.

    I have also written on a personal visit I had with Condoleezza Rice; she stated (after I asked her how we could settle our differences with the Middle East), “If we could take our (USA) families to their country and bring their families here; we would have no disputes. Our differences are only perceived through media bias’ and are unjustified. Both groups of citizenry have a deep appreciation of family. All people want for a better society; one who gets along with its neighbors.”

    Great comments Micah, Namaste back at you 🙂

  2. Nick Galieti says:

    Well written. I have found that a huge challenge in accomplishIng the world and paradigm you have described means that the people need to possess a strength of character to co-exist with ideals different than their own.

    as one who wants be close to this ideal, how do you suggest gaining this personal strength? I feel that my beliefs represent a very real and true way to be happy. However part of how I see achieving the highest possible degree of happiness in life includes helping others learn and accept the same prnciples – help them live by those principles. I believe that it also takes a passion with those things you believe to be true. That is a difficult balance to strike.

    Any thoughts?

    • Micah says:

      Nick, I admire your openness to this ideal of acceptance and respect. I understand your desire to want others to accept the form of happiness that you have grown to cherish. It is somewhat a natural desire to want others to try out the ideologies that have provided ourselves meaning to life. The challenge comes in accepting or loving the individual you wish to convert even if they choose not to accept your message, and separating their perceived rejection of your message from your own identity. Start by not taking personal a rejection of your message. Who ever it is you would share your message with is likely okay with you the way you are. If you invited or shared your message with them and they have turned you down, recognize that they aren’t rejecting you and are merely not interest in whatever message it is you are sharing, and then let it go. To continue sharing your message when it has been communicated back to you as “not wanted”, is to drive a wedge into that relationship and may make your message forever unacceptable to that person. You’ve probably heard the saying, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. If or when your message or version of happiness is right for an individual, they will find you or someone who shares your message.

      Another thing to recognize or appreciate is that there are many roads that lead to fulfillment, peace and/or happiness and there’s no one right road for everyone. One person’s heaven is another person’s hell. Just as there’s no one universal favorite ice cream, there’s equally not a universal path that guarantees happiness, meaning, peace, or fulfillment. If there was, our biology and evolution would have necessitated that we be clones and 100% duplicates of each other, similar to identical twins.

      One other thing to contemplate is the teaching or idea of basing your happiness or fulfillment on others accepting your message. In some ways, this is an ideological trap that sets you up for disappointment or failure as getting others to see our message the way we see it is very difficult and may or may not even be beneficial to each individual even if they were to accept it. Think of the families who break up over one member leaving one ideology to join or believe another, the stress or psychological affects that accompany that, and other side-affects. If there is a universal pattern that will increase ones chances for peace, joy or happiness, it will come from within each of us. As Galileo observed, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him discover it in himself.”

      Just my thoughts. Your mileage may vary. I wish you well in your pursuits.

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