Bare Bones Biology 079-The Vision

Photo © Photos by Lynn From the upcoming book Ouside the Circle.

Many people agree that our human cultures have gone off track in a number of ways, and that we need a new vision of the future if we are to grow a better future for our grandchildren. And beyond. Many people disagree about the new vision. No need to argue, I’ve been studying this for about a decade and I’ll tell you. Then, if your ideas are better, please get in touch and we can try together to make a vision. For now, as we step out in our new direction, this is my belief.

The minimum requirement for a viable human social structure is that its citizens must be educated in the skills of practical compassion applied to problem solving, the nature and needs of a healthy ecosystem, and a rule of law that recognizes the conflicting human rights at the individual level and the level of the whole. That’s a big order, and the next question is how? How can we do this? But first let’s talk about why we should make the effort. Listen to a statement made by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in he film Dalai Lama Rennaisance:

“As a result, nobody is taking care of the long term, I think for strategy or interest, and in the meantime many problems we are facing today are not just from superficial causes, but there are deeper causes. I think the crisis in the late 20th century, that we are facing, is due to negligence of the previous century. Of our previous generations.”

So our crisis is not due to superficial causes that we are addressing as symptoms, but is primarily due to negligence of the previous generations. I agree completely, and we were both here to see it happening. Well, we were both here for part of that, on opposite sides of the globe, and we both agree that doing more of what caused our problems in the first place will not cure our problems. So let’s forget about going backward, trying to grow a better culture, because what we did, it didn’t work. In fact, it caused our current challenges, and it’s easy to predict that if we continue as we are in this moment, the results will be even worse for our grandchildren than they have been for us. And for the fifth generation. Or the seventh generation.

“We are now. We are now. Now is us. We’re the seventh generation. I’m sitting here as the seventh generation because seven generations ago those people were looking out for me. Seven generations from now someone will be here, I know, and so each generation makes sure that seventh generation is coming all the time. And that’s accountability. We’re accountable, and they’re going to call us. They’re going to say Why did you do this? Or Why did you not do this?”

That was Oren Lyons, Chief of the Native American Onondaga and Seneca Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, talking with Bill Moyers http://www.pbs.org/moyers/faithandreason/watch_audioarchive.html. But you don’t need to be on the other side of the world. And you don’t need to sit in the council of a tribal chief. Just look at your own children, and their children, and you know we have an obligation to the future.

So then, the next question is How? How do we accomplish this enormous task. The answer must be for each of us to carry our own load of responsibility, regardless of whatever other people are doing. We can’t wait till we win something or convince someone. We have one moment in time to grow a better future, and that moment is now. We can’t change anything that happened yesterday, and we can’t do anything tomorrow because by the time we get to tomorrow it will be now, and we will have lost a whole day when we could have been living our ideals. And that’s our responsibility, to live what we believe, beginning with the Golden Rule, and I’ll talk more about that next time.

Bare Bones Biology 079 – The Vision
KEOS Radio 89.1 FM
Audio download available later this week at
WWW.BareBonesBiology.com

Bare Bones Biology 067-What To Do-01

It’s not as though I’m running out of things to say. I have at least three whole books left in me. But here I was getting a little tired of what I was saying, and along comes someone and asks me what we should do about all this. I thought that’s what I was saying, but it reminded me of the time I asked Noam Chomsky that very question. Only, of course I wasn’t quite so nice about it. He was on television; I was sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. At that stage of my life I was just finally dragging myself out of the muck of the victim role in our co-dependent culture, and that’s pretty much what my email sounded like that I sent to him. A pity party. But he answered right away, like, before he got off the television, and gave me a big round pill to swallow, and that’s where it all began. That’s one of the books I still haven’t written.

Unfortunately, he didn’t answer that particular question, so I still didn’t know what to do.

And then there was the time when someone asked me that same question when we were alone together in our dorm room after a stressful day at the photo clinic, I think it was in Italy. I didn’t have an answer, so I worked on it for about a year until a new understanding opened up for me about citizen responsibilities as they relate to biological reality. So I wrote it all out in great detail, annotated and logically consistent, and sent it to her. She never did answer. But then a friend told me that her question, when she asked me “what would you do?” is a classic “nice” technique to shut someone up when we don’t want to listen to them anymore.

I personally think it would be easier and nicer to just say: “I don’t wanna talk about it anymore,” but you can’t knock a year of productivity in a positive direction that came out of her manipulation. So we all are lucky. I have figured it out, and I will tell you. It’ll take more than five minutes, but we can begin with the fact that we who are interested in this problem are consumer citizens, and we all do have the same bottom-line goal or we wouldn’t be doing this. The goal is to build a tomorrow that is better than today.

To do that, we need to have a vision of what that tomorrow would look like, and we need to hold that vision in front of us at all times when we’re making decisions that affect other people. Which is all the time because all of our decisions affect other people.

The simplest vision I can imagine that would work out well would have three basic components. The first is kindness and compassion. Second is a respect for the rule of law as it relates to human rights. And third is a deep understanding of what the ecosystem requires to be healthy, and a constant awareness of our own long-term and short-term desires and needs, as they relate to the long- and short-term requirements for a healthy ecosystem.

Of course, that’s merely the background. The original question relates to what can I do today to contribute to such a future. Or someone else might disagree with the common goal. Either way I have another list that might be helpful and I’ll talk about that next time.

You might want to go to my web page and print out a copy of this series of ideas, and then the next time someone says “What would you do?” You’ll be all ready to tell them. (It’s fun.)

Bare Bones Biology 067-What To Do 01
KEOS radio 89.1 FM, Bryan, Texas
Transcript at FactFictionFancy.wordpress.com
Audio later this week at http://www.BareBonesBiology.com