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 Self Interest 
A Comparison

Old People and Young People

Old people have time, younger people have less, some have none.

Older people need patience from the young, younger people are inpatient.

Old people want the world to slow down, younger people want the world to speed up.

Older people want to be useful and productive, younger people want to gather nuts and be important.

Older people know they are dying, younger people do not.

Older people believe they have useful wisdom for the young, the young do not believe this.

Older people endure the pain of growing older, younger people feel no such pain.

Older people love without agenda, younger people love within a system of barter and exchange.

Older people's stories are mostly about yesterday, younger people's stories are mostly about tomorrow. But it is the stories of now that make life interesting.

It is the hidden stories that need to be visited, neither old nor young can live joyously if they remain hidden or denied.

To grow old in separateness leaves one fearful or angry or lost, to be young and separate leaves one careless and irresponsible.

Both old and young want love and approval. Love unconditionally, but approval must be earned through trying or succeeding, neither of which is to be more valued than the other.

"A shallow view discovers naught, a deeper view allows awe and wisdom", author unknown

"If I immerse myself in water I am connected to my environment in all respects, When I return to land I am separate from all that my environment holds for me. To connect I must reach out with my imagination and find the unity in our life force, all that allowed us all to be."

"The process of becoming without arriving is the experience of "I Am"", author unknown

"Industrial people do not know where they live" Brian Swimme

"To understand our relationship to our place on this earth would change our perspective on how we behave and believe about our use of it" Brian Swimme

"We have traded the material of our world for the sacrament of our lives", author unknown

"We always have the choice, to awaken or to sleep, to begin anew or carry the burden of yesterday, to remember the losses we all bear or seek the birth of a new experience, a new day, a new light to guide us on a new journey into the unknown"

"If our perception is that we are an addendum to the life processes on this earth or indeed the final end product of evolution, we lose our relationship to the life processes that made and make our existence possible. We are starving because we are not related to these life energies, the ocean of life and the self organization that makes all life possible", author unknown

"You cannot change the structure of power by bringing with you a different but similar vision of power and structure", author unknown

"You cannot solve a personal or social or economic or political problem if you have the same level of consciousness that created the problem in the first place", author unknown

Where does the power lie

Own what you are, become what you can be, believe in your power to change, to grow, to be.

Move a Mountain One Pebble at a Time, Today take the first step, tomorrow take the second step. Our Response to any Experience can be a choice. Experience allows but does not guarantee that we move beyond our fears and unhappiness. Until we get used to it choosing in any area of our lives is not easy. Until we understand and own our power of choice it is never our responsibility, blame comes before ownership. Until we see the power of choice in everyone we accept that which is not ours, blame that is falsely assigned, opinions and judgements that manipulate our emotions.

The Rules of Engagement do not belong to anyone in particular. Each of us lives in our own eco system with our own boundaries, our own opportunities, our own threats. If you live where terror rules, then you must understand how to survive while you grow as a human being. If you live in a system of abundance you must understand that growth is necessary even if all of your needs are met. Each of us lives, loves and dies in our own world that may or may not have any connection or contact with another world. This separation can breed indifference, failure to consider the value of another, or, a willingness to ignore the health of each of the other worlds and thus the health of the whole. What is hard to keep in touch with is that the health of the whole is as important as the health of each part.

We grow and evolve when the stresses in our environment impact us directly. Some eco systems change and survive, some do not. Some humans adapt, some remain as they were. Some kill to survive, some choose other paths. Our societies rules serve to safeguard (in many cases) all individuals from those who threaten, harm, and kill to maintain their existence. One of the great questions of our lives is can we evolve without the challenge of death or the threat of harm. Do we have the potential for greater awareness so that we may manage our choices by anticipating the threat rather than just react to the immediate danger.

When human beings are the threat we deal with it in one way, when our planets behavior is the threat we respond differently. Morality exist between humans, a hurricane or tsunami has no morality. We can revenge ourselves against other humans when they do us great harm, we cannot revenge ourselves against this planet or solar system or universe. We all know for example that over population changes our lives forever. Bringing new life into this world is it own miracle, bringing a billion new lives onto this world is its own disaster in the making. As individuals we know this, as a group we ignore the dangers. When does our individual choice become a group choice? Will that ever be possible without the actual over population of this planet for real?

These and many other issues facing us every day are real and carry with them great hope and great danger. The question we each have to answer is: Will the life changes imbedded in this web site as well as a thousand other places be enough to help us survive both the natural dangers and our self induced dangers. This site would not still be here if I did not believe these life changes would serve our needs both now and far into the future.

Is trying to convince a futile gesture?

My son commented a short while ago about what exactly I was doing. Was I trying to convince myself, convince others? Did I really understand the reality of our lives, now? How does anything you've said (me) affect the real lives of real people? For example when we discussed what changes ought to be in our faces this next election who would hear and act on the items we were discussing. A simplified tax code (flat tax, consumption tax, no exemptions, some exemptions), Election finance reform (spending limits, media coverage, sources and limits on funding, transparency), Election reform (term limits, medical, retirement,staff budgets, lobbying), The full limitations and extent of the Government's role in our lives, entitlements-medical, social security, Defense (cost, funding, allocations, transparency, ownership), Legislation ( national vs local interests, Hidden spending attachments, nonrelevant pork barrel attachments, spending rules), Protection (EPA, FDA, DEA, Homeland security). The list goes on.

My son's point was that we live in a system with entrenched power. Making changes, or trying to, impacts that entrenched power which in turn fights against the changes. Dealing with that level of resistance requires someone in the system to believe that the kind of changes required is possible and important enough. Two things must happen. A champion(s) that believes must rise up, and the champion(s) must know how the power system works. The ideas in this web site are too removed from the reality of the entrenchment of power to make any difference, or are they?

Without going further in our discussion, the real question surfaced. What exactly is the problem we are trying to identify and possibly correct? For example the Republicans and Democrats are firmly attached to their beliefs on the proper role of government in our lives. Some believe so strongly in their position that they are willing to go to the edge of the cliff to achieve their agenda. That is the election stance (what do I do to stay in power and remove my opposition from power?), will the voters next year agree and vote me in, or do I get booted out. Meanwhile doing nothing is its own disaster, for the people who are being harmed by this conflict of power.

Is change at the personal level a more fundamental view of the problem? Yes, but the time frame for significant change is generational. The next election cycle is not where significant change abides. The new must grow up to replace the old. To force our elected representatives to change they must be removed and replaced in the voting booth. But we cannot force individuals to change, to learn to let go, to become an observer of themselves, to see the past and the future but to live in the present. This is a deep shift in our personal level of awareness and must be taught, experienced, practiced.

An activist feels passionate about something whether that be political reform, overfishing, genetic alterations, pesticides, killing of the whales, industrial farming, soil conservation, human trafficking, drug wars, child abuse, poverty, war, and a quite a few others. We need these people and the resistance to the status quo they represent. Some fights are won, some go on for long periods, some do not ever seem winnable and yet these activists persevere. Amazing what they have accomplished over the decades, over the centuries. What they fight for are rights (to live healthy lives in freedom, to live safely), what they are fighting against is greed, self interest at the expense of others, self preservation at all costs. Humans destroying humans and the habitat in which they live.

This has been going on forever, the tension between those who care and those who do not. Even though I can step back a few feet and observe with a more distant eye, I cannot determine if this is a "survival of the fittest" contest. Will those who are primarily focused on their own self interest always dominate those whose compassion extends beyond themselves to all life. Are these wars a forever part of our human existence? The examples of the rise and fall of civilizations says yes. The examples of control, domination, self interest and abuse at every level of our societies, says yes. From individuals, groups, cultures and nations the answer says yes. Why do our leaders continuously defend the status quo, self interest. Why are the changes that are obvious to all not implemented, power and self interest. Why does power corrupt, self interest.

We cannot expect someone, even in a democracy, to take the reigns and cloak of power and not become corrupted by it. By our society's very organization and structure as a hierarchy anyone we send in cannot alter the eco system of power they become a part of. Is it hopeless? No, but it is and will continue to be an unending cycle until we at the individual level complete our paradigm shift. This is the shift from self interest and self preservation at all cost to a compassionate realization we are all a part of the bigger picture, a network of life, and a species with the potential to understand our role in this evolving Universe more than any other species that has or does exist


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