In an interesting piece recently on the Huffington Post called, "Conscious Politics: Transcending Party Identity," Stacey Lawson says this:
"Politically speaking, I was raised in a moderately Republican yet generally apolitical household. 'Work hard, make your own way, and mind your own,' were the general rules of thumb in the blue collar mill town of my youth. Given the disheveled state of humanity, however, it seemed both right and imperative to embrace an expanded set of social and humanitarian values. 'Minding our own' is essential for personal transformation, but not enough to mend our troubled world. We are all stewards of social and planetary well-being. Conscious evolution must meet compassionate action to create a world that works for everyone."
I have thought about this subject a lot over the course of my adult life. Well, somehow "thought" doesn't do it justice. I have "lived" this subject. As a teenager in the 1960's, I was steeped in the notion of social and political movements as the way to improve society. That's why I got a degree in sociology, became a social worker, worked on the streets of Times Square at night in the 1970's, when Times Square was still a seedy Mecca for pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. In those early years, I would have agreed with Ms. Lawson's statement that "Minding our own is essential for personal transformation, but not enough to mend our troubled world."
Now, after three more decades of living, observing society and working with my own and other people's inner lives, I have come to the conclusion that personal transformation is not only essential for "mending our troubled world," but it is sufficient. In fact, it is the one and only solution to our personal and mass problems.
We have had social and political movements aplenty in my lifetime. Civil Rights, Feminist, Anti-War, Gay and Lesbian, Green, to name just a few of the prominent ones. Yet, our governmental, business and religious leaders and institutions are more cynical, corrupt and un-evolved than ever. (At least Richard Nixon broke into a sweat when he was lying. I don't think Dick Cheney even has sweat glands!) In fact, the forces of greed, bigotry, hate and deceit have prospered because of the above-mentioned movements for "social justice."
Because hating war is not the same as loving peace. Because "fighting" for anything - good or bad, right or left - is still fighting. It's giving necessary energy, life, fuel to the very things you seek to eliminate. It's focusing on what you "want" (lack) instead of focusing on becoming who you desire to "be." The lunatic fringe of the far right - in politics, religion and business - have advanced mightily over the last forty years in direct proportion to the advancement of "movement politics" on the left. They actually go hand in hand.
I reference Gandhi often on this blog because he is an example of how not fighting, but rather living in accordance with inner Truth without fear of death or ostracism, can be extraordinarily effective in creating change. If you truly love peace and nature, and genuinely seek to find the oneness with all others, you won't choose war or hate, nor will you steal or despoil the environment. If, in other words, you become your true self, which is your highest self, and therefore no longer live in fear of the consequences of living "outside of the box," you will be changing the world, and engaging in "compassionate action," as Stacey Lawson calls it, in a very powerful way.
There are some fabulous statistics about this, which I reference in my recent screenplay, "HEARTLESS," that show that in cities where there is a decline in the number of recruits joining the police academy, there follows a decline in the crime rate. Check it out. Less cops leads to less crime! If one person at a time refused to enlist not only in police academies, but in the military or the priesthood, or take jobs in pharmaceutical companies, what would happen?
Think about it. Really. Think about it.
And reread John's lyrics above.