Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th Observation

[This is an expanded version of a Tweet from earlier today.]

Independence Day is passe. It was well and good to look back and celebrate the founding of the nation for a while. But there comes a time when that is no longer useful. That time has come and gone. The time of independent nations has come and gone, despite the efforts of some people to deny the global nature of human life in the 21st century.

We need an Interdependence Day, a day when race, religion, and nationality no longer divide people from each other, when we embrace the reality that we all need each other to thrive on this small planet spinning through space.

We need to recognize that isolationism is no longer a productive viewpoint. Ethnocentrism is no longer a healthy worldview. We need to take to heart the metaphor that suggests the sneeze of a butterfly in the Caribbean can impact global weather. Our reality as a species means we each are intertwined with all beings on this planet - when one person hurts another, we all suffer that pain.

But we can only hold this truth if we live with an open heart, the tender heart of the warrior that Chogyam Trungpa speaks of in Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. We must cultivate compassion as a higher truth than separateness. We must hold the well-being and freedom from suffering of all beings as our goal.

This will never happen as long as we are bound by race, religion, or nationality. These things limit our identity. We are one people, on one planet, with a shared destiny.

We need an Interdependence Day in which we look forward to and work toward a time when compassion is the bond that unites all people as one species, comforted in our suffering, and together in our hope for a better planet.


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