We all have wisdom, but too many of us underestimate the difference we can make, and the importance of acting in accordance with our deepest values, of making our voices heard in a way that invites others to truly listen.
We live in a time of great transition, and of momentous choices. Many of us have been convinced that our only true power and significance comes from handing over our autonomy, critical thinking and resources to various institutions and corporations, to join a "brand" that tells us who we are and what we should do, or to unquestioningly follow the dictates of a charismatic leader, and therefore become a part of something or someone larger than ourselves. This cultural norm puts more and more control and resources into the hands of fewer and fewer people. Over time, this inevitably leads to corruption and waste.
When we hand over our power to others, we are often rewarded materially, socially, and psychologically. Our culture idolizes fame, material wealth, and political influence. It is comforting to be prosperous, popular, free of doubt. But if gaining these things means going against our own deepest values, if it means denying our own thoughts and observations, if it means becoming complicit in the exploitation of the vulnerable, it can lead us into downward spiral of meaninglessness.
There is another path we can choose, one based on critical thinking, democracy, local and regional involvement, grassroots education and activism, and informal coalitions of people and small organizations that ever evolve in response to changing opportunities and needs. The problems faced by our world are too serious and too complex to ever be successfully addressed by a few people at the top of a corporate hierarchy. Instead, we need to share our wisdom and resources, and support each other on the long and difficult process of becoming independent thinkers and empowered citizens.
Study the glossary, media commentary and essays on this web site, not as a means of uncritically adopting someone else's truth, but to sharpen your sense of your own. Compare and contrast what you learn here with information from those with other points of view. Making things better is not a matter of finding the right leader to follow, but of thinking and acting as leaders ourselves.
This is hard work, and takes patience, humility, and commitment. Being well-informed, and taking responsible, effective action, requires the cultivation of self-knowledge and the development of a wide range of skills. It also takes healthy community. Not community based on conformity and social control, but community based on shared values and mutual respect. We all will make mistakes, sometimes big ones, and we will all have times of great need. We will all face discouragement and even despair. In these difficult moments, our community is what helps us find and maintain our balance.
The path we choose and whom we choose to share it with are two of the most important decisions we will ever make.
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