― Charles Eisenstein
One doesn’t need to occupy a position of power to change the world. Think of some of the most influential people down through history- Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tsu, Rumi, Mozart, Van Gogh, Walt Whitman, Helen Keller, Gandhi, Maria Montessori, Einstein, John Lennon, Martin Luther King, Malala, etc.
The most influential human beings rarely had power over others, yet their impact upon human growth, learning, culture and experience was tremendous. What they had was wisdom, skillfulness, imagination, vision and love. Which they shared freely, inspiring others, sparking new ways of thinking, behaving and experiencing life.
Bernie did not need to “win” in the normal way of thinking to set a global revolution in motion. He planted seeds of wisdom in our consciousness, insights that transcended traditional systems of political power and thinking. Now its up to those of us inspired by him to plant those seeds in good earth, help them to take root, grow and thrive.
Rather than mourn this year’s outcome, the question is: How can we help to bring Bernie’s vision for humanity into reality, how can can we work together with others to build a wiser and more loving world?
There’s no one answer to that. It will depend on the circumstances of your life, and what gifts you have to share. But I think for many of us it begins with an appreciation of the sacredness and preciousness of life. With the understanding that a world guided by compassion will depend upon daily actions both large and small. It requires that love is lived and applied, constantly put into practice.
This was the core of Bernie’s message, that healthy democracy transcends politics. It comes into being through all our relationships, by recognizing our interdependence with our neighbors, Nature and other nations. It takes shape with our consumer habits, our work, play, family lives, friendships, volunteer activities and social activism.
Bernie taught us that democracy and politics must be guided by wisdom and kindness, not greed and selfishness. That we must realize how we are all connected, are a part of Nature, not separate from one another (or the planet that surrounds us). That true democracy begins with caring about people, having integrity, expressing our truth, respecting other cultures and putting love into action.
Moreover, that grassroots democracy does not require approval (or even leadership) from politicians in Washington. We are all leaders, and though we may have been taken advantage of in the past (and lied to), in truth we have never been powerless.
Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, we have always had the power to chose the paths we wish to take, to organize with others, to improve our lives, grow our skills, transform our communities, to have our voices heard. To have politicians serve us, not the other way around.
There are many problems, many challenges in the world. Some of the old systems may be falling apart around us, this is true. The old institutions need to be changed. Many do not work, are dysfunctional or corrupted. Some systems in our world appear to be crashing and imploding.
But we do not need to fear this. Human beings are creative and social by nature. There is much we can do by joining with those around us, by recognizing the beauty that exists, by developing our innate potential for creative intelligence, wisdom and love.
We have a choice now, to focus on what’s falling apart (where we will continuously be feeling fearful and angry), or to come together to create a better world.
This is the challenge (and opportunity) before us, to ignore the false narratives of fear that the media and governments will be sharing. To build grassroots systems of democracy, economics, education, alternative media, technology and cultural innovation that take root, like trees and gardens, becoming bigger (and more influential) in the coming years.
To create a new world for the human species, for our families, for the other species that exist in Nature and for all future generations. Some related thoughts from Charles Eisenstein.
“We are all here to contribute our gifts toward something greater than ourselves, and will never be content unless we are.” ― Charles Eisenstein
“I believe that what human nature is about is that everybody in this room impacts everybody else in all kinds of ways that we can’t even understand. It’s beyond intellect. It’s a spiritual, emotional thing. So I believe that when we do the right thing, when we try to treat people with respect and dignity, when we say that that child who is hungry is my child, I think we are more human when we do that, than when we say “hey, this whole world is me, I need more and more, I don’t care about anyone else.” That’s my religion. That’s what I believe in.” ~Bernie Sanders
“It is time to forget we are human beings and remember that we are beings, souls. And we share this planet with other beings, although we behave as though the planet belongs solely to us. When you walk into your office as a soul, you will make decisions for the benefit of the world. You will sign on business deals that are eco-friendly, and that benefit animals, insects, the sky, trees, the desert, the sea, the fish.” ― Nejoud Al-Yagout, open letter to Kuwaiti Parliament
“Creating a society that goes against human nature is what creates the suffering… We live in a completely unnatural society, that actually tramples on what it means to be a human being. That’s the essence of suffering, and there are so many ways in which our society does that.” ~Dr Gabor Mate
“As a species, we are on the cusp of an evolutionary choice. Standing at the dawn of this perfect storm, we find ourselves at the beginning of a process of civilizational transition. As the old paradigm dies, a new paradigm is born. And many people around the world are already making the evolutionary choice to step away from the old, and embrace the new.”~Nafeez Ahmed