January, 2005
Vol. 4, Number 1
The SNS Press E–Zine presents new perspectives for a better future in society, politics, religion, education, self-awareness and human relations.

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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

This Month's Article


"Standing up for Humanity"

When will human consciousness finally reach the point where we no longer choose to live in peace only as a consequence of avoiding pain and suffering? This article deals with the responsibility of each individual to speak and act in such a way that leaders can no longer avoid making the well-being and respect of everyone the highest priority of all governments.

In the Middle East there is a legendary teacher named "Mullah Nasruddin." His methods of teaching were often strange and shocking. Thus people continually debated whether he was wise or a fool. One day the Mullah went to the center of the town square that was crowded with people from all around for the weekly market. In the center of the square stood a large tree which had been standing for generations. Nasruddin, a saw in hand, started climbing. Choosing a large sprawling branch, he sat straddling it out towards the end. He then started sawing the branch between him and the trunk. Quickly a large crowd gathered and started shouting. "Mullah, Mullah Nasruddin! Come down! You fool, can't you see that you are cutting the branch on which you are sitting? You will kill yourself!" The Mullah continued to saw, ignoring the warnings from the crowd until, at last, he fell to the ground in a tangle of branches. He got up slightly dazed, and answered the shouting and scolding crowd: "I was simply doing what I see you all doing every day in your life!"

It is time to wake up, and to wake up others, to the fact that we are cutting ourselves off from our source of life. This source is our common humanity and the well-being of our planet. An "awakening" is a change of consciousness. It is a change from living from one harsh and painful lesson to another, learning through suffering. It is the change from living ignorantly and selfishly to living intelligently and cooperatively.

The sign of a changed consciousness is working for goals based on a vision for a better future. People cannot continue living divided into "the powerful" and "the powerless," tormenting themselves and others needlessly. A changed consciousness will promote basic human values and human rights for all. A changed consciousness will constantly advocate the possibility of world peace even amidst today's clouds of hatred. A changed consciousness will stand for the "common good" seeing that it is the utmost protection of individual rights.

In the midst of the conflicts, cruelty and fear that dominate the daily news, there are so many people throughout the world working for peace, tolerance, and understanding. There are many people who strongly believe that human beings are essentially good but lack the proper leadership to bring out that goodness. Are all these people who believe in a peaceful and prosperous future wise, or are they fools?

If one believes, as we do, that they are wise, and that human nature is good, then it is time for good people to stand up for humanity. Standing up for humanity, in our view, means working in one's daily environment to celebrate the diversity and oneness of the human race. All human creations throughout history that were beautiful and unifying were expressions of the human spirit. All inhumanity, fanaticism, and greed were not products of the human heart. Discord and enmity are ruinous, and those who justify shameful deeds for whatever reason, are enemies of humanity. This must be said, and demonstrated daily by words and acts of tolerance, compassion and peace.

Good people must not permit enemies of humanity to remain in positions of power. Ultimately, human beings are responsible for who they choose or let lead them. Humanity has remained like the foolish Mullah Nasruddin, cutting off the branch upon which we are sitting, with no vision and no foresight. Now we must demonstrate that we have learned the wise Mullah's lesson.

© 2005 Richard Sidy



Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?


Making Friends
Take Heart
To Our Youth





Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Archives 2002: Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003: Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life

Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004: Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Poetry Diplomacy Science and Religion Teen Help
Archives 2002 Archives 2003 Archives 2004
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