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Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.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

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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

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity

Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"


Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds




November, 2008
7, Number 11

This Month's Article

Are we ready for the future?

October 31, 2008

If you are like me, these last days before the presidential election are filled with heightened emotions and expectation as before a birth. Every presidential election is a crisis point for our nation, since we are making a virtually irrevocable choice that will determine our destiny, and define us for the world for the next four years. It is the end of one evolutionary cycle and the beginning of the next. This year it is more momentous than ever, because in the course of our nation’s life some elections, like this one, are initiations into a new stage of our collective consciousness.

Our many current crises make it feel thus, but in addition we are also on the brink of a shift in our psychological development. The choices represented by Obama and McCain are clearly presenting us with a threshold, which our choice to cross or not to cross, will determine if we “graduate” this election cycle. Our graduation as a nation is to pass from adolescence to adulthood. Obama appeals to our budding maturity, while McCain courts us with cues to evoke our adolescent nature.

To vote for Obama we have to overcome our self-centeredness; we have to counsel ourselves to learn from our mistakes without self-reproach and we have to cultivate our sense of caring for others. For some it will be a transcending choice: A “we” choice instead of a “me” choice — a choice that also transcends racial, national, materialistic and religious orthodoxies that have conditioned us in the past through the mechanism of fear. As we make adult choices collectively, we become an adult nation, able to meet our tests together. That is what Obama is appealing to and that is how he has run his campaign. He has treated us as adults. Replying to Katie Couric on CBS news about what would cause him to fire someone from his campaign staff he replied:

“You know I don't mind people making mistakes, but I want them to learn from their mistakes, and, what I won't tolerate are people who put their own ego or their desire for self-aggrandizement ahead of the team. … I am a big believer in "there's no 'I' in team."

CBS Evening News: Presidential Questions 10-29-2008

McCain has not lived up to his promise or his own personal values. Like an adolescent, his desire to have his team win no matter what has usurped his adult principles. He has “fought” like a bully with the tools of fear, divided us into cliques like we see in the high school cafeteria, used “us versus them” to build loyalty to his team, and has framed his tax argument in a way that appeals to selfishness. He has chosen a “prom queen” as his running mate, and spread false rumors and gossip as a way to defeat the opposing team.

To be part of the Obama team we have to be adults. We have to make some sacrifices of habits that may prevent us from solving pressing problems, and we have to have a national vision that is global, inclusive, and puts human and environmental well-being at the top of the agenda.

November 5, 2008

I am elated.  Today I would simply like to add my voice to the many, many eloquent commentaries that have followed this historic night. Words of optimism, happiness and excitement about our political process have been absent for so long. It is also a sober moment as we contemplate what this election means for the feelings and responsibilities of our citizens.

With the election of Barack Obama Americans showed the world and themselves that a democracy means participation and fulfilling the motto “e pluribus unum” — “out of many, one.” Apathy in the elections of 2000 and 2004 got us a government that trampled our freedoms while hypocritically justifying war with the rationale of building democracies in other countries. However, without the negligent, deceptive and dishonorable government of George W. Bush, a president Obama may not have been possible.

While for many this election was a right of passage to a new political culture reflecting a new psychological maturity, and a new national identity, we must continue to reach out to those disaffected and clouded by fear and hate in our country. The joy on the diverse faces of those celebrating the election of Barack Obama throughout our country and the world must not instill us with a false sense of euphoria. In addition, we must continue our activism and continue to make our voices heard in support of the causes that are important for human and global well-being. We must likewise not let any falsehoods stand unanswered. If this election was a graduation from one stage of national being to the next, it is important to remember the characterization of a graduation as a “commencement.”

I can not state this better than Obama did in his victory speech last night.

For John McCain this must be a moment of feeling liberated. He can be himself again, instead of having his message twisted into a divisive weapon of the Republican culture war. In the last weeks of his campaign he showed some of the qualities that make many people like him. His concession speech was sincere and gracious, and his appearance on Saturday Night Live last week showed an enjoyment of self-deprecating humor seldom seen during this campaign. He takes responsibility for losing, and perhaps he understands that with few exceptions his main failure was letting his campaign be hijacked by the same people who hijacked our country in 2000 and 2004. That is a grave failure of leadership, resulting in a replay of past politics that this election has soundly rejected. Many people who embraced the McCain/Palin candidacy have not left behind their fears and hate. Perhaps one of the main tasks of Obama supporters will be to help them become more confident and hopeful.

© 2008 Richard V. Sidy


Read Related Articles

Beyond the Bush Years

Beyond Ideology: The Politics of the Future

Moving Forward

Is Liberal a Dirty Word?

Can Idealism Solve Problems?

Tribalism and the 2008 Elections


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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

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