Our home. We live on the bottom of an ocean floor. That ocean is made of oxygen. And our ocean is shallow. It’s a short 60-mile trip from here to outer space. Our home is a thin little onion skin wrapped around a tiny orb floating in an infinite mystery. And our delicate little habitat is getting rather warm. There are some good ideas how to reverse that. And they involve economics.
Economics is a science. Not a religion. The origin of the word meant household management. Its purpose is to find the best way to share our most useful ideas and resources for the good of all humanity and not just personal profit. When we use material things for human benefit we thrive. When our humanity is used for material benefit, we suffer. To apply our best economics practices we need good politics.
In 2020, the word “politics” implies factions wrestling for power. Aristotle used the word "politics" to describe the affairs of cities in a book he called - brace yourself - “Politics.” Politics are our social systems for governing and managing our economic practices. Their purpose is to ensure people have equal access to the resources of this world and the autonomy to determine their own destiny. They determine how we resolve conflict and defend against tyranny. From households to nations. And that requires good communication.
The purpose of our mass media is to report and share important information back and forth, connecting people and their representatives at the local, regional, national and global levels. Scientifically sound, factual information is required for rational, informed decision-making and accountability. For the mass media to be useful, humanity must be its highest value. And our humanity is best understood through our culture.
The arts are our earthly pathway to the fundamental essence of what it means to be a human being. The arts are a magic portal allowing us to step into each other’s shoes and laugh, sing, dance, hurt, learn and feel our oneness. And our collective myths are our metaphors for life. But culture is not only the arts. It’s science, cooking, gardening, mathematics, medicine, architecture, city planning, and any inspiration that ennobles or benefits life on earth and enables us to be more conscious and connected through our talents and abilities. We all share the same needs. Food, shelter, security, health, belonging, love and a life of purpose. That’s why the foundation of our culture should never bow to an idol of money. Money is here to serve our humanity. Not the reverse. Which brings me to the last item of interest.
Due to misunderstandings of the first 5 items we’ve just discussed, the word “God” reeks of snake oil for about 25% of Americans. And the word “spirituality” can smack of self-help programs that put selling above giving. So, for the purposes of this discussion let’s use the word “goodness.” Goodness is using our passions as our fuel but not letting them drive the car. It’s letting higher purpose set our course. Goodness reminds us the highest good is not our selves. If we take credit, we’re led to hubris — legendary for ruining all good endeavors. Goodness means we focus on our own faults. As long as there is war in our selves there will be war in the world. We leave judgement for higher powers while we learn, grow. And take the highest road we can. Goodness means we are aware of our mortality, that by the grace of an unfathomable creator we are chosen in each moment to continuously spark into existence by a fire we cannot see. Let us remain in a state of wonder, humility and reverence. Anything else is quite unreasonable. We are here for a short time. We are guests. It’s pretty clear what the point is: to take care of each other and our home. Which brings us back to 1. Home.