“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, that is the only thing that ever has.”                                                                    

Margaret Mead

Where are we heading?

In 1972, system analysts published The Limits to Growth which plotted various scenarios relating to the prognosis for humanity. In 8 of their 9 scenarios, long term survival would be in jeopardy. Thirty years later, in 2002, they updated their prognosis and concluded: “Humanity has squandered the opportunity to correct its current course of 30 years.”

Also in 1972, The Rand McNally Atlas published The Earth and Man and said this; “If left unchecked, the twin perils of pollution and human conflict  could remove man from the world that he has helped to shape. All that would be left is the ruins of a spent civilization.”

Now, in 2009, it still goes on largely unchecked and this has put us behind the 8 ball. THE SHIFT is not only crucial, it must happen with the speed, money and energy equal to WWII’s armament campaign.

For the shift to succeed it will take a massive people’s movement.
We can’t wait for the people with big money, high positions and power to take the lead. Though they could and must play a part in this, more likely it’s going to be the work of tens of millions of people growing in awareness, making different choices, influencing public policy, and inventing fresh approaches to a just, compassionate, and sustainable world. One by one. Moment by moment.

Where does one begin?

May we suggest five frames for personal reflection and dialogue as we progress together on this transformational shift. 

# 1 Is my understanding of the way things are, and how they got to be this way.

# 2 Is my seeing the interconnectedness of everything, including all that I do.

# 3 Is finding a role I can and choose to do to make a difference in the shift.

# 4 Is becoming ever more effective and smarter about what I choose to do.

# 5 Is living in the moment as the shift happens within and through me.

You may want to rework these five frames, but the key is to interact, communicate, and follow intention with action.

Every person’s approach to the shift is unique. Are you a fighter? Do some roadblock barrier busting. Are you a visionary? Paint the picture of where you think we should be going. Are you political? Find candidates who share the shift perspective. Whatever it is, find YOUR niche and go for it.

Every page has great videos. When you find one you really like, recommend it to others. Or form a small group like ours to dialogue on The Shift issues.

The Applied Hope page gives encouragement. The COMMUNICATEpage is for expressing YOUR ideas and responses, or submitting a new blog idea. We can’t publish them all, and some may need to be edited. The Blog Postings all relate to the shift in some way. Use the “Key Word Search” to select blog postings that interest you most, and add your comments to them as well.

Any questions? Send us an email on the home page.

We hope this site makes a difference for you.

Selling Out American Children                                             back to cultural influences                                           

title of book by John Walsh

Walsh writes, “I believe that the values of the larger, anonymous society we live in have become diametrically opposed to the values most American parents say they want to teach their children.”

Parents have the desire to teach kids right from wrong. But, young children especially, learn most quickly and naturally by imitating the behavior they see around them. And too often what the parents are trying to “teach” their children contradicts what they are doing. For example, when core values revolve around money, values of right or wrong, beneficial or harmful, are less important.

Parents try to teach children cooperation and nonviolent conflict resolution. At the same time, however, children are learning something else from their behavior and from television. “Television,” Walsh says, “has become their most influential teacher.” The average American child will witness two hundred thousand acts of violence on television before he or she is eighteen years old. What the children see and learn from television is violence, sex, wealth, rewards w/o risk, drugs & alchohol, disrespect and selfishness. And since 1950 on, the amount of time spent in front of a TV or video screen is the single biggest chunk of time in the waking life of an average American child.

Children learn to want instant gratification -  happiness found in having things now. “By 1980 Americans held 526,000,000 credit cards; more than two for every man, woman and child. By 1990 that number doubled. Total credit card debt from 1980 to 1990 more than tripled—from $80 billion to over $250 billion. The worry is not that we’re overspending. The worry is we’ll cut back! The goal is to constantly increase “consumer spending” to help the economy.”

Other effects include;

1) The “what’s-in-it-for-me” mentality - a preoccupation with personal ambition and consumerism that eats away at our national heart; rendering much of the country’s middle class incapable of a commitment to their most basic institutions: marriage, family, religion, and politics.

2) The popularity of the idea that sacrifice is stupid. Virtues like sacrifice and altruism are made to seem senseless in a culture that overvalues perosnal glory and personal accumulations of money and goods. Research shows less than 50% of Americans today consider sacrifice for others to be a virtue. Fewer are doing favors for others, charity and volunteering.

3) The formation of political special interest groups pursuing their own selfish agendas without regard for the common good.

4) Our increased difficulty in making commitments. As soon as things get rough the prevailing social message is to cut our losses and get out.

That is truthtelling. It is saying what is so. Until we can say the way it is and mean it, we aren’t going to move toward a bright future. The future will get increasingly bleak. So number one is getting honest about the way things are.

What truth are you ready to tell?