Risking is better than regretting!

Today it feels like the raging fire of polarization needs water! Simply, a view of the values of Self, others, and the collective through the lens of integral leadership, love, common good, virtue, and compassion. In other words, a visionary, global perspective, evolving and emerging now; words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, giving gifts and acts of service; caring about others, helping others and humanness.

Political parties and politicians do not address root causes of issues for Americans and global partners. Unfortunately, they work problems, chat about symptoms, and offer tokens that offer temporary patches, permit posturing, and earn votes. And they continue, election after election. For America the diversity of values of the Senators from the 50 states and 435 voting representatives, five delegates and one resident commissioner “merging” create a complex process that is certainly indicative of a government that is currently not able to accomplish much for Americans. Adding to the caldron of values complexity are ingrained individual and collective cultural values—persons, families, neighborhoods, small towns, and cities—of Americans, and competing political parties and politicians who are marketing and selling changing and evolving, diverse party platforms, while lobbying for votes, accepting, and lobbying for local, national, and foreign money and salvation of jobs that pay personal bills. The goal is simply to distract which prevents unifying and accomplishing what needs to be done.

After completing a quick and dirty review of the diversity of the Republican Party and Democratic Party platforms, partisan differences highlight the reality of limited and partial truths and the downsides of today’s political party sorting as fundamental to individual and collective identity. Moreover, there are glaring inadequacies of both parties because of a lack of view big enough to address the complex issues facing America and global partners today. This certainly helps one understand partisan political division, discord, and complexity in today’s evolving, awakening, and growing world; and it reinforces why folks are unable to agree on what America needs to unfold for generations to come. We each have values and are growing and evolving; our respective communities and cultures have values, are growing and are evolving; and we are all OK. To be different is OK and human. We just need to figure out how to get along with our respective differences.

It feels like the challenge, and opportunity, are to chat with and experience each other through the lens of leadership, love, common good, virtue, and compassion. What does this lens offer? Simply sensing, experiencing, expanding, and growing awareness of the Self, others and our collective diverse values with vision, perspective of evolution, respect, humanness, courtesy, loving kindness words, gifts, truth, patience, softness, purity, intimacy, affirmation, genuineness, et al.

And political parties and politicians will not get this sensing, awareness and negotiation job done for us! They can help us! We need good leaders who are aware of and have a track record of success in awakening collective intelligence beyond polarization. This requires having moved beyond the chains of ego; personal success with the journey of merging and becoming one with others; and successes with managing and leading dynamic change and transition. (Andrew Cohen) Integral captures the essence of the process; and it demands a long-term process, not a one or two term posture game. We the people must get committed to get it right because this is our process, not some process sold to us by a vote getting politician. And they are OK, too. However, they are not the ones who will save this country. We are!

Integral captures the essence of this long-term process; and it holds promise. It is simply a map of consciousness and human development; a way of comprehending life and reality in broad yet precise terms; a meta-theory that incorporates the core truths of hundreds of theories; and organizes the profound insights of the spiritual traditions, philosophy, modern science, developmental psychology, and many other disciplines, into a coherent whole. It simply integrates the perspectives that great thinkers, teachers, and researchers have brought to our understanding of self and world, the individual inner-mind and emotions-and outer-physical body-and the collective inner-family and culture-and outer-institutions. [1] (Ken Wilber, et al, Integral Life Practice, 136) Step one is to move to the inner mind and emotions.

Despite all the characteristics that differentiate us—race, language, religion, gender, wealth, and many others—we are all equal in terms of our basic humanity…The problem is that when we see ourselves only in terms of this or that group, we tend to forget about our wider identity as human beings…A key element in biased feelings is what we call “attachment”…What I am calling for is that we move beyond our limited or biased sense of closeness to this or that group or identity, and instead cultivate a sense of closeness to the entire human family. The attitude of “us” and “them” can and often does lead to conflict, even war. Much better, and more realistic, is the attitude of “we.” (Dalai Lama)

The evolutionary impulse intends to transcend and include, to improve the political processes, and to resolve the political party sorting issues. We are interdependent, share humanity, and target for happiness and avoidance of suffering. Life is short! Let us nurture universal compassion, common good and a sense of We the people.” To plant the seed, other countries have done this, and we can, too!

A touching video: YouTube, “A Cloud Never Dies,” re. the life and times of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Monk who recently passed away.


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