Excerpt from Chapter 14: The Big Picture

Where All Things Belong — March 2008

About 30 years ago I attended a Conference where a film was shown that changed my perception of the world and everything in it. It was called "Where All Things Belong." It depicted all the ways in which we humans (as well as all of nature) are interconnected and all belong together in this world. It featured many of the ways of thinking of Native Americans who maintained a much closer connection to the earth, to nature, and to the world in general. The film provided many illustrations of the cycles of nature, including the 'cycle of life' by closing with a dramatic scene of a baby being born.

At the conclusion of the film, the hundreds of people in the audience spontaneously stood and cheered. Never had I felt more alive or more connected to others and to the world around me, and I wanted to encourage others to experience this feeling. So we bought a copy of the film and showed it in many of the workshops and seminars we were conducting during those years. Although our old film became no longer useable as technologies changed, its impact has remained with me.

I often think of the film and its concepts these days as I watch the world news and contemplate the tremendous divisions between the various peoples of the world. Despite the globalization brought on by commerce and technology (as well as the universal impact of global warming), we still don't fully appreciate that we're all in this together—regardless of any differences we think may exist between us.

When considering that humans differ from chimpanzees and bonobos by only one per cent of DNA (so close we could accept a blood transfusion or a kidney), we should be able to appreciate that humans are 100% linked biologically, in essence being 'the same.' But we continue to act as if anyone unlike us in any way (ethnic, religious, etc.) is somehow 'different.' But our differences are primarily due to our different perceptions based on filtering our view of the world through our own personal experiences.

All too often we fail to cooperate or even try to rise above the things that divide us in order to see that what we share in common is far, far greater. In fact, in the long run, we're so interconnected with the rest of the world that if we fail to work for what is best for everyone, we wind up hurting ourselves as well. Only when we open ourselves to the reality that we will all rise together or fall together are we likely to fully embrace the fact that this world is where we all belong.

As demonstrated throughout this book, I frequently refer to songs that express ideas I write about. Recently, one particular song has been stuck in my head, so I'll close by sharing part of it.

"We are the World"

There comes a time
When we head a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize
That a change will only come
When we stand together as one
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

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