Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Blog 1. The Planeticians
The Thinking Post. The Thinking Post is committed to enlarging our worldview and exposing readers to a variety of points of view. Leaders and followers in all disciplines and at all levels need large picture thinking. So do folk like you and me no matter where we are in the pecking order.
Here are a few large picture perspectives: there are billions of solar systems akin to ours; there may be millions if not billions of planets akin to ours; there are 6,910 different documented languages on our planet; you and I share a spaceship with 7 billion+ other humans, traveling through space at the high speed of 67,000 miles or 107,826 kilometers per hour, day in day out; there are billions of microscopic creatures co-existing within and without each of us in a parallel universe – on our skin, in our bowels, in our carpets, and on our sheets; and there are over 50,000 different religious belief systems on our planet. Few of us are used to dealing with such perspectives.
A short 400 years ago everybody understood the earth to be the center of our universe. Then the Polish astronomer and priest, Nicholaus Copernicus, in the 16th century had the epiphany that the earth was revolving around the sun, which is regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy.
Most of us are too busy with daily multiple challenges of work, family, and local community to ponder what is outside and beyond our immediate surroundings. Is our thinking too small? Many of us may be like the frog at the bottom of a well. The frog thinks the sky is only as big as seen from the bottom of the well. If he surfaced, he would have a much larger and a much more realistic view.
The Thinking Post invites us to ponder a larger worldview. Think large. Expand your horizon. Be critical. Evaluate all the ideas that come your way. Sharpen your perspective and understanding.
Relax in your favorite chair with a cup of coffee, a cup of tea, a beer, a glass of wine, or your beverage of choice, and let your mind soar and grapple with different perspectives. Let the thoughts roll around in your mind awhile. Your thinking matters as long as you share it. Your thinking shapes the lives of those around you and shapes their worldview. Your thinking may even shape the worldview of generations to come. We begin with observations on our planet in a blog entitled “Planeticians”.
A Perspective that All Humans on Planet Earth Need to Consider
I am reminded of the words of a US/Chinese astronaut on seeing planet earth from space: A Chinese tale tells of some men sent to harm a young girl who, upon seeing her beauty, become her protectors rather than her violators. That’s how I felt seeing the Earth for the first time. I could not help but love and cherish her–Astronaut Taylor Wang, China/USA.
Astronaut Taylor Wang captures the commitment of planeticians-to protect and cherish the earth and not violate her in any manner. Planeticians see themselves first and foremost as citizens of planet earth. Their focus is the planet as a whole, not this or that political, economic, ethnic, cultural, or religious group. Planeticians are committed to improving the quality of life for all inhabitants of the planet. This quality of life depends directly on the interconnected and interdependent systems of land, air, and water and how all humans use and manage these systems. Damage or violence to the systems anywhere impacts all systems and all life as we are seeing in the growth of carbon dioxide emissions and the effects on climate change and global warming.
The key to the success of any undertaking to improve the earth’s quality of life is the understanding that planet earth is a shared spaceship adventure. All inhabitants of earth-all human, animal, and plant life travel together through time and space aboard this spaceship at the high-speed of 67,000 miles or 107,826 kilometers per hour. All humans are crammed onto this huge traveling home for a ride that is often perilous because of the calamities that are experienced on our planet from time to time. These calamities, some brought about by people, include wars, famines, floods, earthquakes, epidemics, genocides, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, tsunamis, and the daily death and suffering that humans inflict on each other. Then there are the less obvious calamities that are also very corrosive of the quality of life on the planet such as pollution, poverty, the arms race, poor health care, discrimination, and prejudice.
To contribute something worthwhile to improving the quality of life on the earth spaceship, we urge each individual person to transcend the limiting and often harmful confines of her/his cultural, political, social, and religious systems of thought and practice, project themselves outside their environments, and try to see the earth as Astronaut Taylor Wang saw it from space. We know that every person yearns to live a life that is worthwhile, and one sure way of doing that is to become a true planetician, and make the betterment of the planet a first priority.
The concept of shared traveling on planet earth and hence shared responsibility for conditions on the planet is extremely difficult to get across to our fellow citizens of the planet (Al Gore and Kevin Wall with their Live Earth Concerts have pioneered a way). Hence, our first big challenge is to get all peoples on earth to transcend their own closed worlds with their separate political and religious allegiances, their separate and unequal cultural and scientific advancement, their histories of hot and cold wars with each other, their arms races, their development and use of weapons of mass destruction, their use of suicide missions against each other, and consequently the buildup of deep mutual distrust handed down from generation to generation, and come together and reach consensus on how best to work in harmony for the common good of their spaceship-planet earth. This is planet earth’s greatest challenge, requiring hard choices, change, and commitment from all humans to be care-givers to an ailing planet.
As we climb that difficult mountain demanding sea changes in attitudes and behavior, we need to hammer out a blueprint for the betterment of all inhabitants of the planet going forward. And thanks to the Internet, we have the tools to succeed. We have at our disposal all the information collected over the centuries in our libraries; the findings of our many research institutes; the writings, insights, and dreams of scientists, scholars, and ordinary people across the planet; and the necessary communication tools. And we have at our fingertips the many search engines of the Internet system to access the vast reservoirs of information and knowledge that we have accumulated.
We would also want deliberations on a blueprint for the betterment of our planet to be interactive, so that the entire planet is directly involved in fashioning the outcomes of any deliberations and corrective actions that need to be taken. To that end, we would want our deliberations to have total visibility to every human being on the planet-broadcasted across the planet using all media including newspapers, blogs, television, and radio with opportunities for feedback and input from readers, viewers, and listeners. To achieve this we need resources. We need the participation and support of philanthropists, media organizations, and national and international organizations and their networks, as well as the participation and support of each and every human on the planet. In the interests of full visibility, total openness, transparency, and interaction, we want deliberations conducted before live audiences at various venues around the planet. We will rely heavily on the Internet as a principal tool in gathering and disseminating information and feedback as well as in fostering total openness and transparency.
Happily, we are informed by our best scientific minds that our spaceship-planet earth-has the raw materials, the natural resources, and in this year 2007 the technology for all its inhabitants to enjoy a life of quality. But we are also very much aware that a shared quality of life is not now actual, but a dream to be realized. All humans across the planet, the rich and poor alike, have hitched rides on this spaceship for very short periods of time. And the challenge during our short ride on the planet is to contribute to the development and enrichment of the planet's quality of life.
To get started, we invite people everywhere at all levels to get involved through discussions and actions to contribute to the betterment of the planet. We invite all schools from kindergartens to universities, all churches and the many groups within each church, all neighborhood groups, all community and social organizations, all local, regional, and national government organizations, and all international and global organizations to become actively involved, for it is going to take the combined efforts of all caring humans, young and old, to effect change for an improved quality of life for all.
Inputs, expansions, adjustments, counterpoints, rebuttals, etc. to the above are very welcome.