August 28, 2009

Moving forward is not progress if you're facing the wrong direction.

Many, many people have worries about violence, finances, climate change, and the myriad of global issues affecting their lives, but they force their concerns to the back of their minds because they feel the situation is irresolvable.

But something beckons to us to rise above the cycle of violence, of boom and bust, of pillage and poverty. It involves taking personal responsibility, banishing economics as a religion and returning the human being to a more natural and serene existence.

Underneath the COEXIST logo are three words - RESPECT : ACTION : HARMONY. With humility and tolerance we have put forward our concepts and established a mutuality of respect which we hold most dear.
However, respect alone will not bring about the harmonious existence we seek. Action is needed – and on several levels.

1. The first level is personal. We must look for the beauty in life which brings us the greatest sense of honour and well being. For some it will be getting in touch with the soil, the land, the thing on which our very existence depends. For others it might be a form of self advancement such as philosophy and development of insight. Seek it and you will find it.

2. The second level is outgoing. The task is to move the debate forward beyond ourselves and into an environment which may be more hostile. The harmony we seek will only become a reality if we put it there through our own endeavours. No one else is going to do it. Only through respecting others and developing the wisdom to entertain ideas without necessarily accepting them have we forged the thing which is COEXIST. Treating others with respect and dignity at all times is the solution to the issues which blight us today. We have to remind our leaders and representatives how to behave. We must constantly be reminding our institutions and industries of Article 1 of the UDHR that ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.’ and, indeed, sisterhood. From the mega corporations poisoning the land of small holders in developing countries to the institutional economic mismanagement whose effects we will all feel for years to come, to the unjust wars waging around us, the issue was always one of lack of respect for those most likely to be affected by the deed – the individual, the environment and the society. We are the checks and balances. Are you investing in dirty fuel and arms dealers by proxy? When was the last time you checked your bank for its ethical investment policy?

3. The third is non-violent direct action of the type which has played a key role in some of the most important mass movements in history from the suffragettes to the civil rights movement. When groups of ordinary people are prepared to take serious action the media, then the public, start to take notice. Over a million people took to the streets to protest the impending attack on Iraq. The political establishment was shocked, but the march did not stop the war. Why? Because there is a population of 61 million in the UK. Many millions should have been out on the street. They gave up hope when they should have raised their game. Ghandi knew what to do.
You are moving in the right direction if your actions are humane and you have humanity in your heart.

Be trusting of you own instincts, true to you own values. We are the checks and balances and we have a responsibility to act.

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