Go with me into our JEM Library so I can show you a book there called Shift Happens. David Miller and I co-authored this workbook in 2007-08. We co-led a group or two in the process of paradigm change that it facilitates. Though I got tugged in another direction, David has continued bring Shift Happens into his work, using his exceptional group leadership skills to facilitate the process in small and large settings, especially in the Unitarian-Universalist sphere from local congregations to their General Assembly.
Entries in paradigm shift (9)
For the planet to survive we need a new mindset of cooperation and sharing, rather than compete and beat. Life is sacred and property but a loaned privilege, not the other way around as current societies are now run. The main objectives of our productive industries must be directed toward providing the necessary goods and services needed by humanity, not the bottom lines as encouraged by Wall Street speculators. Our human energies must be redirected to useful productive pursuits and away from the various parasitical industries of which we have an over abundance and can do without. Liberal arts and sciences should be supported because they help us to be human as developers of the future. Nation states are political units of humanity that exist for the fair administration and regulation of societies within their borders to assure peace and justice for all, not international warring bands.
There are two large stories, not one, underway in our lives. The one we hear most about is the story of human civilization; the unfolding story of world events, life in our community, and how we and our immediate circle of relationships participate in this story. This story so occupies what we call “news” that the second large story seems only for specialists who study it. It is the story of the Earth, our planetary home. This story, studied and told by life scientists, geologists, anthropologists, and paleontologists, is really the much larger, older, and dynamic of the two stories. It is, in fact, the larger context in which the human story happens. But for the majority of us, it is a secondary story—like a specialty shop for the few rather than a supermarket for the many.
More and more of us are finding that parts of the story we’ve been living aren’t working. When we talk about what we are doing, some words that flowed and described our activity before now stick in our throat, or somewhere. In our gut or heart or head, other voices are saying, “But it’s not working. You need to change.”
This story which is now failing, I call the multi-Earths story because it takes multiple Earths to sustain it. The endless wars and ruthless competition for the resources of our one planet expose this story as utterly inadequate to fit within the carrying capacity of our planet. That the multi-Earths story is a weakling story is further revealed by its reliance on and animation of lower human capacities such as greed and fear. Its frailty to address such realities as radical inequalities of resources and power, species dieoff, and a rapidly expanding population all convince us that we humans are capable of a far better story.
This is a fantasy but a story of what could someday come to be when enough people have a change of mindset and it all started by a small farmer of Seattle Pike Place Market.
George the Dreamer, a small truck farmer, sold his production of fruits and vegetables at the Seattle Pike Place Market. He got there early every Saturday morning and drew his lot for space and always hoped to end up on the main shopping thoroughfare that some people called Goodwin Way to honor one of the Market’s early pioneers even though the Historic District’s managing commission has thus far denied that honor to him for some bureaucratic reason. Mr. Goodwin built the main market structures that sheltered the farmers and their customers from Seattle’s bountiful rain.
What should Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, or Hinduism be saying about global capitalism? That question is addressed by Ulrich Duchrow in the Winter, 2011, issue of Tikkun magazine—an excellent publication presenting perspectives from writers of many of the world’s religions. Duchrow is a professor at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he specializes in theology-economic issues, dialoguing with many throughout his global, ecumenical activities. In 2004 and 2007, Jubilee Economics Ministries hosted Ulrich for a series of gatherings in both Southern California and Chicago. Kairos Europa also links you to some of the work Ulrich does with many colleagues in Europe.
The article in Tikkun includes a statement prepared for the May, 2011, International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston, Jamaica. The article concludes with “A Response to an Imagined Critic from North America.”
Download the November 2009 newsletter here. PDF format.
- Choosing a bank is a spiritual practice
- Unwrapping a New Economic Paradigm workshop
- Make Something Day
- Matthew Fox: The Cosmic Christ
- JEM contributions for change in 2009
- JEM’s continuing work in 2010