Massive Wave of Socialization

August 1, 2008

Responding to and expanding on Al Gore's recent speech and plan for moving completely to renewable energy sources over the next ten years, Alex Steffen of WorldChanging has recently written about our need to redevelop not only our energy systems, but also our cities, our industries, our farms, our food and clothing. In short, "We need a massive wave of innovation, right now, in every single part of America's material civilization."

We also need a massive wave of socialization, right now, in every community across America and the rest of the world. We need to learn to see with each other's eyes, to feel what the other feels — especially when the other does not look like us. We need to step beyond national loyalties into a loyalty to the world, for "the earth is but one country and mankind its citizens" (Bahá'u'lláh).

We need to learn to see the spirit and nobility in ourselves, in each other, and in the natural world. We need to understand that we are each a part of the global system, not separate and above nature, and that we must take both individual and collective responsibility for the environment that nourishes us all. Or, as Martin Luther King said, we must learn to see that "all men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality." That is justice.

This interconnected, dynamic worldview, which we can cultivate in ourselves and our neighbors, will be the crest that brings the tipping point in collective will. Without inculcating these ethics and norms, it is difficult to believe we will summon the gumption to break the status quo, to remake America and the world on our own terms rather than on the back of post-climate ruin.

The Bahá'ís have a plan. Anyone else? We're all in this together — what more can we do to act like it?