“Be kind, for everyone you meet is facing a hard battle. ”   

We don't need gun control.

Well, maybe we do--and I'm not going to argue with you from either side of this argument. Individuals on both side of the debate speak in terms of how obviously they are right. So keep at it--see how far that gets you in creating a better world.

Violence (granted GUN violence) born of racist hatred strikes Charleston and less than 24 hours pass and the debate focuses on primarily two things--gun control and the confederate flag. Both important discussions but I'm left wondering when we will EVER discuss what is really happening here! 

Gun control--even if it does everything the advocates say it would do would not change the polarized misunderstandings between urban/rural, north/south, black/white, progressive/conservative, etc... that exists in this country. Removing theconfederate flag may make some of us feel good about moving a symbol of racism but it won't make a dent in the racial hatred that exists in this country.  So I ask, what are we actually DOING that will make a difference? I think we are actually making it worse. The polarization of america is absolutely the biggest problem we are facing and it is rampant and gaining followers.  We are at our core tribal people and when you attack my tribe, it doesn't make me more likely to join your tribe, it makes me want to destroy your tribe. You can't logic someone into changing their mind and you certainly can't use violence to get people to change.

Peace comes when the wiseman or wisewoman of my tribe reaches out to the wiseman or wisewoman of your tribe. When we understand your grievances and begin to see you as part of the same tribe as me--the tribe of humanity. 

I am on a mission to become a wiseman. To create wisemen and wisewomen. I am on a mission to combine tribes. This is what I am doing. Will you join me? A true wiseman or wisewoman understands some core truths about the world that defines his or her way of dealing with the world.

1. Be kind, for everyone you meet is facing a hard battle. Ian McLaren (often attributed to Plato)

2. I have a responsibility for the pain that my fellow human is experiencing--my tribe helped create their tribes' pain and I acknowledge my role. 

3. Listening and learning about those I don't understand is my first reaction.

4. Building relationship is the most influential action I can take to deepen understanding. If I can't build relationship with them directly, I will build relationship with people they respect or are in relationship with.

5. Teaching others the 'right' way will only be heard when asked. The wiseman or wisewoman saves his or her breath.

6. No one wakes up thinking what they are about to do is evil. Even Dylann Roof (assuming his guilt) believed what he was doing was for the good of his tribe. The wiseman/wisewoman understand this and refuses to label anyone as a monster or less than human. Even when their actions (as in this case) are monstrous.

If you really want change in America--take the path of the wiseman or wisewoman. I challenge you to consider building relationship with a human you might otherwise never be in relationship with.



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My Vision for the World

by Ken Carlson

I long for a world
Where beauty overrides business
Where cyclists ride for the fun of it
Where nations don't need to exist
Because we are all one tribe

I long for a world
Where fathers don't leave their children
Where mothers remain sane
Where siblings protect siblings
Because they are one family

I long for a world
Where humans can be humans
Where perfection isn't idolized
Where failure is celebrated
Because wisdom has always made this clear

I long for a world
Without pretending
Without deception
Without lies
Because these are the root of hatred

I long for a world
Vulnerable about ourselves
Comfortable in our lack of control
And Authentic to the core
Because this is the root of love

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