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83 I’m only one, but
You create the new world
by perceiving it. Success coaches have been criticized for citing
a law of attraction by which your environment manifests what is
in your mind. They probably mean that you think your way to
success. I cannot answer for them whether they are positing a
This blog keeps both humanist feet on the ground.
Article 37 indicates that “realizing” means both “becoming aware of” and
“achieving.” In article 80 I stated “To ‘realize’ a renewed
world is first ‘to become aware’ of it; and following that, to
‘achieve’ it.” To catch a vision is to create a mental picture,
and to realize the vision is to implement it. We are driven by
the good that we are capable of doing.
One person always changes
the world. At the very minimum, you do so by being a member and
by contributing unique beliefs to the world. We come together in
this blog to compare our visions and take encouragement for
achieving them. There is no substitute for your
We are small
The ant is small compared
to the anthill. The fact that you feel small reveals that you are
aware of something bigger. If you know about more hunger in the
world than you can fill, rejoice that you are so broadly aware!
Now decide calmly what share of the situation you will
I have referred often to
the balance between resources and consumption, ability and needs.
Recent articles have probed the capacity of every person. Even
acknowledging our abilities, all of us are also deficient in
something. It is a matter of degree, and to assure survival we
interact and overlap with each other; we join a social
A quadriplegic needs help
consuming food. I need help growing food. We differ in degree of
dependency. Fortunately, we interact with people who have great
talent in food production and distribution. In balance, some
talent within each of us is a resource for some need in another
person. Together we constitute the ant hill. Every little person
counts. Even if you feel indistinguishable from the other ants,
you are not discardable.
We see big
There is a story that
FDR, President Roosevelt, went out to the White House balcony and
stared at the stars for several minutes. According to story, he
turned to his aide and said, “We can go in now. I feel small
enough.” It was healthy for him, with the whole world daily
looking to him for solutions, sometimes to feel like one ant.
Therein he was a great example.
sometimes it is good for us, the smaller ants, to perceive the
vision of FDR mentioned in an earlier article, the four freedoms.
The human “ant colony” depends on high social order, hopefully
supported by every one of us. I have called this our
Including the big needs
I deliberately praise your awareness of
world hunger. If that awareness is missing, you are in a dead-end
shell. If that awareness is too strong, you are overwhelmed.
Somewhere between those extremes is the right level to match your
talents. The overall sum of the world’s needs is mind-boggling.
Only by joining talents can we address the global picture—not
only thinking about food, but rather with respect to all
humans’ needs (article
Self-aware people aren’t built with the
instinctive patterns we observe in ants. We are not pre-fitted
with all the inbred behaviors that assure survival. This is good.
Being dependent on individual learning, as we are, may appear
less secure than running on instinct, but it gives humans the
benefit of adaptability. Change is constant and behavior patterns
from the past are not sufficient for future survival.
Meeting individual and aggregate needs of all the disparate
members of our family requires constant study, adaptation, and
change and is an enormous challenge.
The important one: you
Fellow ant in the colony, please join me
in bringing the discussion down to one individual, for example,
Years ago, I longed for overall
coordination on the world scale. I visualized a neutral think
tank (my own University of Chicago?) to provide a centralized
resource helping every person find a perfect individual
assignment, making us more efficient as a team, and meeting all
needs in an orderly manner. Still believing in personal mission,
I have widened my concept of a successful system beyond what we
formerly called God’s view, the simplistic order where everyone
plugs in and receives specific instructions.
There are familiar phrases telling us we
are in God or that God dwells in us. They suggest that every
human mind is an independent workstation (processor) in a
distributed processing system called the mind of God. Every human
mind contributes a unique element to that model of divinity, and
in that model, self-seeking amounts to polluting the mind of
I now respect the role every individual
plays in the oversight of the larger order. Centralized planning
inherently misses options that you or I could suggest. Every
person overlooks something, but our diversity provides the
overlap and compensation on which we depend.
You may object that people work at cross
purposes and that lack of structure is inefficient. Nevertheless,
one-size-fits-all rarely fits at all. Optimally customized
solutions are local, specific, and individual. Answers are not
uniform because people and their problems are not uniform. While
curbing the outrageous, we must not stifle the inspired.
On August 13, 2010, WBEZ Worldview presented the story of
Hannah Salwen who, at age 14, longed to accomplish good in
the world. She persuaded her father to launch an innovative
project. With appropriate democratic participation of the whole
family over several months, they ultimately sold their mansion
and devoted half of the proceeds to carefully selected projects
detailed in their book The Power of Half. It was a growth experience in
unselfishness and in group decision making.
Sometime later a guest on the Worldview
program referred to that book. He was a financial professional
with a specialty in charitable giving. Based on his analysis, he
recommended a significantly different eleemosynary approach. He
had the facts and figures to show how he would maximize the
impact of good deeds.
These contrasting examples make my point
that you are important as you live out your decisions. Each
person has a special understanding of efficiency. Your
perspective in your position is unique. I conclude that different
viewpoints contribute valuable richness to the fabric of society.
Just as I decentralize “mind of God,” I also decentralize the
super-university of social causes. There is no substitute for
individual judgment and local implementation.
I deliberately planted the word “talent”
above to represent your contribution to the cosmic whole. If your
mind did not exist, there would be a fundamental part of reality
missing. Without your contribution, important processing would
not get done. Your very being makes the world the way it is. This
thinking grants you immeasurable respect, importance, and
responsibility. For whatever you are, you are creating the world
that is becoming. You do not by yourself end world hunger, but
your decisions and acts do have cosmic significance. Without
them, the world would be poorer.
Have I overwhelmed you? Not so, for I
have also emboldened you. The train of articles has pointed out
how much you count and how much we reinforce each other. Thoughts
breed actions and your being here is contributing to the
future—all of it! We share the load, and you matter.
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