I will be hosting a discussion for change on the morning of Friday, August 15 at 11am at the annual Kushi Institute Summer Conference (August 3-17, 2014) at Becket, Massachusetts. Below is the topic and description of the discussion and, if successful, may be extended to the internet on Facebook. For more information about the conference please go to: http://www.kushiinstitute.org/summer-conference/ .
Who are you? Why are you here? What do you want for your life? And…What are we going to do about it, if anything?
Never more than ever before do we find ourselves interconnected with each other on this “pale blue dot”; this “intergalactic spaceship” known as “earth”, where our personal actions and lifestyles directly and indirectly influence each other for better and worse. With a rapidly growing world population of 7 billion, unrelenting industrial growth, advancements in technology we are faced with unprecedented global challenges that threaten us all. We live longer but are more sick. The world may be more democratic but economic disparity has never been greater. World war seems less a possibility yet local violence grows and threatens us evermore. Everything is more convenient and accessible but all at the expense of our natural environment. We have greater information in our hands but seem less able to make any change.
For most of its recent 70 year history the macrobiotic movement has primarily been focused on addressing health concerns with individual dietary change and food awareness as the key to transforming the world. This effort continues today producing many remarkable recoveries beyond present medical limitations. Overtime the macrobiotic effort to promote this food-health connection has deepened our understanding and awareness of the interconnectedness of our world. Yet despite this effort little change in the self-destructive nature of our direction as a human race seems to have been made.
We still live under the threat of nuclear warfare. We still depend on oil and other fossil fuels to power our lives. We are faced with GMOs, factory farms and other unnatural foods. Nuclear accidents, terrorism, mass shootings, racism, political unrest, widespread violence and unprecedented pollution and waste continue to be produced by us and permanently effect our landscape and environment which in turn threaten our future and ultimate existence. And so, what are we to do about this?
It’s a wonderful and great thing to regain your health and help others to regain theirs through macrobiotics, but for what? That we may all go back and reintegrate into a world and society that is heading towards a certain self-destruction? What are we doing for change really?
While social internet media like Facebook allows us to share our thoughts, opinions and criticisms about specific topics, they do very little to bring us closer in a way that allows for us to understand who we are and how we can work together to transform ourselves, our lives and our world around us. Instead, social media comments and forums tend to degenerate into pointless arguments that lead nowhere and change little. Thus, for many of us on Facebook, we are left with endless cat memes, annoying political rants, food photos and George Takei to entertain us while our lives continue unchanged.
However, the opportunity presented in gatherings like the annual Kushi Institute Summer Conference is one that offers a unique time to emerge from behind our computers and gather in-person to meet new and old friends and self-reflect together and ask ourselves the most basic and fundamental questions which define ourselves and course of our lives. Who are we? Why are we here? What do we really want to do with our lives? and…What can we do collectively that we do not seem to be able to accomplish as individuals?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
This event is a discussion and not a lecture. It is not about answers but about possibilities and it involves participation. My intention is not present information as an expert in any field but address concerns which effect us all and to facilitate a new conversation of possibilities. We are all in this together