Sondra Fields, Ph.D.
The Summer Solstice has passed. Summer is officially here, and with it July’s festive commemorations of the day our forefathers signed into law protection for our human rights. The following is what I am compelled to write after contemplating our country’s history. In my mind this topic is integral to this column on aging and agelessness.
Call for a New Declaration
Here it is, the Fourth of July — Independence Day 2013. Way back in 1776 this was truly a day to celebrate, the official separation of the 13 colonies from British control. Yes, freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; The Declaration of Independence was the formal document designed to declare and protect our rights as citizens.
No one likes to be dominated, controlled, ordered around, ignored, dismissed or mistreated; it goes against our very nature. “Americans” in 1776 had won their freedom and independence, but that freedom was not granted to all; certainly not to this land’s original inhabitants.
We all know, as the years following this mighty declaration unfolded, more and more of the freedom and liberties of Native Americans were destroyed or denied. How egocentric, ethnocentric and ignorant “We the People” (of the dominant culture) can be with minorities, which includes gender, age, race, religion — essentially anyone who is markedly different from the majority. It appears we make progress, but then it turns out we’ve made one step forward and two steps back or one step backwards and two steps forward moving ever so slowly.
I should also add here that this self-centered, myopic behavior is not isolated to this country, but has been played out over and over again around the planet at least since the beginning of recorded history. It seems as if the human race has been locked into this inhumane way of relating for a very, very long time.
Some say that this is human nature. That’s just the way it is; however, when you look at the big picture, the time we human beings have been here trying to figure it all out is but a blip on the radar screen of history.
Evolutionary thinkers tell us that we as a species are infants or kindergarteners at best. “We’re still too young to understand the language of the universe,” they say. The problem is — as young as we may be — many believe we are running out of time. We have gone just about as far as we can go trashing out the planet and each other.
We have brought ourselves to the brink, to the precipice. Where do we go from here? How do we proceed?
One of those evolutionary thinkers is Dr. Barbara Marx Hubbard. Barbara Marx Hubbard by the way, at 83 years old, is considered one of the genuine role models of an empowered elder woman; holding the torch; leading the way towards new growth. Some of you history buffs may remember that Dr. Hubbard ran for vice president of the United States on the Democratic ticket in 1984. In her nomination speech she called for a “Peace Room” equivalent in sophistication to that of the “War Room.” “Its purpose would be to scan for, map, connect and communicate what’s working in America and the world.”
Buckminster Fuller once called Barbara Marx Hubbard (I paraphrase) the leading authority on the planet today in regards to futurism and planetary evolution. Dr. Hubbard sees this time in history as Collapse or Co-Create. She, along with a growing lineup of scientists, theologians, spiritual leaders, philosophers, doctors, etc., believes we are not only at the brink of “get it together or perish,” we are also at an evolutionary juncture for the species.
An Evolutionary leap
This juncture we are told — now stay open — is an evolutionary leap as monumental as from plant to animal or animal to human. Furthermore, these folks are saying we can consciously be a participant in determining how and where this evolutionary leap takes us. Think about this possibility — that we can, each one of us, for the first time in the history of evolution, be a conscious contributor to the creation of what we, our species, will become.
Now Co-Create, the alternative to Collapse, is where I want to focus on this Day of Independence. Could it be time for a new declaration? A declaration that is at least as powerful and impactful as the original Declaration of Independence.
Let’s call it The Declaration of Interdependence. This is the time, Hubbard believes, to come together with what she calls “evolutionary eyes” to co-create a future society that is based on new “memes.”
By the way, Hubbard’s definition of a meme is “an idea that when you have it in your head makes you act and you create a culture — you create your world, you create your society by the ideas you hold in your head.” Hitlerism and Communism were memes.
We have had the meme of “‘mutually assured destruction’ (MAD) as a mode of security.” “Beat the Indian out of the man,” is a phrase that captured the meme that said that Native-American people were substandard and should be changed for the good of the society.
Old age is of little value (and by extension “old people”) is another meme. Every culture, every society, has a mimetic code(s) that when believed dictates what one group of people does to another.
My concept of a new declaration, a Declaration of Interdependence, begins with a new meme; a meme that says that a society, in fact, all societies, can flourish on sustainability, on co-operation and on compassion. What if we declare our interdependence, a Declaration of Interdependence within and between nations and with that declaration leap forward into a new future?
Here is another idea that I consider a meme to put up front in our thinking – coming together to co-create and cooperate is an action and interaction for all ages from all avenues. We need us all — the old and young, the black, red, white and yellow, Christian and Muslim, short and tall, the brilliant and not so brilliant, and then, let the rockets burst forth in declaration and celebration of our interconnection and our interdependence.
Until next time — keep busy growing ageless.