Monday, August 13, 2007

Hope and "Life Long Learning" go hand in hand

I'm sure you've heard this quote before: "It's not what we don't know that hurts us. It's what we know that just ain't so anymore that does."

This, to me, is the crux of the problem - and the source of the solution - to all the challenges we face. It's also why I currently think that Barack Obama is the candidate with the best chance of helping America (and the world) get out of the mess we're in right now.

I believe that the only way to get from this really unhealthy reality to a better one is to look with a critical eye at what we believe to be true and what is objectively, actually true regarding the capabilities we - as a human race living in an increasingly "we're either all going to make it or none of us are going to" world - have to design and build the better world that's out there waiting for us.

Barack's "politics of hope" suggests to me that he has at least some knowledge regarding how much better our world can be. I think he is familiar enough with recent technological advances that he knows humanity has reached a point where - if we organized ourselves to do so - we could feed, clothe, house, and educate every man, woman, and child on Earth.

Of course, we aren't organized to do this. And if our political system - both within America and throughout the world - continues to function based on the "win - lose", zero sum principles in use today, we will never get to that better world.

But with his international perspective (based in part on where he grew up) and his apparently "world class" intellect - which I'm sure includes a healthy desire to keep on learning new things for the rest of his life - I believe Barack has the potential ability to open the eyes of enough people that we will undertake the "redesign effort" of the current sociopolitical economic system that is needed so that this much better world... this much more "hopeful" world... has a chance to be born.

I definitely see "life long learning" as key. Because, as I'm sure most people would admit, "if you want to get some place you've never been before, you're probably going to have to learn new things in order to be able to get there."

My feeling is that - unlike the current occupant in The White House - Barack is a "life long learner". I believe that's how he's able to keep hope alive within himself. He's learned things that the majority of Americans haven't. He knows we can be a much better country - morally and ethically - than we are and achieve the promise of "prosperity for all, not just the rich and powerful" that was part of the vision of the Founding Fathers. After all, the Founding Fathers ended the Declaration of Independence with the words "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

"...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor." sure sounds like the words of people who knew we were all in this together. Doesn't it?

I look forward to hearing any comments you all have.. and to the prospect of hearing Barack speak on this issue of "learning what we need to learn... and unlearning what we need to unlearn" some time soon.

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