The Idealist 7/20/10 Facebook tells me I have 209 friends. Pretty shabby, I’d say, in this most inventive of competitive venues. I am neither proud nor ashamed. I find it remarkable that I, one step removed from a Luddite, can claim that many friends via a computer connection. Were it not for the gals at the cell, I doubt I’d have a Facebook page, let alone friends!
Geni (http://www.geni.com/home) tells me I have 1035 relatives in my family. I find this startling! But it’s not because my extended family is so large. I am startled by technology that allows us to see how we are all linked. In this case, I think computers serve us, rather than enslave us.
I find it mind- boggling that I have relatives in Israel who are related to Ethiopians who are related to Arabs. I have relatives in Iran who are related to Muslems who could be related to members of Al-Qaida. This makes me hopeful! It makes me hopeful, despite my inner pessimist, because I think if people can see how they are connected, maybe my inner idealist can someday be vindicated. For too many years I have suffered the indignity of being idealistic, as if believing that humans can evolve to live in peaceful coexistence is just an infantile wish.
Okay, well maybe it is. But I am not alone. Think John Lennon. Martin Luther. Gandhi. Okay, well maybe I am alone.
Still… When I think about the paternalistic powers that rule, I think those powers do not believe in the capacity for human spiritual evolution because they do not possess the capacity to open to new ways of being. I see them and us. I see leaders who are stuck, resisting spiritual growth, and consequently leading us according to an outdated paradigm. What exactly is it that keeps us peaceniks in our place? Maybe, in my simplistic, idealistic mind, I can only imagine a world of people who can change things, themselves, and the world through communication. But that’s just me. Am I a pessimist, optimist, or an idealist? Maybe I’m just an old deluded hippy.
My inner pessimist sees a perpetration of hateful action. I wonder, how does strong-arming others to your will honor the humanity in the Other? My inner idealist believes in spiritual evolution. Will those of us who believe in a peaceful way forever be strong-armed into submission? I am an idealist who believes that humans can participate in the creation of a better world through awareness, understanding and connection.
Maybe Facebook and Geni are onto something.