May, 2013

Welcome to the 21st century. A time when iPhones dominate the land, and Twitter is found in every environment. This is the Digital Age; where everything is striving to be better, faster, and even more user-friendly.

At the center of this New Age is the Internet, which, some have arguably stated, is the most powerful force in this era, or even any era. It has shown itself to be the creator and the destroyer of the greatest mechanisms (politics, economics, science, and religion) of our culture. By having the power to affect politics systems, economic transactions, science discoveries, and religious movements all at the same time, the Internet has changed the very fabric of our society.

With so much influence in our lives, we have reached the conundrum:

Does the Internet have a soul?

As the Internet continues to expand, we do notice that it has a mass body of users and certainly a mind of its own. The spirit does have its place, and that place is everywhere. By understanding the thought and the science behind this marvel, the Internet becomes something that does have a higher meaning.

In psychological terms, the Internet draws a strong parallel to the collective consciousness. As by Carl Jung’s standards, collective consciousness is a source of high humanistic intelligence that is available for access by anyone at any time. Sound familiar? Both are nonphysical sources, and both are a storehouse for culminated information that transcends its so far limited lifespan. Through both mind and matter, the Internet has manifested a physical presence through virtual activity. And it keeps going and growing.  

Also, in scientific theory, the Internet is also far more than just the sum of its parts. Though it may just be a vast amount of numerical computer code, the words it creates and the meaning it gives transcend its simple state. What are we but an infinite amount of coding, assembled and arranged just right, so that we can express thoughts and discuss ideas? On the atomic level, we are not more than just an interesting combination of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. But it’s about what those mere elements combine into that makes us incredible. Light and energy – spanning across time and space – has created the action and reaction that we see in our lives every day.

Through both mind and reason, we have transformed the Internet into something that has a spirit. We have given the Internet that “human element”, with a different type of embodiment. Though not everything on the Internet is even close to being in its highest spiritual form, its availability into a larger world with “big picture” ideas fuels its growth and development, as well as our own.

If you don’t feel as though the Internet is still without a soul, or having a very weak presence, then create it yourself. Make a comment rooted in your highest thought when everyone else’s are not. Make your spiritual presence known, so that it can be experienced by others across the country, and even across the world. Let yourself, and your laptop, be a part of that virtual collective consciousness.

As made apparent, The Global Conversation is our attempt to further manifest the soul of the Internet. Our ideas, merely words typed across our laptop to be read on your smartphone or monitor, is a transmission of light, both in the physical and spiritual sense. From status to message, each word, phrase, and post sparks a higher intention and a higher purpose. For on the network, even oneness can be found. Just send me its URL.

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at

I landed deep in the Earth, shivering in the dark, cold soil. Alone, I lay in stillness. Even though I found comfort in silence, hiding and suffering from the pressure of the tight bud, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I had to take the risk of breaking free from the shell, rising from the dirt and muck and moving forward toward the light. As I surfaced, plush, vibrant, fragrant petals in full bloom surrounded me. They were unlike my long, spiny ones. I didn’t look like them. I wanted to shrivel back down to the ground, but in one gust, the wind changed direction and I heard the Universe whisper, “You are a Daisy Among Roses. Don’t compare. Say thank you. And bloom where you are planted.”

It is the same message I was reminded at the last yoga teacher training weekend in my home studio, Altamonte Springs Yoga, where our yoga teacher travels to each month for our training. I truly appreciate my yoga teacher, Rolf Gates, because I have a less flexible body yet I don’t feel intimidated in training. And it doesn’t help that I have been a runner for years and have refused to stretch for most of those. If I used the excuse that I was not flexible , I would have given up yoga years ago. But, instead, our teacher says we should bloom where we are planted on the mat. I don’t compare myself to the bendy, flexy girl next to me. I move into tree pose, raise my arms high and bloom where I am planted. I only compare myself to my own self yesterday. That’s the only thing that matters.

As part of our training, we are learning The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. It’s an 8-fold path, a road map of life (and only one of eight limbs are the poses! And you thought that yoga was just about folding into full lotus!) The first two steps of the path are the five yamas and five niyamas. They are the core values of yoga that provide a recipe for living in the world with ease. Doesn’t that sound like a great plan? And then several of the other limbs of the yoga sutra are what many are familiar with – the asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing) and meditation.

Of the niyamas, there is one principle, Santosha, or contentment which reminds me of blooming. It means to be at ease with things as they are now; neither relishing in the past or hoping for the future. It’s the ability to remain centered and stable no matter what is going on around us. To bloom where you are planted. It is being satisfied with what we are, where we are living, where we work, who our friends are, our income level and what level we are in society. We are grounded and happy wherever we are in whatever state of life. We bloom.

I had to do that when I started yoga. There is no perfect pose. I had to accept where my body was in the pose at that moment. Relaxing into where I was in my pose and realizing what is perfect for me.

We often live our lives with “if” and “when” conditions. If I had more money, I’d be happier. When I pay off all of my debt, that will make me happy. If my spouse was a better person, I’d be happier. When I lose those last ten pounds, life will be good. And then we arrive and it’s not better. It’s why lottery winners often file for bankruptcy and many who lose weight through gastric bypass are afflicted with other addictions. If you cannot be content now, you will not be content later. This is not to say that you cannot work to change things in your live and make them better, but the most important step is that we appreciate where we are today. Bloom. I can look around each morning and find many things that I am grateful for in my life. Right now. I have found peace with where I am. If your health is not the best or you are not in that satisfying job, you can still bloom where you are planted in that garden. Dig your roots deep within, bear the fruit of the Universe and share that radiance with others. Surround yourself with others who want to bloom. If you wait for the perfect conditions to bloom, they will never arise. It doesn’t mean that you are stuck where you are. It means that you can find the beauty in the moment. So whether you are planted in a garden, weeds or among the roses, bloom.

Claire Johnson Head shot(Claire Denise Johnson combines Western and Eastern training as a physician and yoga instructor. She graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and trained in Vinyasa yoga under Rolf Gates. Her third passion behind her family is writing and blogs at her site Claire believes that all healing and finding one’s true self comes from within where the light begins. I appreciate the opportunity to share my writing with many around the world.)

(If you would like to contribute an article you have authored to the Guest Column, please submit it to our Managing Editor, Lisa McCormack, for possible publication in this space. Not all submissions can be published, due to the number of submissions and sometimes because of other content considerations, but all are encouraged. Send submissions to Please label the topic: “Guest Column.”)

LET’S DISCUSS IT: The executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association served notice to America on Saturday that “we will never surrender our guns.” In an address to the annual NRA Convention, Wayne LaPierre characterized his organization’s opposition to any kind of gun control, or even background checks on potential gun purchasers, as a flight against “elites.”

“Mr. President, you can give all the speeches you want. You can conjure up all the polls you can and call NRA members all the nasty names you can think of, but your gun control legislation won’t stop one criminal, wouldn’t make anyone safer anywhere,” LaPierre told the convention on Saturday. LaPierre and the NRA propose, instead, that current laws be enforced, that schools include armed guards, that the government rebuild a “broken mental health system,” and “for God’s sake, leave the rest of us alone!”, a CNN story on the NRA Convention reported.

What do you think? Do you believe that background checks on potential gun buyers, and other kinds of gun control measures — such as limits on the sale of  high capacity magazines that allow a gun to shoot multiple rounds in seconds — would be good for America, or do you believe this would be a violation of a sacred right, that all humans should have, to “keep and bear arms”?




This is the second in a series of entries from a chapter that I was invited to contribute to the 2013 book titled The Light, compiled by Keidi Keating. The book seeks to empower readers to reawaken their Inner Light via a series of universal truths. Others contributed chapters as well, including Don Miguel Ruiz, Marci Shimoff, Barbara Marx Hubbard, John-Rogers, Terry Tillman, and John Perkins. All net profits from the book go to charity. My chapter in this book follows in the posts here.

The sages and mystics have said they want to see the world full of saints. They want us all to shine. How can we help the world to shine and not hide our own Light?

By seeing the Light in others, even when they do not see it in themselves, by judging not and condemning not.

Judge not and neither condemn, but be a Light unto the darkness, so that everyone might know who they really are and that you might know who you really are as well.

The answer is to remove negative judgment from our experiences in all things and at all times. Simply see the perfection.

When we see the perfection in all things we immediately step outside of negative judgment. And when we step outside of negative judgment we bring ourselves the experience of the Divine. It is difficult for most human beings to see the world without judgment if they do not understand the true nature of unconditional love.
There is no action, activity, choice or decision made by anybody on the planet that does not spring from love. All actions are acts of love. When I make that statement the question I am immediately asked is: “Well, what about if somebody kills, robs or rapes someone? How can that be an act of love?” They do not understand that all acts spring from deep love.

A person who acts violently acts that way because they lack something they would love to have, or because something they love has been taken from them, or because something they love and wish they had is not available to them. And so they reach out in violence in order to obtain the things they wish they had.

All acts of violence are wailings of love.

All of the great masters have made this clear to us. There is no spiritual master, therefore, who judges anyone, not even the so-called worst among us, which is why Conversations with God made the statement that “Hitler went to heaven.” When you understand that, you grasp at the edges of Divinity.

(More information on the book titled The Light may be found by clicking this link.  The book may purchased here:)

The world is constantly changing. There is never a moment it is not changing. The universal question is not whether change will occur, but rather what kind of change do we desire?

We here at The Global Conversation have placed ourselves at the forefront of a gentle but powerful spiritual movement to revolutionize the evolution of our planet and all the people who share this Holy Land by collectively orchestrating the kind of change Humanity is visibly yearning for. It is an exciting time for all of us as we are being given an extraordinary opportunity to experience the ability to transform our experience here on earth by stepping into the power of our own creativeness.

This is also the perfect time for us to take a look at how we can also apply these same larger-scale perspectives and changes to the individual one-on-one relationships we enter into with our spouses and partners on a daily basis. While it may appear at times that we are making very little progress, if any, as a society in redefining our relationships, when we step back and look at the larger picture, there have been noticeable shifts over the years in the way we have come to interrelate with each other personally and intimately. But we still have work to do.

In a world where half of the population is dissolving their marriages and another large segment of the population who desires to be married is being told they cannot, we have engineered relationship gridlock. What we have declared to be the “right” way to be in relationship is demonstrating itself to be “wrong” in the sense that it is not working for half the population. The box we have constructed to house our relationships has been erected with faulty materials — distorted thoughts, judged past data, imagined truths – and it simply can no longer be relied upon as the formula we use to regulate or govern that aspect of who we are.

The time has come for us to revolutionize our relationships — the way we enter into them, the way we engage in them, and even the way we depart from them.
The time has come for us to end our search for someone to come into our lives, and rather begin placing ourselves intentionally into the lives of others.

The time has come for us to remember that there will be times when our Souls yearn for different experiences, and that the richness of our partnership is not determined by only those moments in which we see eye to eye.

The time has come for us to understand that even on those occasions when life has called upon us to experience contrast, or when we have stepped off the path of remembrance, forgetting who we are, that these are moments, most of all, for us to hold the sanctity of our relationships in the palm of tenderness and compassion.

The time has come for us to be mindful of and know when it is time to simply create a gentle, loving, quiet space which allow others to shine so that they may experience their highest selves.

And perhaps most importantly, the time has come for us, in the process of reshaping and restructuring our relationship framework, to reshape and restructure our beliefs about God, replacing old ideas with new, opening our hearts and expanding our consciousness, and recognizing that the way we behold God is the way we ultimately behold each other.
I part with a wonderful quote by Maya Angelou which says, “When you know better, you do better.”

Isn’t it time for us to do better?

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at

Everyone in the world knows there is a civil war going on in Syria. But not everyone knows what is going on behind the scenes in that struggle.

At its root, much of the animosity between the people in Syria is fueled by ancient disagreements about humanity’s Deity — called in Arabic “Allah”, or literally, “the God.”

Yes, once again we are killing each other in a rage expanded by differences over the Source of All Love.

Officially, the revolution is said to be about too many years of minority rule, oppressive government, and economic disparity, those fighting in the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) will say. The FSA is a rebel group that has been struggling for just over two years, asserting that what they—and the majority of the Syrian people—want is a free and democratic country.

There is no doubt that these matters carry huge weight in the struggle, as the government of Syrian President Bashad al-Assad has — like his father’s government before him — strictly prohibited most forms of political dissent in the country, and outlawed all political parties except one—the Ba-‘ath Party that has ruled the nation since the early Sixties.

But underneath the political-social issues is a raging underground stream of religious turmoil, those familiar with the Syrian situation say. President al-Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, which is a non-conformist branch of Shia Islam.

The Religious Divide
The vast majority of Syria’s people are Sunni, not Shia — which accounts for less than 20 per cent of Muslims worldwide — and even fewer belong to the Alawite faction (only about 12 per cent of Syrians, by most accounts).

Even as in Christianity there are numerous sects or belief systems (Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, etc.), so, too, is it within the Islamic faith tradition. Sunni Islam is the largest branch of that tradition, and is considered to be the orthodox version of the religion. The smaller, separatist groups in the religion emerged as a result of historical and doctrinal differences.

In Syria — as in many other nations in the Arab world — Sunnis are in the vast majority, but have been ruled for decades by Shi’ites, and in Syria in particular, its Alawite faction. Since ruling parties generally look after their own, the result is that throughout much of the Arab world Shi’ites have favored far better economically and politically (more power over their own affairs and future) than Sunni’s, who tend to be at the lower end of the scale in terms of economic and political power and influence.

News Analysis — Part Two

Throughout the region, Sunnis have been saying “enough is enough.” This is what created what has been called the Arab Spring, a region-wide uprising begun in December 201 in which, to date, “rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain, and Syria, major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan, and minor protests have occurred in Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara,” according to the free-source online reference Wikipedia.


The Syrian revolt has been the most violent, with estimates that over 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting—with the number increasing daily. As recently as May 3 it was alleged by the government’s opposition that more than 40 people had been executed in al-Bayda, a village near the port of Baniyas in northwestern Syria, by forces loyal to the Assad regime. The government says the incident was caused by what it labels “terrorists” in the village.

Where Ideas About God Come In
The religious “angle” is not insignificant in all this. Members of the Alawite sect were long persecuted for their beliefs by the various rulers of Syria, until Hafez al-Assad took power there in 1970, a Wikipedia article asserts. When Hafez al-Assad died in 2000, his son Bashad al-Assad assumed the presidency much as a king’s son would assume the throne in a typical monarchy. Any opposition to this maneuver was systematically squelched. And so, for the past 50 years the political system has been dominated by an elite led by the Alawite Assad family.

Now the Free Syrian Army says al-Assad must go. It wants democratic free elections. But now, into the country are coming radical Islamic jihadists. They are flooding the towns and villages, entering by the thousands from elsewhere in the region, well financed by the broader Islamic jihadist movement.

These incoming revolutionaries are not nearly as concerned with the economic, social, and political issues in Syria as they are with the religious aspect of daily life there.  They see the Syrian conflict as a battle for the survival of traditional, conservative Islam. Because bitterness has long simmered between Sunnis and Alawites, it is not difficult to find on-the-ground support in the poorer villages and towns of Syria as radical Islamists from other countries seek to turn the civil war in that nation into a religious jihad.

Interviewed by international media outlets, some of these mostly youthful jihadists are not reluctant to make it clear that their desire is to create an Islamic nation regionally — and that they are prepared to die in that effort. They see this as dying for Allah, whose traditional followers have been downtrodden and marginalized and warred against for decades, in their view.

A relatively new group of such jihadists has formed, calling itself Jabhat al-Nusra  (“Support Front for the People”). It is said to be officially allied with al Qaeda in Iraq. A second group, the Syrian Islamic Front, is described by media outlets as an overarching body of divergent groups with an extremely conservative religious philosophy, not unlike the ideology of the Taliban.

Can outside radical Muslims turn Syria’s civil war — a battle for economic, social, and political equality — into a religious war, leading to the creation by fiat of a regional “Nation of Islam”?

So long as human beings insist on arguing about God, and about whose teachings with regard to God are the most “valid” and the most “sacred,” battles ignited by religion will continue to be waged across the Earth.

Might it be time for a New Spirituality to be explored across our planet? Might it be time for us to inspire such an exploration? Is it time for an Evolution Revolution?

In my last article I talked about God’s perfect medicine for us – greens and leafy vegetables! We are surrounded by what we need – beautiful multi-colored fruits and vegetables – all put here to share and enjoy. We can maintain our health and heal ourselves by consuming plenty of natural, healing foods. In order to be proactive and keep ourselves healthy, would God take vitamins?

Today’s farming methods result in produce that has less vitamins and minerals than intended – sometimes 30-40% less. So how can we get enough of nature’s medicine and make sure that we don’t ingest chemicals at the same time? It would be great if we could all have access to 100% organic produce all the time, but most of us can’t. Do you think we were meant to take inorganic, fake vitamins and supplements?

A typical person needs about 12 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day in order to get the amount of nutrients needed by the body to function normally and protect against disease. The fruits and vegetables need to be chosen from a variety of colors from deep green to purple, red, yellow, and orange. Even if we eat a healthy diet, we are still eating produce that has much lower nutrient content, and we cannot possibly get what we need as far as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Cheap inorganic vitamins are being manufactured quickly and are made available everywhere for mass consumption. However, studies are showing that there is no benefit to taking multi-vitamins and that many are not even digested in the intestines because of the fillers and materials used to manufacture them. Since there is no way we can eat what we need or get the nutrients from what we buy, YES we do need to supplement, but it needs to be done the right way. Everyone needs a whole-food, plant-based concentrated supplement made strictly from fruits and vegetables that are non-GMO and processed at low-heat so the original nutrients are preserved. Look for gluten-free, dairy-free ones. If you have questions about one you find, just ask me! There are also great plant-based shakes and powders that you can use. Make sure your vitamins and minerals don’t have fillers, chemicals, or coloring in them. Otherwise you are defeating your purpose. Be careful and research what you buy. There are several quality affordable products you can find easily. Skip the synthetic pills and go for the most unprocessed, least chemically fortified version you can find.

My recommendation is to stick with whole foods in nature’s package and eat as many fruits and vegetables daily as you can, as many colors as you can. Then supplement on top of that with whole-food, plant-based, pure, organic, non-GMO products. If you have any questions feel free to contact me!

(Beth Anderson is a certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of the Holistic Health Hotspotin Evansville, Indiana. She is also the author of “The Holistic Diet: Achieve Your Ideal Weight, Be Happy and Healthy for Life.” Beth received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is a speaker and also presents workshops on health and nutrition topics. Beth offers in-person and phone consultations – contact her through Facebook or email for more information. You can find Beth on Facebook at or email her at

When we think of Buddhism, we usually visualize the calm ebbing peace of monks in meditation, prayer, and a state of reverence. However, when I scrolled through the main page of BBC News, I found quite the opposite. Instead of advocating non-violence, Buddhist monks were reported to be leading hate crimes and mob activities against the Muslim community, which has resulted in destruction of property, displacement, and death. These radical actions have occurred in primarily two countries separated by an entire ocean: Sri Lanka and Burma.   

In the country of Sri Lanka, a new extremist Buddhist monk group, called the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS, also called the Buddhist Strength Force) has risen. Extending their bitterness over their own civil war involving the Tamil Muslims in the early 1990s, the BBS has taken apart of various radical activities, including burning down Muslim homes, removing cultural programs, and attacks on mosques. These activities have been highly supported by the Sinhala Buddhist centered government of Sri Lanka, as the Secretary of Defense (and the president’s brother) has advocated the BBS and stated that “it is the monks who protect our country, religion, and race. No one should doubt these clergy. We are here to give you encouragement.” While the reports from Sri Lanka were disturbing, the reports from Burma are even more unsettling. In the Rakhine State, over 40 Rohingya Muslims (considered to be the most persecuted minority in the world) have been killed and over 12,000 have left their homes in fear as a result of Buddhist monk actions. With a very fragile democracy, massive corruption of the state and the police system has led to sympathy with the Rakhine Buddhist majority and their displays of public hostility, which has only encouraged more violence and bitterness to continue.  

How does this happen? How do these actions even remotely represent the wisdom of Buddha’s being? The words of Buddha remain some of the world’s most sacred pacifist texts. When we hear the philosophical phrases such as “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love” and “Better than a thousand hollow words is the one word that brings peace”, we don’t think of extremists who are set to purge their society of different races and religions. Times are changing, but are they really changing so rapidly that a man who found peace under a bonsai tree can now represent a valid excuse for a hate crime?

Clearly, as our world becomes even more engrossed in the political and social turmoil of the day, we are forgetting Who We Are to become Who They Told Us To Be. And even monks aren’t immune to this. Making sense of it all can drive even the sanest senseless. Becoming too engrossed in anything – either political or social in nature – can have devastating effects on your emotional and spiritual wellbeing. With disputes between the majority and minority, differences in the eyes of both rulers and civilians overshadow the spiritual ties that bind them together. As religion has been dubiously warped countless times to fit the needs of the government, it is crucial that we truly understand the underlying force behind all decisions. As these primarily Buddhist political systems see the currently non-aggressive Muslim population as a threat, they are willing to take steps away from their original thought to secure their position of power. When looking at the actions of the ‘monk mobs’ in Sri Lanka and Burma, we cannot but to realize that they, though their religion, have done “spiritual actions based upon political motivations.” What if we could reverse this thinking?

Just image a world based on spiritual decisions. If we decide to create such a world, then we can transform the statement above to “political decisions based upon spiritual inspirations.” Siddhartha Gautama was a man who understood all of this. He realized the fraudulent happiness in politics, its lies, and its dissatisfaction; so he decided to become something different. At the age of 29, Gautama decided to completely leave his princely role to find his own definition of enlightenment. With a new source for his decisions, he created a new order based on love, detachment, and peace. We can do exactly the same thing: we can make our own decisions based on spiritual ideals, instead of political agenda. We, the youth with decide. With older generations too far embroiled in their own conflicts, we can make the decision, like Siddhartha, to detach ourselves from systems that are simply too dysfunctional. We can replace those systems with ones that promote peace, if we choose to truly love ourselves, and each other. All it takes is a change in thought, and a change in choice. Hopefully, if these current Buddhist monks choose their own spiritual decisions, they can become these same emissaries of light once again.

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at

“Every act is an act of self-definition.”

If I hold this concept as true – and I do — who am I defining myself as if, when I engage in the seemingly simple exercise of selecting which articles of clothing to wear for the day, I choose to outfit myself with a t-shirt which displays a large rebel flag boldly front and center on my body?

Brad Paisley, in his new song called “Accidental Racist,” is asking us to believe that people who don large rebel flags on their chests do so because it is an announcement of their affinity for the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, and not because it symbolizes one of the largest examples of oppression, hatred, and racism towards an entire race of human beings.

Paisley’s recently released song has ignited a firestorm of controversy surrounding his attempt to address racism and whether his efforts were ill-intended or well-intentioned, whether it was a desperate grab for publicity or whether it was a sincere effort to soothe and heal some deep, painful wounds from the past.

The Confederate flag is one of the few symbols today that is both hated and loved, both vehemently denounced and proudly defended, both strongly resisted and loyally embraced.  Of course, the flag in and of itself – the type of fabric, the colors and design — holds no particular meaning, as does anything in life.  It is merely a construct of a variety of materials. Rather it is the meaning that we place upon it, the value that we give to it, that produces our experience of it.

Nothing in life has meaning, save the meaning we give to it.

The Confederate flag is only one example of what happens when segments of society cling unbendingly to external symbols that reflect an ideology or a belief system which, when held as absolute truth, serve to divide rather than unite.  It would not be difficult to list more ways we humans do this. But I think the more important inquiry here becomes, if we have any interest at all in creating the kind of world which produces the outcomes we all say we desire, what are we willing to do differently?  How are we going to redefine the ways we relate to and with each other?  If we know that our actions could be easily and largely confused to mean something different than what our purest intentions are, why are we continuing to make that choice?

The title of Brad Paisley’s song plainly implies that the existing fallout of racism from those that came before us is “accidental,” that he should not be held responsible for his predecessors’ actions, nor are we able to re-write history.

Personally, I find myself only being able to accept those two statements if the person declaring them is not making choices and engaging in actions that continue to resurrect, perpetuate, and carry forward the same energy which created the historical events giving rise to and sustaining experiences of racism in the first place.  We may not be able to “re-write history,” but what we are able to do is author a New Story.

And this is the opportunity we have placed before us:  to decide, to declare, and to announce to the world this New Story which carries with it a New Awareness and a New Way of being in relationship with each other.  We have the option of continuing to embrace an accidental life of random occurrences — a life which is happening to us – or we have the opportunity to embrace a life of creation and intention – a life which is happening through us — one which reflects our ability to see with transparency the perfection within each other, one which produces an experience of interconnectedness simultaneously existing within our diversity, one which replaces thoughts of separatism with feelings of Oneness.

Mr. Paisley himself makes the declaration at the end of his song that he is a “son of the new south.”  I wonder if abandoning the choice to wear a symbol that is likely, or even holds the slightest possibility, to be construed as a statement of superiority, intolerance, and separation is included as part of his “new” story?

Every act is an act of self-definition.

(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at