Senate Republicans on April 30 blocked a minimum wage increase—repeating, over and over, the old claim that a higher wage would hurt the people it’s supposed to help.
But the truth is a whole different story. Has anyone ever told you that raising the minimum wage kills jobs? Then you’ve got to hear this podcast.
We’ve put together what might just be the clearest, jauntiest, and most enjoyable explanation anywhere of the truth about minimum wage economics. Surprise: what you hear from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and their allies is not only wrong, it’s missing the point. The fun part is finding out why. Once you understand how the minimum wage really works, you’ll be myth-proof for life.
This is no mere academic debate: Republicans in the U.S. Senate just today blocked a minimum wage hike. And dozens of states are weighing minimum wage increases even as you read this. But a network of corporate lobbyists, and their allies in right-wing media, want to convince America that a higher minimum wage would hurt the economy. So there’s never been a more important time to arm yourself with the truth.
In this podcast, you’ll hear from two leading progressive economists about the myth-destroying research that blew up like a bomb in the economics profession, igniting a debate so vicious that some researchers stopped making public appearances. You’ll learn why a higher minimum wage can actually create jobs … and the reasons to raise the minimum wage that nobody is talking about. And we can pretty much guarantee you’ll laugh out loud at least once.
You don’t need to know anything about economics to love this podcast. But by the time you’re done listening,you’ll understand more about the minimum wage than 95% of the talking heads you see on TV.
Click here to open iTunes and check out the podcast (and subscribe and review!) … or listen at our website here.
We’ve already won the moral fight over the higher minimum wage. The core idea—that nobody should work hard at a full-time job and still live in poverty—is something that the vast majority of Americans agree on, in all parties. That’s why MoveOn members are fighting and winning campaigns for decent wages in cities and states across the country.
But it’s also why the economic debate on the minimum wage is so crucial: if hearts are settled, minds are the key battleground. And we’re winning that fight, too. This podcast explains how.
Thanks for all you do.
P.S. “The Good Fight” is a MoveOn-backed podcast and radio show about people changing the world. Since launching a few months ago, we’ve hit the No. 1 spot on the podcast charts, been named one of Apple’s best podcasts of 2013, and interviewed guests from Senator Al Franken to Sister Simone Campbell, the nun who helped save Obamacare. Our goal: tell the inside stories of the fights behind the headlines, introduce you to the heroes and villains shaping politics, and inspire more people to get involved.
Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here
Ben Wikler, via MoveOn.org political action.
If, as Conversations with God says, “love is all there is,” why is our planet experiencing so much “hate”?
This question came up for me as I stared at a map of the United States created by the Southern Poverty Law Center which calculated the number of active “hate groups” existing in this country, state by state, in the year 2013. I also noticed, as I perused the map, that Florida, the state within which I currently reside, is documented as having the second-highest number of actual chartered groups of people who use “hate” as their platform. The state in which my son lives, California, is number one. You can view their map here.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, they have used the definition of “groups who have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics” as the basis upon which to collect their statistics and generate their map.
Typically, at least for me, when envisioning what has been labeled a “hate group,” there are certain sects of people that jump quickly to the forefront: Ku Klux Klan, Westboro Baptist Church, white/black supremacy and anti-LGBT organizations. Yes, these are the obvious ones, the ones we see in the news, the ones who we quickly identify as members of our community who have publicly announced their intolerance and separatist belief systems to the world.
But how far-reaching are the tentacles of the ideologies that support and innervate these factions? How deep do they flow into our own personal relationships? How are they impacting the thoughts and perspectives of the people who we find ourselves interacting with on a day-to-day basis? And what exactly constitutes “hate”? Do the recent racist comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling fall into such a category? Do Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of a bakery in Oregon, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple based upon their Christian beliefs fall into such a category? Do the people who post humiliating and derogatory pictures of overweight people and children in Wal-Mart on Facebook even fall into such a category?
Conversations with God tells us that even the most egregious behaviors and actions are always rooted in love, that each and every choice we make, as distorted as it may be, is an outgrowth and expression of love. Even a child on the playground might take a ball or a toy away from one classmate with the intention of sharing it with his/her best friend. A single mother whose bank account has a negative balance may steal food from the local grocery store in order to feed her children for the day. And, yes, even in the taking of another life, underneath the violence and conflict, somewhere deep beneath what is readily visible, exists a complex, albeit convoluted, experience of love.
Perhaps “hate” is a strong word. Maybe the use of it rubs up against you in a coarse and uncomfortable way or it feels unnatural or in opposition to who believe yourself to be. If so, the next time you encounter someone, or even yourself, engaging in a behavior or using language that might have previously fallen under the umbrella of “hate,” what might happen if you ask yourself the question that began this whole conversation we are having here: Where is the love?
Yes, truly, where is it?
(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation and lives in Orlando, Florida. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
I am Otto from Nigeria, and am married and have a son. I graduated in electrical engineering and was working in this capacity until recently when I lost my job due to the company’s financial issues. Before losing my job I was passionate about starting something on my own, but was afraid that the salary would not be enough for my family and me. What I am passionate about is fashion design, a hair/barber salon and the “Giving People Back To Themselves” program. This was enhanced after discovering from Conversations With God that there is nothing I cannot achieve. Yet I’m left wondering, how can I start a new life path with no money?
Dear Otto… All it takes to start a new life path is your decision to do so, but from what you’ve written here, it sounds like your focus is scattered in several different directions. You listed three passions, and unless I’m mistaken, one of them sounds more like a course of study than a career (the “Giving People Back To Themselves” program). So between the two career possibilities, which one lights you up the most? Fashion design or a hair salon? And if it’s a hair salon, would you want to work as a barber or would you also (or only) want to own and operate it?
Another question that comes to mind is, how do you know that the salary for either of these careers wouldn’t be enough for you and your family? You are limiting yourself with your preconceived notions before giving yourself a chance to start something new.
I believe that Conversations With God is correct when it says there is nothing we cannot achieve, but this doesn’t happen because of some kind of magic or miracle. It is true for each of us individually according to our awareness of how powerfully creative we are.
According to CWG, there are three levels of awareness: Hope, Faith (Belief) and Knowing. Has there ever been anything in your life that you instinctively knew was right and good for you and would come to pass? How about your degree in electrical engineering? Did you just hope that you would graduate, did you believe you would, or did you have a deep knowingness that this was something you would achieve? How about the job you recently had? When you first interviewed for it, did you only hope that you would get it, did you believe you would get it or did you experience a deep knowingness that the job was already yours?
You see, when we reside at the level of hope about something, it often doesn’t happen for us very quickly, if at all. This is because even though hope is a positive emotion, there are usually seeds of doubt behind it. Faith or belief is a stronger level of awareness but also often harbors questions of whether something really will come to pass. When we have a deep seated feeling of knowing about something, however, that’s when it always comes into our experience.
I invite you to take the time to go deeply within and see if you can gain more clarity about what you would most love to do now. When you get clear about what that is, then do your best to raise your level of awareness to one of knowing that even before you ask, it has already been given. The possibilities for your desire to come to fruition really are countless, Otto. You could choose to get another electrical engineering job and study fashion design on the side. You could choose to do some other type of temporary work and go to barber school at night. Or perhaps your spouse could support you while you go to business school. The point is, if you are very clear as to what you want, if you harbor no doubts that you can do it and are willing to do what it takes to achieve it, the Universe has no choice but to deliver it to you. Your wish is God’s command. As Conversations With God says, “Seek it no longer. Now call it forth.”
One last thing: I cannot advise you which of these passions to follow, Otto. It has to be your decision. You came into physicality for a reason that your soul already knows. Please take the time in quiet solitude to listen to your feelings. They will guide you toward fulfilling your life purpose and your soul’s agenda. I wish you God speed on your journey, Otto, and I know that if you listen to the wisdom of the Voice within you, and if you trust it and follow it, you can’t go wrong. Many blessings to you and your family.
(Annie Sims is the Global Director of CWG Advanced Programs, is a Conversations With God Life Coach and author/instructor of the CWG Online School. To connect with Annie, please email her at Annie@TheGlobalConversation.com.
(If you would like a question considered for publication, please submit your request to: Advice@TheGlobalConversation.com where our team is waiting to hear from you.)
An additional resource: The CWG Helping Outreach offers spiritual assistance from a team of non-professional/volunteer Spiritual Helpers responding to every post from readers within 24 hours or less. Nothing on the CCN site should be construed or is intended to take the place of or be in any way similar to professional therapeutic or counseling services. The site functions with the gracious willing assistance of lay persons without credentials or experience in the helping professions. What these volunteers possess is an awareness of the theology of Conversations with God. It is from this context that they offer insight, suggestions, and spiritual support during moments of unbidden, unexpected, or unwelcome change on the journey of life.
Was Jesus a fanner of the flames of fear? Did Jesus use “vitriol” and “quippy rejoinders” to make his points?
I ask this because following my last entry in this headline space — a story about how America is returning to its own Wild West, where everyone packed a six-shooter and the question was not, who is carrying a gun, but who is quickest on the draw? — a reader posting as Rian Dean entered this response in the Comment section below…
Neale, I Love You. Your work has inspired me to make changes in my Life I would never have dreamed possible 20 years ago. You have lead me to a place where fear has no hold on my Life or on the manner in which I choose to express my Divinity. Please do not choose to lend your voice to fear.
I have read and watched the message you bring to us change over the last few years and it seems, from my limited viewpoint, that some of what you write on these pages is increasingly coming from a place of fear.
The Loving, gentle urging of our Souls toward Love has been slowly replaced by ever more strident descriptions of the injustices you perceive in our World today. Less often do I see solutions based in Love. More and more often now these articles hold a sarcastic, snarky tone that definitely spurs conversation, what seems to be missing is the Love-based solution to those perceived injustices.
The Global Conversation website is a treasure. It is an opportunity to expose a fear-based Society to a message of Divine Love in a manner that is unique to our times. The number of posts that rally behind your clarion calls against injustice is impressive, but no more so than every other political site where battle lines are drawn on every issue and people whip out their most quippy rejoinders to defend or attack any given issue.
Please, please, may we use this opportunity to trot out solutions to the issues rather than engage in heated exchanges of vitriol? May we offer solutions to the fear that so grips our Country and our World rather than fanning the flames of that fear?
Remember, we will not solve all of these problems at the same level of consciousness by which we created them.
I am grateful to Rian for posting his comment, because it brings up what I think is a very important discussion of a very important topic: Is it spiritual and loving to use sharp words — even harsh words sometimes — to make a point?
To find my answer to this question I decided to do a little research on the life of Christ. Whatever their religion, whatever their sacred beliefs, few people would deny that the man called Jesus made a huge impact on this world, and was and is considered by many to be one of the most spiritual, loving human beings who ever lived.
How is it, then, that Jesus repeatedly used the words “brood of vipers” and “hypocrites” to describe those whose behaviors reflected views other than his own? And how is it that he used those words in statements that were very direct and very energy-charged? Utterances such as: “You brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things?”…and: “You say in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times!”…
…and elsewhere: “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites?” And again, elsewhere, he actually called forth bad things upon certain of those who opposed him, saying: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.”
How could Jesus speak with such “vitriol”?
But wait. It’s worse. When he found the money changers in the Temple, he actually made a whip out of a rope in which he tied knots…and then he overturned all the tables of the traders in the Temple and drove the sellers and buyers out, waving his whip and shouting: “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
What happened to… “we will not solve all of these problems at the same level of consciousness by which we created them”…? Was Jesus “offering solutions,” or was he just expressing his anger?
Is there a place for anger in the words of spiritual messengers?
Let that be our question for the day. Rian? Your thoughts? Others? Your thoughts?
The State of Georgia in the United States has passed one of the most permissive gun laws in that nation — legislation that its critics are calling the “Guns Everywhere Bill.”
The new law sends America back to its old Wild West Days, when cowboys packed six-shooters, and the measure of one’s personal safety was not whether you carried a gun (everybody did), but who could get it out of the holster faster.
The U.S. is now returning to the days when the personally carried gun is once again The Great Equalizer. It used to be that laws, and the enforcement of them, provided equalizing comfort and safety in public places in America, but ever since Stand Your Ground laws came back into play — allowing people to think they can shoot-to-kill other people in places like movie theatres because someone threw a bag of popcorn in their face — the people of the United States have apparently decided that a loaded revolver, carried everywhere, is the only way to go.
Effective July 1, the new law in Georgia will allow licensed gun owners to carry firearms into more public places than at any time in 100 years.
This would include — as in days of old — bars. It would also allow guns to be carried into government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints. As well, the law authorizes school districts to appoint staffers to carry firearms. It allows churches to “opt-in” if they want to allow weapons inside their houses of worship.
The law has not been passed without opposition. It has been criticized as being “the most extreme gun bill in America” by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group co-founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has also been highly critical of the legislation.
Law enforcement organizations hate it. “Police officers do not want more people carrying guns on the street, particularly police officers in inner city areas.” Frank Rotondo, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, has been widely quoted in the media as saying.
In a new twist on Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, the language of the new law prohibits police officers from even detaining momentarily any person “for the sole purpose of investigating whether such a person has a weapons carry license.” In other words, “I’ve got a gun, and you don’t get to ask me whether I have a permit to carry it. Take that, police people.”
None of the opposition from law enforcement and mayors, etc. has mattered in a country gone wild about its guns since the massacre of 20 school children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.
Apparently wracked with fear that the escalating gun violence in America would move people in that country to advocate against easy access to guns, a backlash has formed and grown enormously in the past two years, led by the National Rifle Association and buttressed by Second Amendment Rights supporters.
Nine states have now loosened gun regulations in the U.S., and the National Rifle Association called the new law in Georgia “a historic victory for the Second Amendment.”
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizens the right to “keep and bear arms.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the past that this does not stop the government from regulating the sale and use of firearms…but Second Amendment advocates see it another way. Thus, even attempts to limit sales of guns to people without a background check, or place limits on the sale of semi-automatic combat weapons that shoot many rounds per second, have been vociferously opposed by an increasingly loud constituency in the United States.
So powerful has this constituency become that even the grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Democratic state senator Jason Carter, voted for the bill in the Georgia legislature. (Jason Carter, not incidentally, is running for governor in his state.)
Speaking to critics of the new law, Georgia state Rep. Rick Jasperse, the Republican who introduced the bill, said it is simply about restoring Second Amendment rights and allowing licensed gun owners to carry their weapons in more places. He said this was “not extreme.”
So the question now before the American people in an increasing number of places will be not, “Are you packing?” (most people will be), but rather: “How fast on the draw are you?”
And the new American motto?
“Smile when you say that, brother.”
And whatever you do, don’t throw your popcorn at someone if you find yourself in an argument in a movie theatre. You’re liable to get shot and killed.
On the spot. No questions asked.
Self defense, you see…
In America, you get to Stand Your Ground.
With a six-shooter. Like in the Old West, remember?
Have Gun, Will Travel.
“…The power to create is derived from the inner strength that is produced through unity.
Stop thinking of yourself as separate, and all the true power that comes from the inner strength of unity is yours-as a worldwide society, and as an individual part of that whole—to wield as you wish.”
(CWG book 3, p.43)
When I read books like CWG, I like to to do the “my life” test. Are they just nice words, or do they somehow have meaning in my life. Can I see how the words might have already proven to be true in my life.
These words have. Let me tell you a little story.
One day, about 7 years ago, I went to a homeowners meeting in my neighborhood, and I asked if our neighborhood had considered a program for recycling. The President of the HOA said it was likely a question that should be asked of our local water district, at their Board meetings…and asked me if I would be the “committee” that went to the next meeting, and asked the question, representing our neighborhood. I decided I would, since it was clear that the others in attendance were also in favor of recycling.
So, I went to the Water Board and asked them if they would consider recycling. They kindly informed me that they had looked into it about 5 years before, but no one was interested. I then simply said, “I’m interested.” They said they would look again, and told me to come back in a month to the next meeting.
So I did…and they had forgotten to look into it. So I told them I was still interested. They said they would look into it, and come back next month.
So I did…and I brought with me facts and figures that I had found on the internet that supported the need for recycling. (At that time the U.S. actually threw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire U.S. commercial air fleet!) The Board had looked into it this time, and had some preliminary pricing, and possible vendors! The Board then said they would consider it, and asked me to come back next month.
So I did! This time they discussed it in the open meeting. This time they voted on it…and approved it! We had recycling! Not only did we have recycling in my neighborhood, we had it in the whole water district. Not only did we have it, but they had a fund surplus and the first year was going to be paid for by the surplus.
I was stunned that one person, sitting patiently, simply letting her Water Board know that she was sincerely interested in recycling, took only 4 months to achieve her goal.
That was my ego talking, of course, because right after that last meeting one of the Board members took me aside and said that he had been trying to get recycling for years, and thanked me for coming to the meetings, month after month, to show that I was serious, and get the Board to act.
I realized that I was the person put in the right place at the right time to join with him in achieving his goal that had become mine as well. This, in addition to the President of the HOA who empowered my purpose by giving me the “committee” status, and the other homeowners who united with me in purpose at that same meeting.
I understood, then, that one person really does have the power to achieve great things in their world…especially if they realize they are never really alone, and actively work with others to achieve those great things! And I understand now that the words of CWG above pass the “my life” test.
The question I now ask of you: What little change might you be able to make in your home, neighborhood, or city, (or office, church and more!) that would come to life, if only someone were willing to give it voice? How can you join in someone else’s goal? How can you demonstrate that one is really ONE? How can you/have you test(ed) the words you read in your life?
(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com She may be contacted at: Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
The United States spends fifty one billion ($51,000,000,000.00) annually (per year) on the war on drugs. Where is that getting us? Who is the beneficiary of this ginormous amount of money? Has anyone asked if the money could be spent in a more humanitarian effort such as programs and funding for those who wish to get out of the vicious cycle of addiction?
The war on drugs began during the Nixon presidency when President Nixon, rightly so, called drugs “public enemy number one.” Alcohol and other drugs account for the majority of people now being held in our prison system. Has anyone considered that it costs over $50,000 per year to house one person in a correctional facility? That money couldn’t be better spent trying to help people overcome addiction?
Don’t even get me started on the term “correctional facility.” The rate of recidivism is a steady forty percent. There are approximately two million people incarcerated in the United States alone. Of those people roughly one million are in jail on drug related offenses. This includes people arrested for marijuana offenses in states where pot is now completely legal!
The war on drugs is a very healthy economy for some. Many people have become uber rich thanks to this war. Some of these people are the most ruthless people on the planet. Mexican drug cartels, Afghanistan drug lords, Governments of third world countries to name just a few. Our war on drugs hasn’t saved any lives it has maimed and slaughtered countless innocent lives though.
There are some rumblings from Washington that they are going to take a look at the clemency issue for a few thousand prisoners who are in jails for drug related crimes. A few thousand is a drop in the bucket of the larger problem at hand. How do we get help to those who need it and want it?
As recovery advocates, myself and my peers struggle daily to find suitable help for those with their hand stretched out looking for assistance. I have to tell, if your wallet is empty, it isn’t going to be easy to get treatment. The good news is; it isn’t impossible. The sad part is; it isn’t getting any easier right now.
Currently only the best and most expensive insurance policies cover addiction treatment. Even in those cases the insurer usually dictates what that treatment is going to look like. Typically they will give the green light to outpatient treatment. This means you get to go see a counselor a few times a week for therapy. This is rarely sufficient to get a person off of addictive substances.
For addicts, the window of willingness to get help is very small. It may literally be only a matter of minutes that a person remains willing to be treated. An hour spent in therapy is merely a delay in the inevitable. Addicts recover best when they are in a group environment away from those people, places and substances that keep them in the vicious cycle of addiction.
Some insurers will agree to inpatient treatment, typically only 28 days however. Statistics show a greater success rate when patients remain in treatment for 90 days. Why wouldn’t we see those statistics and do what is best for the individual and society by giving treatment that is clearly better? If money is the sole answer, I know where there is $51,000,000,000.00 available to help!
I see the illusion of ignorance at work here. We have almost 45 years of data showing that the war on drugs has done nothing to stem drug use. The number of high school students that have admitted to using heroine is through the roof. Alcohol has its same foothold on our youth is it always has. Now that pot is becoming legal for recreational use the stigma will subside possibly leading to more widespread misuse. Of those who try it just because it is legal, some will switch on their addiction gene and move into full blown addiction.
Stopping people from using cannot be achieved by locking them up after they have already begun using. We need to do a better job of informing our population of the facts about addiction not propaganda. I never experienced “Refer Madness” nor did anyone else. It was just a lie and lies don’t work. What is the first thing we ask our kids when we suspect them of drug use? “Don’t lie to me, have you been using?” Not real helpful.
I wonder why the majority of politicians don’t see the impotence of the war on drugs and make an attempt to overhaul it. Just about everyone has been impacted by a loved one’s addiction. With just a little bit of understanding it is plain to see that it is a sickness not a moral issue.
Legislating morality hasn’t worked really well for our country and it is about time to stop and take inventory of what works and what doesn’t. Prisons can be the trigger that some need to become sober. I am pretty clear that in most cases people return from prison with deeper emotional issues and less coping mechanisms making addiction the easy way out. This begins the vicious cycle all over again.
I say stop the war on drugs and start a new campaigned. Maybe we can call the “light on addiction.” We all know that what we look at disappears and what we resist persists. I am not resisting any longer. I am now assisting, and that is what I encourage you to do. Instead of saying things like “shame on you,” maybe we can start saying things like “I understand you, and I want to help.”
Help me shine the light will you?
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional and Recovery Advocate. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, recovery coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery. Kevin has a passion for holistic living, personal awareness training, and physical meditation. You can visit his website Life After Addicton for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)
Conversations with God told us that humanity nearly rendered itself extinct once before. Barely enough of us survived to regenerate the species and start over. Are we at this same turning point again? Have we arrived once more at the intersection where theology meets cosmology meets sociology meets pathology?
Right now we are still embracing a Separation Theology. That is, a way of looking at God that insists that we are “over here” and God is “over there.”
The problem with a Separation Theology is that it produces a Separation Cosmology. That is, a way of looking at all of life that says that everything is separate from everything else.
And a Separation Cosmology produces a Separation Psychology. That is, a psychological viewpoint that says that I am over here and you are over there.
And a Separation Psychology produces a Separation Sociology. That is, a way of socializing with each other that encourages the entire human society to act as separate entities serving their own separate interests.
And a Separation Sociology produces a Separation Pathology. That is, pathological behaviors of self-destruction, engaged in individually and collectively, and producing suffering, conflict, violence, and death by our own hands—as evidenced everywhere on our planet throughout human history.
Only when our Separation Theology is replaced by a Oneness Theology will our pathology be healed. We have been differentiated from God, but not separated from God, even as your fingers are differentiated but not separated from your hand (to reuse an earlier illustration).
We must come to understand that all of life is One. This is the first step. It is the jumping-off point. It is the beginning of the end of how things now are. It is the start of a new creation, of a new tomorrow. It is the New Cultural Story of Humanity.
Oneness is not a characteristic of life. Life is a characteristic of Oneness. Life is the expression of Oneness Itself. God is the expression of Life Itself. God and Life are One. You are a part of Life. Therefore, you and God are One.
It is as simple as that.
Did you know that there is a new book that identifies the 25 most important messages of the 9-installment Conversations with God series? It then offers practical suggestions on how to apply each message in every day life. Powerful and inspirational reading. To see the first seven chapters and hear a one chapter sample of the audio book, click here.
Is changing the world all about changing what people “want?” Or is it about changing why people would want one thing rather than another?
This is a major question facing Planet Earth’s politicians, business figures, spiritual leaders, and social scientists right now — although very few of them have “framed” it in this way…because, regrettably, very few of them have deeply understood the nature of humanity’s current problem.
It is a problem of beliefs, not of behaviors.
There is a global conversation taking place on this website that is now heating up, with nearly 100 Comments posted beneath the last entry alone in this newspaper’s headline space, and I would like to direct its attention now to the nature of the challenge presently facing our species.
This has all come to the forefront for me because of a Comment posted under the last top-of-page story here. The Comment was authored by a person posting as Kristen.
“WOW,” she wrote, “this is a crazy thread. Are we still on Earth??? I feel I have been teleported to some weird no man’s land.
“A very simple thought — has it ever occurred to anyone that most people are actually happy with who and how they are and do not want to change? It is merely others that want them to change creating the illusion.
“A classic CwG train of thought I think. Perhaps just my perception?!
“IF people wanted to stop polluting, they would. If they wanted to stop traveling and reduce their carbon footprint, they would. If they wanted to help end the suffering of others, they would. If they wanted to be nicer, they would.
“Everyone is living as they WANT to, which differs greatly from how others want them to. This is not right, possibly not even wrong, merely the cold hard truth.
“I don’t think trying to convince people they WANT to change has been very successful to date, which is why I am pro law and consequences, including person carbon footprint ‘rations’, the illegalisation of many ‘non-foods’ (as Mewabe would word it), banning all coal mining, anything that causes animal suffering, executing peodophiles and torturers, letting addicts kill themselves, etc.
“I’m almost at the point where I think we need a full dictatorship communist world!!!”
Dear Kristen, I understand perfectly and completely the frustration you clearly feel with the state of affairs on our planet right now — although I must say that I am not in agreement with some of the “solutions” you’ve mentioned. Sidestepping those for the moment, let’s look at the central point in your thesis…
You say that people do what they WANT to do, and you “don’t think trying to convince people they WANT to change has been very successful to date.” On this I agree with you — but perhaps not for the reason that you hold this view.
My own awareness tells me that you can rarely (if ever) get people they WANT to change until you get them to change their minds about WHY they want WHAT they want.
In other words, peoples’ choices change when peoples’ reasons for making certain choices change.
Let me give you a very simple example. It has never been my choice to drink beet juice. It simply wasn’t a taste I enjoyed. Now my reasons for drinking any kind of juice have been two-fold: to enjoy the taste (and usually, the sweetness) and to quench my thirst. So I’ve always insisted on drinking juices I liked — and beet juice was not among them.
Then one day I read that in preliminary research, beetroot juice lowered blood pressure, and thus may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease due to the high nitrate content of the beetroot. I’ve had cardiac weakness since I was born with a congenital heart defect. As I have gotten older, I’ve wanted to pay more and more attention to my heart’s health. When I saw that report, and checked it with my doctor, I immediately ran out and bought two bottles of beet juice at my local whole foods store.
These days I drink one glass of beet juice a day. What caused me to WANT to drink beet juice? The reason WHY I was drinking it!
As soon as I altered the “why” of my behavior, the “what” of my behavior changed spontaneously and automatically.
Now, let’s get back to your commentary, above. You asked: “Has it ever occurred to anyone that most people are actually happy with who and how they are, and do not want to change?”
My answer would be that of course it has. But the problem has been that most people who would like to see things change on this planet are approaching the problem at the level of behavior, rather than the level of belief. They are trying to get people to stop acting certain ways, rather than trying to stop thinking certain ways and stop believing certain ways.
In the Conversations with God cosmology it is made very clear that beliefs create behaviors. If you want to get behaviors to change, you’re going to have to get people to change the beliefs that sponsor them.
Sadly, most of those in leadership positions in our world do not want to even get close to suggesting that people’s beliefs are the problem; that our beliefs are causing the difficulties and challenges and poverty and suffering and wars and violence and environmental degradation and weather and climate extremes in the world today.
Saying such a thing would cause those leaders to lose their popularity almost at once — because our beliefs are very sacred to us, and the person who questions those questions the very basis of who we see ourselves as. The very suggestion that the basis on which we have laid the foundation of our culture might not be totally and completely accurate is far too threatening for most people, societies, cultures, political parties, and religions to even explore, much less embrace.
Now Kristen, you have said, “If people wanted to stop polluting, they would. If they wanted to stop traveling and reduce their carbon footprint, they would. If they wanted to help end the suffering of others, they would. If they wanted to be nicer, they would.”
This if true, of course. But the unaddressed question is: What could cause them to want these things? Simply telling them that they “should”? No. Obviously, no. That’s been tried.
Yet when people are willing to explore deeply the reason behind their choices, then change that reason, their choices shift immediately. To use my personal metaphor, they start drinking beet juice.
Why hasn’t this worked with more than just a fraction of the world’s population? Because the reason that people have been given to change their behaviors has not been good enough. Their behaviors appear now to be supported by their beliefs and their present beliefs generate their behaviors, so we have a circle.
As noted, most of humanity’s basic beliefs — about Life, about God, about who we are in relationship to each other, about how life works — have not been seriously challenged, or even questioned, within the global human collective.
Our opportunity, then, is to invite people to do what nobody wants to do: Question the prior assumption. And, once having done so, to entertain the possibility that many of humanity’s most sacred and fundamental beliefs may be mistaken. They may be simply inaccurate.
And that is where the screw turns, Kristen. We do not need, as you wrote, no doubt facetiously…“a full dictatorship communist world!!!” What we would benefit from the most right now would be “a full partnership community world!!!”
We need a Million Voices asking a few piercing questions:
1. How is it possible that 7 billion members of a single species could all want the same thing—survival, safety, security, peace, prosperity, opportunity, happiness, and love—and be unable to produce it, even after thousands of years of trying?
2. Is it possible that there is something we don’t fully understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which would change everything?
3. Is it possible that there is something we don’t understand about ourselves and about who we are, the understanding of which would alter our lives forever for the better?
And after asking these questions, those million voices might begin offering some suggested answers. They might decide to start a discussion; to initiate and to instigate an evolution revolution. Not just here on the Internet, in places like this within a virtual reality, but on the ground, in homes and meeting rooms, church halls and community centers, in cities, towns, and villages around the world.
And what could cause this to happen, Kristen?
You could decide to be among those who cause this to happen. We don’t need a communist dictatorship, Kristen. We need you.