the word

It’s hard to think or talk about something until you have a word for it. Hence the power of the word as a primary vehicle for human consciousness. Indeed, with regard to the emergence of human consciousness, many evolutionary anthropologists and biblical scholars can agree that “in the beginning was the word.”

The Bantu languages of southern Africa use the word “ubuntu” to convey that our humanity is realized only in relation to others, and that this common humanity is diminished when any one of us is neglected or harmed or oppressed. This word simultaneously conveys our mutual interconnectedness along with the mutual obligations that flow from that interconnectedness. It is a rich word, with spiritual connotations, that exerts a deep cultural influence.

We need an English word that conveys this sense of interconnectedness and mutual obligation. We need a word that denotes our unity and interdependence, along with our corresponding obligations to strive for altruism over egoism, compassion over aggression, cooperation over competition, selflessness over selfishness.

I was beginning to think that someone needs to coin a new word in English to convey all of this.  But then I realized that the word already exists:

oneness

Of course, naming something is only the first step. Now we need to learn how to translate the word into a new social reality. Which reminds me…

in the beginning was the word.

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1 Comment»

  Michael Walsh wrote @

Hello Mr. Karlberg,

How to translate Ubuntu or Oneness into a new Social Reality?

I have an answer. First check in with the work of the Great Transition Initiative launched by Tellus.org. on the Global Citizen’s Movement.

The Answer: A new Global Social Network, not “Consumer Internet” but “Citizen Internet” championing the many virtues and possibilities of Global Citizenship. Without an immediate call for unprecedented global collaboration and a new form of supranational governance– global problems will never end, and in fact can not be solved by any one nation or region alone.

The Social Network= GlobalCitizen.com
I think I have the right way to design, refine and build it. I need your help and many partners.
I have spent 5 years now on direct R&D on this.

The creation of a common global human voice which can raise issues, propose solutions, vote on them and act on them. The creation of a new interpretation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Setting the minimum standards for clean water, access to food, shelter, security, health care, employment opportunity for every human on the planet. Parallel standards for the environment and the wildlife which deserves and should own their natural habitats which remain. A revolution in global financial management, structures, practices and institutions. A revolution in the way valuation is ascribed to people, places and things which are not denominated in dollars only. It can all happen by re-evaluating and rewriting the core philosophy and mission statement of every organization, business, government agency, corporation and others.

The time has come. Before there is none left.

Michael Walsh
GlobalCitizen@me.com
Austin, TX
512.212.0312


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