Bring Meaning to Work and Purpose to Spirituality

I love the PBS political analysis by Mark Shield and David Brooks. Today in anticipation of President Obama’s State of Union speech on next Tuesday, they briefly discussed the problem of worsening income inequality in America in recent decades. There their agreement ends. While David believes that global economic and social changes are responsible for driving the opportunity gaps between rich and poor, Mark makes a sweeping statement about the value choices of people versus economy, without clearly differentiating the phenomena of either people or economy. Such over simplification by the political left (sadly President Obama has gradually drifted in the same direction over the period of his presidency) has been disastrous in driving the domestic and international policies by the Obama administration. The fact that the Republican dominated House suffers from the opposite form of over simplification only makes the state of union even graver. As David rightly pointed out, the problems of the rich getting richer; the poor getting poorer; and the squeeze in the middle are all driven by vastly complex but different dynamics. If we are going to craft sensible policies to get our country back on the right track of the American Dream, such grand generalizations only cause more damage. Who are the people? Not all rich people were greedy; not all poor folks were hard working. Whom does the economy serve? Wealth is certainly not being distributed evenly or fairly under the free market mechanism. However, no one wants to go back to the feudal orders of the middle age Europe or the totalitarian state of communisms in East Europe and the Far East a few decades ago. The real question is how to create equal opportunities for all under less than perfect human and economic conditions, not erecting some artificial barriers between perceived fairness in the distributions of income. The folly of communism and extreme socialism is the belief in ‘free’ equality or share of income; the folly of traditional capitalism is the belief in capital as an end instead of merely a means. Both ignore the crucial factor of opportunity that produces the income which both fights to keep a greater share of. Philosophically, the country is stuck in the mud of materialism no matter what label each party uses to justify their positions on particular social and economic issues. Opportunity fundamentally points to a future that must transcend such fixation on income. It is necessary to transcend and include the glory of our past achievements in civil rights and economic prosperity into a future of deeper meaning and higher purpose. What does such a future look like and how do we realize it in day to day living? For a unique opportunity to experience this exciting future free of charge, please consider joining us for the live streaming of the 2014 Presencing Global Forum. I'll be hosting a local and online discussion group, please contact me if you're interested

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