We have a plethora of challenges before us humans these days, and it certainly can feel overwhelming. We can’t work on all of them, so when choosing among them, how to know on which to focus?

What if there were really one big, systemic challenge that included the others, one appearing as many?

Heal one, heal all

We traditionally call our eco-system Mother Nature, which provides food, water, shelters, and sustains us. When she is harmed, so are we.

Preserving and protecting her is to protect and sustain ourselves. Yet, we have literally decimated large swaths of our earth, land, and sea.

Forests ablaze, innumerable dead zones in the oceans, phyto-plankton diminished, and coral reefs bleached as a species, we have arrogantly and foolishly created massive destruction to our precious eco-system and as a result, we are moving ourselves, as many biologists have told us, among them cellular biologist, Bruce Lipton, precipitously toward the edge of the 6th Extinction.

If it isn’t war that kills us, it may be our abuse of ourselves and by walking the plank by leading our eco-system to the verge of collapse. It’s that “one more wafer-thin mint, Sir?” by Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.

Yet, my organization, A Better World, with Pollyanna firmly in hand, works toward creating peace and restoring the planet in a real sense, as one action.

We recognize that our larger home, Gaia, must be protected, preserved, and making peace among warring humans, is a major step in that direction.

Let’s recognize what we’ve done & so work toward solutions

Soberly recognizing our current conditions and this threat to sentient life, with purpose, compassion, and love in our hearts, we can drive forward using coaching, educational media, and social enterprise as ways to transform minds, hearts, and actions, working to make the world a better place for all.

Working hand-in-hand with the NGO, The Institute of Global Education, A Better World takes another step toward educating people, especially youth, about our planet, regenerative agriculture, permaculture, building local, circular economies and peace-making.

Addressing these inherently addresses the issues of material poverty. Learn more, grow more, hunger ceases, and have more to sell at the market, which grows the local economy and lifts people out of poverty.

This kind of practice creates a positive feedback loop, a healthy, a self-begetting cycle of success.

We are focused on educating upcoming generations so they may become self-sufficient, build local economies and communities, address global warming issues, and live in harmony with Gaia.

Bringing healing to warring factions reduces the scorching of the earth. Caring for the soil and practicing regenerative farming provides food for more people and calms the soul. Less war leads to more respect and love of the earth and each other, more nourishing food, more fresh air, clean water, deeper breath, greater health. This is the reciprocity between peace, personal and planetary health. They simply work hand-in-hand.

Reverse global warming by making peace

The U.S. military burns more fossil fuel than any other customer on the planet. It creates more toxic emissions and pollution than any other entity. It uses more tax dollars to fuel its insatiable appetite for more advanced weapons costing us many trillions of dollars while children in the so-called richest nation in world history go to bed hungry. It may be materially rich but it is (too) spiritually poor.

All of this weaponry is wasteful and killing people directly or indirectly. Yet Nature Herself has no waste. To end war and to vastly reduce the military budget would go a far way in reducing the carbon footprint. That is, to fix “the military war problem” is also to go far in fixing the global warming problem. They are inextricably intertwined. To fix the addiction to war, which is largely code for saying, the addiction to money, power and vengeance, is to balance out our nature, eliminate scorching the earth, and move us as a people toward better food, cleaner water, greater economic equity, and balance.

To fix an individual’s anxiety is to reduce anxiety in the planet’s morphogenetic field, a phrase popularized by British biologist Rupert Sheldrake. To reduce the stress and anxiety caused by war would contribute to healing the anxiety an individual may experience being subjected to the morphogenetic field. It’s a two-way street.

Following the same logic, the increased intent of love, good will, good cheer, and good actions also penetrate this quantum field, and per the principle of The Butterfly Effect described in quantum physics, this will have a beneficial, health-accelerating effect on all sentient life in the field.

In traditional Chinese medicine, if one has an unmanageable problem with anger, we can treat their liver meridian to balance it. If someone has a liver imbalance, it is often expressed as an imbalance with anger. We can work with their anger and liver in each and both directions.

Youth watch adults: monkey see, monkey do

How can people grandstand about school shootings among teenagers when these youth watch adults on TV, film and the news, killing each other every single day, in effect, as entertainment?

The violence perpetrated by Hollywood films, government-originated wars and violent video games as entertainment are, I suggest, root causes of violence in our youth.

When video games are largely about killing, death and destruction, cops and robbers, what do you expect teenagers to do left to their own devices (quite literally)?

It’s like the Roman Coliseum gone wild and en masse in the 21st century. And we tend to think of the Romans as primitive. In certain states we still have the death penalty and the methods used are becoming not less, but more primitive. Children and youth see this. We don’t blink an eye.

Curious, is there still love and joy in the family these days? Of course there is. And what if it were multiples more? I daresay the world would be a far better place.

Adults first need to stop their own horribly addictive, destructive fascination with violence and get constructive for themselves and for their children. Making violent movies or video games just “for a buck” has to be relegated to the dump heap of history. It’s killing us.

Of course, this then extends to most sectors of our society. The food business is all about addiction as well. In this case, excess sugar, salt, and fats are the killers. As a result, children, despite eating some times a lot, are still malnourished. It isn’t food!

To heal one has an effect of healing all. And the greatest healer of all, it has been said throughout all of history, from agape to romantic love, is love itself.

Isn’t it funny how this word, the great elixir stirring in the depths of all of our lives, is wholly excluded from discussion in political discourse? Is this not a grave, near unforgiveable oversight? Don’t talk about love in professional company. It’s not allowed! Yet it’s the best and most interesting conversation of all.

I heard Representative Rashida Tlaib say the other day in an interview, virtually apologetically (paraphrase), “…at the expense of sounding corny, we need more love in politics…” Its sentiment, high ideal and inclusion may yield some very favorable results. Is there truly something for which to apologize? Of course not! But this is a measure of how far we have gotten from the genuine heartbeat of humanity. I applaud her for bringing the subject of love up in a politically-based interview.

Time to end violence & go beyond war

People around the world are calling for peace, for a cease-fire in Gaza and they are being criticized, ostracized and even fired from their jobs because they are standing up for peace! Has the world gone stark-raving mad?

Biden just secured 14 billion dollars from Congress just for Israel, and yet Netanyahu is adamant that he won’t listen to Biden’s suggestions for being gentler on the civilians in Gaza.

Have I lost my mind or if you were giving another country 14 billion dollars and that country’s Prime Minister doesn’t listen to you but publicly and explicitly defies you, wouldn’t you think twice about handing over the money which you know is going to be leading to killing innocent people? Wouldn’t you demand that that Prime Minister listen to every word you say and promise to act on them?

It is time for human beings to wake up and grow up, mature, and go beyond the bestial behavior that leads to war. We are very creative beings.

We can consider ways suggested here and in the previous article, Part 1, to bring about sustained and lasting peace. And so many other extraordinary sources abound far beyond mine.

How is it that we human beings are to watch the wholesale slaughter of our fellow human beings and be okay with it, justify it with, of all things, a religious ideology?

To address the world’s most recent insanity: Horrible as Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7 was—and it should never have happened—killing over 27,000 people, at least 11,000 of whom have been children, destroying families' homes, mosques, churches, hospitals, targeting journalists, and wiping out an entire culture is nothing short of reprehensible and clearly constitutes war crimes and is in violation of international law.

An eye for an eye? Not quite. How about an eye for ten thousand eyes?

The oldest Mosque in Gaza, a beautiful, historic, sacred work of art, was just demolished by Israeli bombs that U.S. taxpayers paid for.

The hostages have to be released, which will happen when the fighting stops, as happened already when there was a prisoner and hostage exchange. It worked.

There is no such thing as “eliminating Hamas”. This is an old ploy by Netanyahu to keep the focus off of him and on “the enemy”. Hamas is hostile because Palestinian land has been systematically taken from them for over a century hostilely and vengefully. This does not justify violence but it does justify righteous anger and indignation. No one would stand for such wholesale theft, as it is of land and dignity and culture.

Who controls the narrative?

Controlling a narrative in the media, in government, and among people is very powerful. It is a parallel notion to the old idea that “history is written by the victors." It is the people in political power who tell us who the enemies are and who “the good guys" are. Unfortunately, these narratives rarely have anything to do with the truth.

But controlling the narrative, as in any good story-telling, keeps people intrigued. It’s probably the oldest of all arts, sitting around the fire in the days of old, mesmerizing the listener. A story can be thrilling and inspiring, scare the daylights out of someone, or whip them into a frenzy.

Every politician and leader has known this from time immemorial.

When an individual or a group is demonized in the media, there is no limit to the harm this can do. Sadly, vengeance is a powerful force. We may all feel it, but we can tame it as we tame the mind and emotions so they don’t drive us to violence and recklessness. All feel the tendencies toward these extreme behaviors at times and thankfully, relative few actually express them in action.

Yet there is some psychological “switch” that is too often thrown, detaching head from heart and body, allowing for heinous acts to be perpetrated as the decimation of an entire people, made even worse that they are part of the same larger, human family.

Justification is always found as a buffer from one’s conscience. “They deserved it” is a common refrain. Oh really? Who is the judge of that?

Propaganda is used by every insecure regime to control the minds of people and sway the masses away from independent, critical, objective thinking. For the rich and powerful, these are menacing attributes held by billions of people who can interfere with their self-serving agendas, made to seem as service to the people. The words of Klaus Schwab, head of the WEF, has stated, “You will own nothing and be happy…” Really? But you and your WEF enclave will own everything? I don’t think so Klaus!

Why is a small group of unelected billionaires trying to control the mind, heart, and soul of every human being on earth? Isn’t that a ridiculous, ultimately self-defeating, unaccomplishable enterprise?

Identifying an enemy around which a war can be waged is extremely attractive to politicos who are trying to take the heat off themselves from their own frequent list of wrongdoing. Or are they are just trying to win votes by appearing as “the tough guy.” Or enrich the military industrial complex that stuffs their coffers with so much money?

The entire idea of an enemy, when you allow a little space around it, could be teased apart to mean that someone “who strongly disagrees” with the party line. That’s not an enemy, just someone who disagrees! Not even necessarily a disagreeable person!

Are we not big enough people to accommodate disagreements? If not, we need to go back to kindergarten. We missed the essence of learning through debate, what is needed for Democracy to thrive. Otherwise, we just have a corral of sheep.

It’s a chance to discuss, debate, and if you really want to have a challenge, perhaps even seek to persuade. William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923, said, “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met.”

May a touch of Holy Land history help create a wee bit of context?

In the case of the Jews, Israelis, and Palestinians, a war did not start on October 7, but on that date, an older war was continued.

When Jews started moving back into Palestine in the 1880's and then the Zionist Movement kicked up, they were effectively “waging war” against the indigenous Palestinians.

This is close to identical to when Columbus landed in the Caribbean and later the British, Dutch, and French landed on the shores of Turtle Island, which they called “The New World.” It was new only to them. Yes, Jews lived in the Holy Land, Palestine, many thousands of years ago, along with the Canaanites, Akkadians, Arabs, Assyrians, and other Semitic peoples. The land didn’t belong to any one group exclusively, but to all. They were all invaded, conquered, and driven out over the course of time, and returned time and again.

The European colonists aggressed upon the indigenous peoples here in what became the U.S., leading to a serious decimation of the native population and culture through ethnic cleansing, not unlike the Semites were conquered and driven into small pockets of land, refugee camps (think reservations), or into other countries altogether.

It’s a history any humane, intelligent person regrets and is embarrassed by both what has happened here on Turtle Island and there in the Holy Land. They are both Holy Lands and should be honored as such. But up to today, the persecutions continue. In the more recent turn of the clock, the Palestinians have been attacked and oppressed by the Jews, Israelis, and, to varying extents, the international community since the 1880’s and chased out of their own land.

The sick irony here is that the Jews have, of course, been enslaved and oppressed virtually everywhere they have gone for millennia and have suffered enormously at the hands of their oppressors. The world has ached over the suffering of us Jews through virtually all of human history.

Wouldn’t you think that they wouldn’t perpetuate such harm on others as it has been done to them? That the Jews would be exemplars of empathy, through both their direct experience of horrific oppression and the compassion expressed through their sacred texts?

One would think they would seek to empathetically and compassionately come to a reasonable compromise with the Palestinians going back to the late 19th century.

Does it really make sense for one traditionally oppressed people to then oppress another oppressed people? When were empathy and compassion dropped from Jewish law? I must have missed that chapter. In reality, they never were. They were expediently and foolishly ignored. It’s called “cherry-picking passages from the Torah and the Mishnah.”

It must also be said that such oppression of any people is wholly in violation of Jewish law, ethics, and values. Why has the bedrock of Judaism been so violated?

Violation is a version of violence.

The Zionist movement from its inception had the intention of wiping out the Palestinians, at minimum, containing them in as limited a parcel of land as possible, preferably in a form of a refugee camp. Or what the colonists did to the Native Peoples of America, isolating them on reservations. The parallels are chilling and cannot, should not be underestimated because they make us squirm.

A little squirming keeps the conscience awake.

And just as among European colonists in the New World, there were Zionists who believed that the Palestinians should have their own sovereignty— it was not an undebated issue. There are fair-minded people to be found everywhere.

What happened with the British Mandate is virtually immaterial because the British had no jurisdiction except what they gave to themselves, which they’ve done throughout history. The Jews ultimately fought them as well.

The Palestinians never accepted the subsequent U.N.’s division of land, yet this was imposed upon them by the U.N. and the world.

Is it a wonder that the Palestinians have struck out many times over these decades? Of course not. Is it right? Of course not a well. But is it virtually inevitable when land is stolen? It likely is. These poor choices over time by first the Zionists and then by the Israeli government have jeopardized the safety and security of their own people.

You cannot consistently attack your neighbor and expect to be safe

All Semites, the Jews, Arabs, and Canaanites, reasonably claim Palestine as their homeland, and as such, if their respective religions mean anything, they should learn to not only peacefully co-exist but to also thrive as neighbors, trading partners, and friends.

If people continue to nurse anger and resentment in their hearts, they are doomed to battle. Those that move beyond this painful state by standing in each other’s shoes will be liberated and able to enjoy a life of peaceful co-existence with others.

I’m going to daresay that it is nearly that simple and applicable across the world. Governments especially, hide simplicity behind a cloak of complexity. It’s part of their game to keep themselves feeling important and in power.

This is not the first time in history that such a massacre as Gaza has occurred. Sadly, it has happened many times. For some historical context, a former, classic disaster such as this was when brothers turned against brothers in ancient India, graphically depicted in the Bhagavad-Gita.

In the West were the Crusades, again wars and genocide carried out in the name of religions. In the late 19th century was the Armenian genocide.

In 1994 was the genocide in Rwanda.

In 1995 was the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.
Human history has many more, way too many to enumerate. Isn’t it time to fulfill our higher human self?

Want peace? Then everyone needs land

This isn’t mysterious. Nature has offered us bountiful amounts of it and it can be equitably shared. Without it, people have no food or water and they die. It goes without saying but in some “leader’s” minds, this “Mother of facts” is overlooked.

Land is everywhere. The Americas, Asia, and the Middle East, there is plenty of land per capita. Can we really say that there isn’t enough for everyone?

If there is plenty, why is so much of it owned by so few? Isn’t this disgraceful?

Going back to indigenous models, the very idea of land ownership wasn’t a concept in their languages.

The Sufis say that we are but visitors on this planet, guests “passing through." How does one person or group own something that is there for everyone, for all the guests?!

It is fair to say that groups, tribes, ethnicities will occupy certain areas as a bird will build a nest on a branch and protect their young there. Groups and ethnicities do make claims to certain areas for periods of time, fairly enough. Much of human history, despite many exceptions, consists of such groups co-existing peacefully together.

Time to go beyond tribes only

Antagonism with any ethnic, demographic, cultural, or religious group is anathema to creating a peaceful co-existence on this planet.

Enjoy your tribe, but don’t be stuck with them and identified only with them! There are many tribes to enjoy! How about identifying beyond ethnicity, race, color, locality, country and identify as members of the same species, or as earthlings, or as universal beings, all of which are true? When one expands one’s own paradigm, self-identity, and self-definition, the possibilities are endless.

The Jews and the Palestinian Arabs (there are Palestinian Jews as well some of whom are now known as Israelis) have been occupying the same land off and on, depending on the respective conqueror, for several thousand years. The land clearly belongs to the Semites, which both Jews and Palestinians are, along with the Canaanites and Akkadians, all Semitic people, within the same linguistic family heritage, another fact that unites these people besides their common father traced to Abraham.

No one can tell me that there isn’t a peaceful way for these people, like people all over the planet, to live in peace. Of course they can, and they have. And they will again.

As stated before, it is typically governments that intercede and drive wedges between people, imposing their divisive, self-interested ideologies, then drive those they have demonized out and seek to control them through manipulation of trade, land, food, water, and, in modern times, electricity, as we are seeing right now of Gaza and the West Bank.

To settle the question of land and “who gets what," a proportion of land is first signaled by the proportion of a population. Then, like an accordion, the parties take each other into consideration, wish for the highest good of each group, and come to a reasonable apportionment, no one group looking for too much or too little.

There will be sticking points along the way, and we understand that from the beginning, even with much good will toward other parties. But these are resolvable through persistent listening, conversation, and what I’ve called in prior articles, “dynamic diplomacy."

This form of diplomacy is needed now, because all the neighboring countries are demanding a cease-fire in Gaza and will continue to obstruct the Suez Canal and much else until the Biden Administration demands that Netanyahu stop this madness and enter a cease-fire as the first step toward peace and finally, after all these years, establish two states.

The Climate Crisis, the War Crises, and the decay of our societies, the avoidance of what looks like an ever-expanding “regional conflict," or what could be WWIII, is all solvable with a few of the key principles presented in this and prior articles, plus a plethora of other sources on conflict resolution currently available from many sources.

We can have a positive future once we re-define our own relationship to authority, to ourselves, and to the profoundly high value and virtue of sustaining peace itself.