A day for perspective. Words from the late Carl Sagan. A reminder that indeed, We Move Together.
As the ancient myth makers knew, we are children equally of the earth and the sky. In our tenure on this planet we’ve accumulated dangerous evolutionary baggage — propensities for aggression and ritual, submission to leaders, hostility to outsiders — all of which puts our survival in some doubt.
But we’ve also acquired compassion for others, love for our children and desire to learn from history and experience, and a great soaring passionate intelligence — the clear tools for our continued survival and prosperity.
Which aspects of our nature will prevail is uncertain, particularly when our visions and prospects are bound to one small part of the small planet Earth.
But up there in the immensity of the Cosmos, an inescapable perspective awaits us. There are not yet any obvious signs of extraterrestrial intelligence and this makes us wonder whether civilizations like ours always rush implacably, headlong, toward self-destruction.
National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinism are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars. Travel is broadening.
An astrophysicist and a poet … Carl Sagan. As time allows I invite you to watch the video below as a further reminder, The Pale Blue Dot.
When I first created this blog/website I was searching for a name and nothing seemed right. As I wrote down ideas and branched off to new ideas, I quietly wrote down three words, We Move Together. I arrived and knew I belonged. Moreover, I needed to blend these words together; once again it felt right. As such I created WeMoveTogether.
Today as I reflect back on that day several months ago and how I created one word from three, I realize that one word already exists to cover my three. That word is Compassion.
I firmly believe that no leader is a true leader without compassion. Leadership is strong and fragile. A compassionate leader builds. If compassion fails, what was built surely will crumble. With no compassion to start, a leader can not build.
There is a worldwide organization focused on how to improve compassion in our lives. The organization is called, Charter For Compassion. Please do check them out and reflect on the place for compassion in leadership.
Here is a short video showing Karen Armstrong, one of the folks involved with this organization. Please do watch.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States. My writing today is a continuation from my last post about Eric Greitens a US Navy SEAL and humanitarian. I am reading his book titled, “The Heart and the Fist“. Between time with my family and BBQ this weekend I can not get enough of his story. I have perfected the technique of holding my Nook reader in one hand and turning chicken on the grill using my other hand.
By age 21 Eric already spent time on humanitarian missions in both Bosnia and Rwanda. It was the mid 1990′s when both countries experienced horrific violence as their people turned against each other. Eric serves as an example of why compassion for others is such an important trait for leaders. This compassion drives him forward to succeed in everything he approaches.
Eric had an epiphany while in Rwanda that humanitarian efforts are not enough. We need to focus on protecting those people who can not protect themselves against war and violence. This thinking led Eric to join the Navy and become a Navy SEAL (amazing accomplishment on its own). He reached the point of strength combined with compassion.
Here are Eric’s own words to reflect on today, Memorial Day, as we honor those who choose to serve and protect us all.
Yet the basic fact remains: we live in a world marked by violence, and if we want to protect others, we sometimes have to be willing to fight. We all understand at the most basic level that caring requires strength as well as compassion.