Tao Te Ching – Chapter 54
If we establish ourselves on this path,
we will not be shaken by events.
If we take it into our hearts,
our children and their children will benefit.
This path returns us to our true self.
It brings our families abundant joy.
It brings our communities a lasting legacy.
It brings our countries true prosperity.
All that is expresses this path.
Therefore we practice awareness in each and every moment.
We see ourselves in every person we meet.
The whole world becomes our family,
How do we make this discovery?
By sitting still and looking within.
9/11 was the most successful terrorist event in history. It planted a virus in our society that found a fertile environment in which it has spread like, well … a virus. It spawned a generalized fear, from which emerged blame and distrust, from which emerged more fear in a spiral that has penetrated all corners of our life. Our leadership, rather than using the event as an opportunity to examine our growing disconnection from the rest of the world, exploited it as a chance to wage unending war and attempts at empire-building. We have been separated from each other into fragmented camps of shouting, blaming, terrified people, unable to have civil discourse – and therefore have become very easy to manipulate and control with tweets, sound bites, and memes.
How different it might have been had we followed the wisdom of this chapter. If we had looked within, perhaps our children and their children would be looking at a new kind of world. We could have seen ourselves in each other and the whole world could have become our family. The question I face today is: Is such an outcome still possible? If so, what can I do today to facilitate it? What can you do?