Declaration of InterDependence?

This video poses a compelling set of questions:
“Do we educate to strengthen our democracy or to strengthen our economy?”
“Does competition or cooperation produce better results?”
“What will students need to know?”
“Are they being educated with current reality in mind?”
“Should the people support the economy or should the economy support the people?”
Maybe we need to change the way we look at success, progress, wealth, competition, the future?

This is a collage of points made on the subject of sustainability, and a change of direction that needs to be addressed within the educational system to reflect our current reality.

Compelling images, graphics and quotes like this one tell the story, reaching interesting conclusions:
“We have reached a point where the value we add to our economy is being outweighed by the value we are removing.” Paul Hawken, author and environmentalist.
“GDP is not an indicator of a society’s well being or stability. It goes up with every instance of destructive spending too: illness, war, nuclear power plants, GMO food production, incarceration.”
“We need to come together around a new indicator of “wealth.”

I see truth in all of these questions and statements, but it’s not an either/or situation.  We need BOTH cooperation and individual initiative.  Will we achieve a world where cooperation rules and competition is eliminated.  I think not.  Competition is a powerful motivator.  Without it, where is sport?  Where is the spark that asks us to find and then surpass the limits and encourages those with a competitive spirit to surpass them?

Yet, our world IS out of balance in favor of competitiveness.  We do not need Communism – the religion of forced cooperation that enriches the few.  We DO need cooperation that comes from within – the desire to be more productive by working together, trusting serving one another and achieving things greater than the sum of their individual parts.  These things come only from a society that is disciplined in moral values – the values that Christ and other great religious leaders taught.

Ironically, interdependence is best achieved by strong, healthy, independent people.  Today, on Independence Day, we each need to make two declarations, enabled by two pledges.
First, to declare that we will live lives that are independent – hard working, self-sufficient, productive, strong and independent of government or other unnecessary support, personally responsible, reliable, trustworthy.
Second, to declare that we will live lives that are interdependent – trusting, giving, forgiving, serving, mutually productive, loving.

None of this is easy.  It takes strong, committed people of character to achieve the greatness that is the promise of America.  Our forefathers were such people of strength and towering character.  They built a nation where people were free to practice their religion that built such character, individual character that could then be put to work through productive, respectful cooperation.  Today, let us, as individuals exercising our free will, declare both our Independence and our Interdependence and rebuild America from the ground up.

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