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Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Small Step For Mankind.

Humanity is a remarkable organism, we have the frightening ability to ignore reality and convince ourselves that somehow what we are doing is important.  Even though a glance in the newspaper, (if you can find one) or the evening news will offer ample proof that the world is on the brink of self immolation, and everyday we don't try to apply some resistance, and slow the process, it gains momentum.

Americans are more divided than at any time I can remember, and I grew up during the Vietnam war, and the Watergate scandal.  We are mired in the mud, and sinking lower by the day.  All while the world is spinning toward inferno and nobody seems to notice.

Everyday we slide closer and closer to the end, and we blithely, joyfully ignore the impending doom.  Somehow we have convinced ourselves that we are just carrying on in the tradition of our ancestors, and maybe we are.  But, we are not our ancestors, we are well adapted citizens of the 21st century with technology that would mystify previous generations.

This technology is here to stay, we can not put that genie back in the bottle (and nobody wants to), but we could use it to slow our descent, to reverse the prejudices and hate, to call attention to our similarities and our shared traits.  No matter what you believe, no matter your theological bent, no matter your views on evolution, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, we all seem to accept that the event, or being that gave us life, did the same for everybody, and we all share common origins.  Since the beginning we have been drifting apart.

As we celebrate our anger over our distance, and dissimilarities, there is one man, a blogger, video maker, father, family man, who has an idea, a first step in bringing the Earth's inhabitants a little closer.  +Mike Raven , architect of The Traveling Book Project has decided, almost by himself, to start people travelling the road to understanding.

He is going to assemble a number of notebooks, and write something personal, about himself and his life, in each, including a few photos, and send them on a mission of healing and understanding.  He hopes that people will fill in a few pages about themselves and their lives, and forward them to others.  Until they find their way back to him.  He will scan them and make all of the information available online.

Is this going to solve all of the problems we have managed to create, or end bigotry and hatred?  Probably not.  But, imagine, for a minute, if the "leaders" of the world, and the governments that inform and influence their countries would take a step like this, make a small effort to understand, and appreciate each other, imagine what could happen.  Imagine if we could step back from the stereotypes, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, all of us.  It is almost frightening, isn't it?

Can we change the inevitable?  Can we be the generation that begins the healing?  I hope so, I have kids, and want to leave them something.  One thing is almost certain, we can not leave it to the people in charge, we need to rely on individuals who are willing, and able to try something different.  People like Mike Raven.

Thank you, Mike, it is a wonderful thing you are doing.