The prevailing mood at all of these events would be hope, inspiration, joy, and a peaceful steadfastness that perhaps hasn 't been experienced since the great civil rights march on Washington forty-something years ago. We would aim for 50 million Americans to be represented, and because of the local connection, the events would have to be covered by every local newspaper and TV station. These events would be reported worldwide, and the message to the world would be: We the people of America have made the choice to take back our country, our heritage, our legacy.
3. Pray For the Soul of America, and Invite the People of the World to Do the Same. I 'm sorry if this sounds unctuous, and before you secular humanists reading this run for the hills please take a minute to sit with this idea. There are many definitions of prayer, but if we go with the most generic, it boils down to "shared intention for the good. " In his book on the subject, Dr. Larry Dossey cites studies that show people who are "prayed for " actually recover more quickly from surgery and have fewer complications. Interestingly, it doesn 't seem to matter what tradition the prayer is in. As long as there 's healing intention, it works. In this sense, even a self-identified atheist could participate in this field, simply by wishing an individual, a group, or a situation well. In a similar way, practitioners of Transcendental Meditation have correlated an influx of meditators to an area with a reduction of the crime rate.
Would it help heal our afflicted body politic? Well, it would be worth finding out, and like chicken soup, it couldn 't hurt. Imagine a "tag-team " prayer vigil, 24/7 where any and all spiritual groups that want to participate can keep the "flame " burning. Imagine tens of thousands of communities across the country, unified in intention that "only love prevails. " Such a "field " would enliven and inspire the same kinds of gatherings worldwide, among those of all religions (and no religion at all) ready to affirm "we 're all in it together. "
Think of it this way. If we the people of America are able to turn things around here, imagine the inspiration for the rest of the world. Imagine the impact that real freedom -- not economic exploitation and cultural disrespect covered by a thin, artificial veneer -- would have on those who might otherwise be polarized into radical Islam. Who knows? If we birth real freedom at home and treat others with respect abroad, we might be surprised to find that millions of people who "hate " us now will step up and proclaim, "I 'll have what they 're having. "
4. Flex Your Fiscal Muscles. In a country where it 's money, money uber alles, let 's begin to flex our fiscal muscles by withdrawing financial energy from what we don 't want, and investing it in what we do. 50 million voters voted for regime change in 2004. If each of those individuals shifted just $100, that 's $5 billion. Now, of course that ain 't much, but it 's a start. What if just one fiftieth of that number, a million people, pulled the plug on their cable, or stopped their daily newspaper subscription, and shifted that money to support online news services such as TruthOut, OpEd News, Common Dreams?
A recent Zogby poll indicated that 64% of the Democrats in Pennsylvania are women, and I suspect that the trend is true in other states as well. Since every piece of marketing research I could find says that women do the bulk of the shopping in this country, that would indicate a lot of under-utilized clout. What if women who instinctively understand that a "you-and-me " world is safer and more life-affirming than a "you-or-me " world, used their spending power to feed the healing forces in this country, and starve the hurting forces? For starters, folks can check out BuyBlue.org.
If all this sounds "idealistic, " remember that we are rapidly approaching the point where the ideal must become the real deal -- otherwise, when it comes to human life on the planet, it 's no deal. For a long time now, we 've been hearing that every generation must step up to defend freedom. Now it 's our turn. In the past, we 've been called upon to march to some foreign land, armed with a gun. In these times, being a stand for freedom looks like standing up where we are, armed only with the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and the knowledge that every religion or spiritual path boils down to some variation on the Golden Rule. A critical mass of citizens standing on the brink of evolution, firmly and fearlessly, stripped of illusion. Now that is the real "naked power " that will change the world as we know it.
© Copyright 2006 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved.
This is the first in a series of articles called "The Next Step: Putting the American Evolution Into Action. " Next installment: What Keeps the Insanity In Place, and What We Can Do About It.