Ending Conversations That Divide: The Rise of the “We Conversation”

June 2013

The other day I received an announcement from one of the professional futurists associations to which I belong about a forthcoming event with a theme of “The Future of Europe.” I was struck immediately with the thought that titles such as this are outmoded. Einstein warned us that nationalism was an “infantile disease” almost a century ago and Thomas Paine decreed “My country is the world…. My countrymen are mankind” about 237 years ago.

As technology continues to bring the people of the world closer and the global commons continues to be endangered as a human support system, we are getting closer and closer to where the only conversation worth having is the “we conversation.”

Spaceship Earth is here! As I wrote in my various “The Three Musketeers Meet Bucky Fuller” pieces a few years back, we are at a crucial time in human history where we either make it together or we don’t. If we cannot overcome our “me conversations” and acknowledge that we are truly interdependent, relying on one another to pull off the most critical paradigm shift in human history we are in deep trouble.

 Left to right: Einstein, Tutu, Fuller and Mother Earth

It is time to start acting “as if” we are all one, even if we don’t believe this to be so. This is no longer a philosophical ideal, or a nice concept. It is essential and paramount if our species is to survive. Like the African idea of unbuntu, our very existence is tied to one another, or as Archbishop Tutu says, “It speaks of the fact that my humanity is caught up and is inextricably bound up in yours.”

Until we start being concerned for the whole – the whole of humanity – and place what which is good for that whole above our individual special interests, we are doomed to continue competing with one another, alienating ourselves from one another and playing the win/lose game. When we start playing the win/win game and make sure everyone is taken care of we will start enjoying a world of community, compassion and connection. This could be viewed as an “adult” or “mature” perspective as I indicated in my latest book The Great Growing Up.

Let us start having only “we conversations” and stop those silly “they conversations” which further divide and alienate us from one another. Let us cease those egoic tirades that attempt to place us above or below or against anyone or anything. Let us savor the rich nectar of conversations and actions that honor our uniqueness and alignment with sacred purpose, to be the best we can be as a global community of soul mates.

 Let us be concerned about the future of us all, not our town or our country or our company. Let us be concerned about everybody! As I wrote in my May guest blog at the Global Dialogue Center, we are each a “puzzle piece” – unique and distinct but all part of a larger whole we might call “All-That-Is,” a “Higher Power” or God. I am no more important or special than any other “puzzle piece” but I have a unique role and a unique destiny to contribute to the whole, as you do, and each of us does.

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John Renesch

John is a seasoned businessman-turned-futurist who has published 14 books and hundreds of articles on social and organizational transformation.

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