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Vision for Spaceship Earth

Mark A. Goldman                                                                  Dated: 11/14/2011


I am borrowing the term Spaceship Earth from R. Buckminster Fuller, the philosopher, architect, and visionary of the 20th century, to describe the planet we all occupy.   He pointed out that we live on a spaceship of sorts, hurling through space at a little over 66,000 miles per hour, in orbit around our miraculous energy source, a star we call the Sun.   We carry with us on our epic journey through time and space all the supplies we need to sustain us on our long voyage.  We are the crew of this, our round ship.  Unfortunately, we have become an unruly crew, constantly bickering and fighting amongst ourselves, wasting supplies, thinking mutinous thoughts, and making the voyage an unhappy experience for a great many of our fellow travelers.  It’s a hell of a way to run a spaceship. 

Fuller pointed out that we are managing things in a way that threatens our very survival.  He suggested that the time is coming soon when we will have to choose… either we will learn how to work together – to man the ship so that it works for everyone on board, or we will end up on a dysfunctional piece of rock that works for no one at all.

I suggest to you that humanity already possess the knowledge of how to run this ship in a way that would allow it to work for everyone on board.  We have in our possession a roadmap if you will – the documented wisdom of those who came before – showing us the way to proceed... a strategy that would allow us to transform our relationships with one another, and with our mother ship, so that we might avoid disaster, and instead make life on board our small vessel a valuable and meaningful experience for every passenger, and for as far into the future as we can imagine.  Miraculously, the roadmap of which I speak is reduced to a single document – one that is available to all of us for review and study.  It is called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

This document was signed and adopted by the general assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.  It identifies what we must do if we are ever to find peace and freedom from fear on board this ship, for ourselves and for our posterity.  The question is, will we have the wisdom to offer them that opportunity – the opportunity to celebrate universal respect, decency, and justice among all nations with no one left out... or will we deny them our wisdom and cheat them out of their birthright?  

After much consideration and study, every UN member state signed onto this roadmap for universal peace.  A few abstained from the voting, but no nation voted against the resolution which gives us and our offspring our best hope for universal success. 

So each government agreed to give their people this chance; to give them the opportunity to read, study and come into alignment with the terms and conditions outlined in the document.  Each member nation agreed that every world citizen has the right to know that this roadmap exists, that they have a right to read and understand what it says and what it means, and that they have both the right and the obligation to strive alone and with others to fulfill its promise.  

Unfortunately, the leaders of many nations did not keep their word; not even our own government which sponsored it.  The agreement was designed to fulfill the hopes and dreams of the common people in every compartment (i.e., nation) on our Spaceship.  Had their word and our word been kept, all the peoples of the world would now be at peace with no one hungry or living in fear. This is how I see it.  An unfortunate and sad commentary. And yet... I believe, it’s still not too late.  

The roadmap is still as valid today as it was when it was originally adopted.  But time is running out.  What we need to do is renew our commitment to the promise humanity made to itself.  If we can do that, we can secure for our children and grandchildren a bright and hopeful future.  If we fail, we risk losing most of what mankind has learned and contributed in support of life on Earth.  In fact, we risk the viability of life itself on this fragile ship of ours if we continue the wanton destruction of our spaceship’s life support systems, which is what we are now engaged in doing.

What It Will Take

In just a few words I have offered you the solution to most of the problems facing all crew members that live on Spaceship Earth.  But my saying it doesn't mean that you or others understand or believe it.  And so for all members of the crew to come into alignment with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will not be easy to accomplish.  Not now, and I expect not without a great deal of controversy.  To succeed will take all the wisdom, courage, intellectual integrity, dedication, honor and truth that you as a crew member can muster.  For the culture that we need to transform, now exists in a heavy atmosphere of fear and mistrust.  We will never succeed unless we allow ourselves to adopt and sustain an attitude of faith and trust in ourselves and in one another as we attempt to accomplish the required task. 

What I have described is the strategy I would pursue if I were the Chief Administrator of the Executive Branch of the Government of the United States.

To accomplish what I propose we need to do, cannot be accomplished through deceit, lies, fabrications, violence, secrecy or the propagation of illusion.  It can only be accomplished through truth, honor, dignity, compassion, courage, and love.  It’s not something one person can accomplish alone; it’s something we will all need to accomplish together.

There are those who will say that to attempt such a thing is pure folly… an act of naïveté. 

I say, that anything else we might try is pure folly, and an act of naïveté... and also a clear path to self defeat. What I propose is the best chance we have to secure a world that works for everyone, and therefore a world that works for us.  To stay the course we're on, or to adopt the course that many others are suggesting, is to pursue our own defeat in a world that will eventually work for no one at all. 

Wise men and prophets throughout the ages have offered similar strategies to what I am suggesting, only to be ignored and/or betrayed.  What I am proposing is a refinement of what has been offered before, and yet it is true and consistent with all the best ideas that were offered before.  It is more clear and more doable than anything yet suggested to humanity in the entire history of mankind. It is an answer and a gift that for too long has remained ignored and unseen even though it has been right in front of our eyes all this time.  This window of opportunity is now open.  It is an idea whose time has come, but only if we are willing to make it come.   

It is time to let go of the limited past and choose instead a better future in freedom, peace, and sustainable success.  There are no guarantees.  I believe what I am telling you is both true and doable; that the universe is waiting to support this effort; that peoples everywhere are tired of war, hunger, pestilence and fear.  My solution is the only viable solution on the table.  It is the only course of action that can take us where we need to go, because it is the only destination to which the common people of Spaceship Earth truly want to go. 

I am a candidate for President of the United States and this is the framework of my platform and my proposal for the next administration and others that follow.  To successfully embark on this adventure requires a critical mass of humanity being willing to accept this challenge with honor and courage.  Be what you hope for.  If you understand what I'm telling you, vote for me, even though you don't even need me anymore.   

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlines what each citizen and organ of society must strive for if we are to succeed as a species.  And yet that alone does not quite say enough. For the Universal Declaration of Human Rights while laying out the goal to be achieved requires a better understanding of the responsibilities of citizenship.  For we cannot succeed unless we are willing to be responsible citizens.  What does that mean?  It means that you may have to change your attitude; you may have to let go of illusions and misunderstandings whenever you discover them because you surely will discover them once you embark on this journey.  We live in an atmosphere awash in lies. You must now seek truth with integrity in all that you do; you must strive to do your best… your very best as a crew member on this ship if we intend to survive and prosper.

I’m offering you a choice.  Some of you have prayed for help.  I am here to help.  If you think that I am arrogant, I say no… that is not a good enough response.  I am not saying that you must believe anything I say.  But for you to be honorable, you must allow for the possibility that what I am telling you is true.  It is your responsibility to search, to question, to think, and to read... with honor and intelligence in order to discover for yourself if maybe, just maybe, what I'm telling you is for real. 

Be willing to suspend your fear and mistrust long enough to be honest with yourself and with those you love.  In the end, no one can make you vote for me.  No one can make you vote for anyone.  But when you do vote, I suggest you vote with honor… and that means, first be open to learn something new; do not align yourself with a party, or an ideology, or a past decision you have made… but align yourself with your own conscience, after honest investigation, and do so with as much integrity as you can muster.  You asked for this in the silence of your hidden hopes and dreams, and now the opportunity is here.  I am not your savior.  I am not even your leader.  But I am a friend if you want one.  …and as one American poet once said, “the only way to have a friend is to be one.”

You don’t need me to do this.  You can do this without me.  But if you want me to try, I’ll do my best not to disappoint you.  

“We are not going to be able to operate
 our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for 
much longer unless we see it as a whole 
spaceship and our fate as common. It 
has to be everybody or nobody.”
                     R. Buckminster Fuller

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."   Martin Luther King, Jr.

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