How do we become a more conscious world, when it all can seem so beyond our individual capacities to change it? In short, we do what we can, from where we are, from the inside out. According to a 2009 telephone survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, 65% of American adults express a belief or have had at least one transpersonal experience, and 72% attend religious service at least yearly. About half of us have had a religious or mystical experience or moment of spiritual awakening, more than double the 22% reported in 1962. The point being, that a solid majority of us in the US seem to identify as spiritual people.
As a spiritual people, we are responsible for stepping up and making the hard choices. Do we let things stay as they have been? Or do we take action that is peaceful and assertive in its mission to make this world a more loving place to call home? Do we practice our faith? Or, do we continue to give it lip service? Do we sacrifice for the greater good? Or, do we paralyze ourselves by our unwillingness to give up our former (largely salaried) measures of success? Let’s take the healthcare/insurance industry as an example of how we change, from the inside out, a narcissistic system that perhaps once was based on good intention. But one that is bleeding Americans to death. It is not surprising that the industry wages a campaign to blame our President for skyrocketing costs, when rising costs coupled with declining care have been the problem all along. If half of those in the healthcare/insurance industry are truly spiritual, then the President of the United States of America should never have to be the one to mandate pre-existing condition coverage and other similar givens. Imagine that I am CEO of a major health insurance company. And I decide to restructure my company so that it is really helping people stay well. My first hurdle is my board of directors and their concern for investors. But can I find a loving heart among my board who will help me? I can try. I can also try to help them see financial options that may have never before been considered that is in concert with my vision of restructuring the company. I can do a quantum rethink of how my company can pool resources for the benefit of our clients. I can ensure that my executive team shares my vision, and take the lead on reducing our salaries to more fair proportions, even if that means a more nonprofit model of business. And when I am called naive, I can hold firm. Or, I can step down if I really have to and implement my vision by starting a new conscious company in direct competition with my former one. Certainly there are many people who would love a chance at this mission, and would sacrifice to make it a reality. At least half of those I approach might be open enough to attempt a revolutionary new approach to helping Americans fund their health care. And the conscious business model of insuring my clients’ appropriate healthcare will certainly be its own best successful marketing strategy. As insurance brokers spread the word of my new conscious business model, of putting my clients’ well-being first, then my company will likely rise quickly in its dominance of the market place, forcing other companies to compete using this model. But during this process, I have not limited myself to one-dimensional change, that of changing just my company, I have also reached out to nonprofit hospitals who share my vision and have formed a collective of sorts with them that can ensure our success, by getting the costs of services more in line with the world. And as I see my vision gradually over time catch fire through the entire healthcare/insurance industry, I am overcome with the bliss of knowing I have helped change the world by changing a very broken system bent towards bankrupting Americans over healthcare. Those who are in a position of power just might have been put there by Spirit, as an opportunity to demonstrate their faith. Those who succeed at the opportunity put their faith first, and try what others say is impossible. They choose spiritual rather than material and financial values or measures of advancement. They trust that Spirit will work miracles to make it happen, as they take steps toward implementing the larger spiritual vision. And when struggle and adversity overtakes them, they can hold steadfast and persist toward the goal. As another example, imagine I am part of the nutrition education movement. I can orchestrate a march demanding a halt to GMOs, which are poised to contaminate the entire food supply chain, and with it, human health and well-being. I can open the eyes of mankind as to how what we eat affects our moods, and our bodies. I can initiate an organization devoted to the marketing of GMO-free foods, through the use of a world-recognized label or symbol. These are all efforts being done by a few, that can only become more effective when more of us join in to help and to support the cause. Imagine I am just a regular Jo. I can work to improve my own ability to love. I can practice respect, as I walk into a store and as I drive my car. I can allow others to go first. I can be polite and courteous. I can be kind and compassionate. The power of “I can” is limitless. What can you do?