All Together Now…

Everybody knows the stories about WWII – we’ve all seen the movies – and we generally think that what happened was ‘of a time’.  A black and white era of seamed stockings and chain-smoking, totally unlike today.  We believe it is in the past and that we’ll never end up in that awful mess again.  But is that the case?  Here are a few things to think about –

  • Germany was a democracy in 1933 when Hitler came to power.  There was a great deal of civil unrest but it was still a democracy and Hitler and his party were elected in a democratic process.
  • Everybody ignored the Civil War in Spain in 1936 and let Franco take over in 1939.  This didn’t seem like an important conflict that had the capacity to impact on the lives of people outside of Spain.  It was the generally accepted view that it was safe to ignore it and let the Spaniards fight it out between themselves.  The Spanish Civil War was where Hitler and Mussolini tried out lots of the weapons, planes and tactics they later used all over the place during WWII – so, it would appear that the generally accepted view was flat out wrong.
  • None of these things would have happened if the ordinary people thought for themselves and acted on what they knew to be right.

Dolores Ibárruri, a Republican leader in the Spanish Civil War, is reputed to have said, ‘It’s better to die on your feet than live on your knees.’  While I imagine Dolores and I might have a different opinion of war, I still think she was right. We don’t have to be in a physical battle to need to find the courage to stand up for what is right.  And if we want to ‘defend’ ourselves and keep ourselves safe we need to understand that if we don’t defend people who appear to be far away and therefore not connected to us, we are increasing, not diminishing the risk to ourselves.

We are like climbers tied together scaling a tall mountain. Even enlightened self interest suggests we should look out for each other.

And seriously – after you watch this video do you think you’d mind being connected to any of these kids? (I know it’s unbearably cute but I just love it!)



  1. Unfortunately many of the ordinary people are subdued and shepherded into their own pens of narrow minded thinking.. In fact many DO NOT THINK for themselves relying upon being told what to wear, what to buy, how to look etc etc… We have become nations of None thinkers who follow the herd of sheep….

    Those who do think for themselves and act ‘out of the normal realms of thinking’ are given labels and are distrusted as being activists,and trouble makers.. And yet it isnt rocket science to see how the world is going… and yet we still sit back and let those who rule continue on the same course of destruction.. As we see yet more Wars on the horizon..

    Thank you for enlightening us.. and Loved the Video… the Children are our Future xoxox

  2. As the short opening segment of The Gods Must Be Crazy beautifully illustrates, all it takes to end harmony is just a tiny bit of greed…and the inevitable growth of ‘inequalities’ (and resentments) that result from it. Germany was essentially raped after the first world war. Hitler promised restoration, revenge, supremacy. The rest is (endlessly repetitive) history. For the ‘little people’ of the Kalahari, it took only a ‘bottle from the sky’ to begin the process. But a ‘walk to the end of the earth’ to end it.

    Simply put, ‘ownership’ (and the defense of it) inherently creates conflict…regardless of whether the object ‘owned’ is material or spiritual.

    So what is the source of harmony? Historically it has seldom (if ever) been anything more than the minimum ‘unity’ required to protect against outside threat(s). One family against another. One village against another. One state against another. One religion against another. Ad infinitum.

    But would putting an end to ‘ownership’ automatically instill harmony (or at least pave the way toward it)? Theoretically perhaps. But for Harmony to flower in a broad way…the way we imagine and hope it would be…will no doubt first require ‘growing up’ in a way that goes well beyond just barely ‘managing’ the consequences of reaching puberty…and all the pro creative (competitive) energy that explodes therefrom.

    And even though the children may sing beautifully of an ideal harmony…once the music stops, its not long before they’re back to the same old push ‘n shove they’ve so sweetly denied for that brief, musical moment.

    P.S. Can ‘harmony’ survive if competition is allowed? And if competition is not allowed, then how does one sort the winners from losers (in terms of ideas, that is). 😉

    1. I agree but I think we need to develop the art of knowing we are connected while thinking for – and being – ourselves. Thanks, Elizabeth.

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