2012: The Year of Transformation... perhaps... but with another viscious season of political campaigns upon us, one cannot help but wonder why it is seemingly impossible for both leaders and would-be leaders to envision very much -- if anything -- beyond more of the same...
Centuries ago, a prophet muttered -- perhaps no one has ever listened -- "Without a vision, the people will perish".
Well, we are perishing, and still our leaders cannot offer a vision of transformation... they cannot recognize our collective need for more than cutting advertisements that appeal only to the meanest parts of our minds... they do not understand that without a deep reverence for an all-encompassing Beauty -- without beauty guiding and informing economics, education, culture, politics and religion --
we risk losing everything, including this precious blue Planet...
It seems likely that a "1% 'er" will be nominated by the Republicans -- how is it possible that we could seriously consider electing someone building an elevator for his cars at the new castle he's building for himself? But that is just a symbol of the spiritual emptiness -- the vacuum -- at the heart of American politics. We are so empty of vision, we'll suck up anything held before our face... (after all, we've made Rush Limbaugh a millionaire many times over)...
But aren't we really better than that? Yes, of course -- but, no at the very same time. Yes: if we truly commit ourselves to the possibility of a vision sufficient for our transformation. No: if we instead hunker down in protestations of "exceptionalism", and the continuing worship of money and guns. Yes: if we summon our better selves to the resurrection of justice for all. Yes: if we recognize the revolutionary power of applied beauty to change everything towards the good, the merciful, the compassionate, and the kind. We each have a fundamental choice to make -- a choice with the responsibility of power -- in this year of potential transformation.
Do we step into our destiny as "mirrors of the divine" and finally create paradise on this Planet for all peoples? Do we? Or not?
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.