I'm driving down one of the Malibu Canyon roads toward Pacific Coast Highway, during one of the heaviest rainy seasons ever recorded in Los Angeles, returning from a weekend social justice retreat. After three days of solid rain, the narrow mountainous roads are strewn with natural debris, including tree branches and large, shiny black rocks.
Most of the rocks I can drive over, but one is so big that I simply can't pass over it with the car. Strange to be trapped like this. The rock has the power to block my path, even though I can easily walk around it and pass along my merry way, leaving the car behind. Of course, I'm not about to leave my car behind, and so my car is, in a sense, inseparable from me, an extension of my body.
Although the road is very sparsely traveled, more cars eventually line up in front of this massive rock. By the time there are five or six of us, we have enough strength between us to lift the rock and move it over to the side of the road.
I think that the world's problems are much like that situation with the rock on the mountain road. Individuals have the flexibility (creativity, love, compassion, energy) to overcome virtually any (man-made) challenge to our happiness and well-being. But individuals are always saddled by institutions, cultures, political systems, ideologies, etc. These (like my car) are tools that were developed to help us. Also like my car, they sometimes prevent us from reaching solutions, if we are attached to them.
My question for today's conversation is: what are the biggest rocks in our human road right now? Are there any "tools" preventing us from moving those rocks? How can we think outside the box, to open the path to a better future?
People moving rocks:
TruthDig on Cindy Sheehan
Discussion Forum on The Assault on Reason