The systems of governance and community we create must hold many elements of life in constant consideration, the highest of which is freedom of the individual to live the life they choose in safety. Of course these considerations go beyond more than mere individualism, because the individual cannot exist outside of the many spheres of the deeply interconnected webs of life, so our solutions must also be organic and holistic. It is tremendously short-sighted when individuals, institutions, communities or other idea-constructs, fail to consider people during all stages of life. It is especially disgraceful when our created society fails to respond to the human indignities of not having our simple needs met, for we are all frail-embodied creatures, who at times suffer through injustice, abuse, illness, pain and misfortune. When a society becomes that insensitive and impotent, those dysfunctional or malignant parts must be engaged, and then transformed or eliminated to make way for more sensible and humane constructs. In other words, those constructs are bad ideas, which must be replaced with better ideas.
The power of the idea is often overlooked, but if you think about it, everything is really an idea. A government, institution, company, or even a society is really just an idea. They are constructs, or thought-forms of consensus reality, that only exist because we choose to support them collectively with the human resources of the heart, mind and hand. So make no mistake, there is no battle or engagement with any institution, company or government; it is always an engagement of ideas. Never lose sight of the fact that we are at all times exclusively dealing with ideas, and all ideas in a truly free society should always be open for discussion.
What every person or group wishes to say is important, even when we do not fully understand their message, and even when they do not fully understand their own message. This is because what we are really engaging in is a sharing of ideas, feelings and emotions. We are all thinking and feeling entities and we all have these wonderful and sometimes painful emotions within us, ever reminding us that we feel, that we are alive, that we are involved, and that we are inseparable from the great experience of living. We share profound interconnectedness with our natural and artificial environments, our communities, our created-nations, our institutions and with every person alive and to be born. Yes, we are all one in this great experience of life. What we do to others, we do to ourselves, and so it is essential that we reach for the highest place within ourselves, and afford every soul we encounter the wide and free passage they need to give birth to the dear expressions they feel are important. We must always strive toward our noblest behavior as good listeners by receiving messages with a graceful comportment, showcasing the highest state of respect we can muster. Even as the sometimes flawed, fragile and immature beings that we are, we can encourage and facilitate the mutual, free and respectful exchange of ideas.
Where wise actions are the fruit of life, wise discourse is the pollination. Respectful communication under conflict or opposition is an essential and truly awe-inspiring ability of the modern human being's newly evolved social sensibility. It involves having the courage to listen carefully and respectfully, and then giving real and heartfelt consideration to what has been communicated. It involves reaching for deeper understanding beyond what was merely said, and into what was meant or intended. It involves considering the greater context of the history and experiences that created the need for the discussion, over what may sometimes be years, decades or even centuries. This type of high-order listening is only possible with great intention, humility and magnanimity.
Susaye Greene, *Artist, Activist and former Singer from the Motown Sensation, "The Supremes" Singer and Songwriter for Stevie Wonder and the late Michael Jackson and Ray Charles*