Why Does Your Passion Matter?

Sat, 30 Jan 2016 05:45:00 PST
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By Kimberly Carter Gamble

Recently I was invited to talk about anything I wanted at the Architects of the New Paradigm Conference in Marin. It was a welcome opportunity to consider just what I had to say now, four years after the successful release of THRIVE, 63 years into my life.

Here is a bold look at how our daily decisions impact the world around us and why our passion matters… some simple down to earth ideas I decided would be worth your time, and mine, to consider:

Read a transcript of the audio (to translate the transcript, choose your language at the top of this page)

Audio Transcription

Kimberly: Thank you all for being here and thank you for that unexpected break. Also, thank you to Jordan. I really want to say the whole spirit or this gathering, to create a venue where we’re really going to have an opportunity for so much interaction, that’s what I really look forward to here is hearing from you. I’m honored to be architecting a new paradigm with you, so thank you.

When I first heard about it, Jordan said, “I’m going to have this conference, ‘Architecting the New Paradigm’, and you can come and you can talk about anything that you want and I was like, “Wow, that’s an intriguing invitation. Alright.” I mean, architecture is right up my alley. I actually went to college initially to become an architect, but it was Berkeley in the 60’s and there was a lot going on and I was learning about it, so instead I ended up studying journalism and non-violent civil disobedience. It’s fun to come back around and look at architecture within the context of the new paradigm that I was getting into those other things to help create.

Architecture provides us some interesting parameters actually. I had this random recall of something from my college application, which was this architect from Ancient Rome, 1 A.D., Vetruvius, whose the first one who came up with some standards that architects are supposed to achieve and that’s actually still applied today. Architects, in designing a system or a structure, are supposed to achieve three things: they have to make something that’s durable, something that meets the purpose for which it’s created, and something that brings beauty or delight. So I thought, “Great! Let’s do that. Let’s design a purposeful, durable, delightful new paradigm.”

I’m a producer. I produced THRIVE. I’ve produced all kinds of things in my lifetime. I come at this very strategically and practically, so of course my first question is, “What is the new paradigm?” I probably get five different emails in my messages with the term “new paradigm” every week and I think, “I’m not sure that the people writing those would actually all agree on what the new paradigm is or certainly not on the strategies for how we’re going to achieve it.” I’m guessing we would all agree that the new paradigm has us more harmoniously interacting with ourselves and each other and the planet and the cosmos, but that’s pretty vague. It’s like, “I want to make a movie” or something. You got to get down into something a little more specific.

As the producer in me, I decided that I wanted to actually take on three specific goals that I want in my new paradigm. I hope you want them in yours also. In any case, I’m going to use these to model the example of a process that I think we need to engage in. I so appreciate what Richard was talking about and the recognition of the war that we’re in and how we are each going to respond to that and short of what you are willing to go to jail for, I really want to look at our day-to-day decisions and see if there are things that we are inadvertently doing that might be contributing to the old paradigm and preventing us from actually designing and creating this new one. So it’s going to be a very personal and practical approach to designing this new paradigm and the three goals that I have chosen are equal rights — to me equal rights are kind of the basis of how I want us to be in this new paradigm. Next is freedom of personal expression — clearly we know that these are the things that have gone from our world and so I want to make sure that they’re back in the new paradigm. And third is no wars of aggression.

So I’m going to take these apart with how our daily decisions are either going to achieve or not achieve these things in the new paradigm and I want to begin with two things. First, I want to ask that you listen with your hearts as well as your minds because I believe there is a lot of healing to do between here and this new paradigm and I believe that we need to feel it to heal it. I also want to say that my perspective is that living the new paradigm is a process. It’s not a product. It’s not a political party. It’s a lot of decisions that are going to get made that either do or don’t add up to a new paradigm.

So that’s how we’re going to go at this and because I take this personal orientation with it and how Monday is going to be different from today, I want to begin with something very personal, which is passion. It’s inspiration materialized into action with as much heart, mind, body, and soul as possible. It’s not just enthusiasm or excitement. It’s actually very strategic for a few reasons. One, people don’t change unless they’re emotionally impacted. It’s just proven. Clearly, we would be in a different state if we did everything we knew we should do, right? It’s the stuff we get emotionally impacted by that we actually incorporate as change. When you’re in touch with your passion, you have more emotion exuding and people are more impacted by you. The other thing is you don’t burn out because when you’re doing something you’re passionate about, it’s fun and this is a long haul.

So, this actually has strategic implications, to be engaged with your passion, and I was reminded of this recently when I was re-watching one of my favorite all-time, old movies from 1990, “Ghost”. I’m going to give you a little spoiler alert because this movie with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore has one of the fabulous, sensuous love scenes. In fact, this scene was voted the most romantic film moment in history and I love it. And this is going to have something to do with passion because Patrick Swayze is a banker. Demi Moore, he’s is madly in love with her, is an artist and this is the cast of characters. (I’m just going to say two things about the movie, but you can see it to find out the rest). Patrick is the banker and this is his friend, Tom Goldwyn, who he thinks is a friend, this fellow banker buddy, who’s actually a sleazy guy and murders Patrick and it turns out Patrick is kind of stuck between realms. He doesn’t just die. He gets stuck between realms and he finds out Tom Goldwyn’s planning to kill Demi Moore also. So, Patrick is passionate about getting a message to save Demi that he’s concocting all these things. He goes to Whoopi Goldberg (and as a psychic she’s hilarious — it’s worth seeing just for that) to try to get the message to Demi that she’s in trouble. He also runs into this fellow ghost, Vincent Schiavelli, and this guy’s on the subway and he’s ripping papers out of people’s hands, he’s having all this impact in the world, and Patrick says, “How are you doing that? I can’t get her to see that I’m here to give her any kind of message.” And the fellow ghost says, “You can’t just think it. You’ve got to feel it.” So he teaches Patrick how to really feel his passion and get into it and have this impact in the world and he does it and Patrick gets all this feeling. He can push the shoe off the can in the subway and stuff and get the message to Demi and the rest I’ll let you see. But the point when I was watching it is that this is right on. Whether it’s between realms or in one realm, we really need to engage our passion if we’re going to have impact.

And another big advantage that comes from engaging passion is that when aligning with the current of our passion, that’s how our purpose is revealed. Purpose has a lot to do with how we’re going to get out of the mess that we’re in. Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. In my experience, life is hard and it’s really helpful to know why you’re here. What is this all about? And it’s actually a very personal and unique answer that will emerge when you get into that. It’s where your heart and your mind and your spirit all find each other and work together. The uniqueness that we experience, instead of it just being that we’re lonely and feel different from everybody else, you get to experience it as feeling unique, that you’ve got something here to offer that’s just yours.

One thing I want to say about being in the flow with your passion and your purpose is that I believe you will avert one of the greatest regrets I can imagine having, which is getting to the end of life and feeling that you weren’t fully alive. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t think anybody wants that to happen. One way to make sure it won’t happen is to be really into your purpose and your passion and knowing that you’re living your life to the fullest.

So how do we show what we know about ourselves? We’ve got our purpose and our passion. How do we demonstrate these? How do we demonstrate the worldview that Danny was talking about? There aren’t that many ways that we show who we are. What we say, how we spend our time, and what we support with our money. That’s it. If someone’s looking into your life, that’s actually how they get to know what it is that you care about and who you are. What happens when there’s a conflict between one of these things and our purpose and our passion and our values and what it is we believe in? That’s where daily decisions come in and I have a lot of personal hard-won stories about how this notion of conflicted or unconflicted behavior came to be.

Remember I said I went to Berkeley in the 60’s. There was a whole lot going on there and I was very involved in it. Probably the thing I was most passionately involved in in the beginning was stopping the proliferation of nuclear power and nuclear war — super-passionate, helped to organize a group, or we would do a lot of research, generate various campaigns on this issue. We went almost every Friday night. I would go from my job, deposit my paycheck into the bank, and go to these meetings where we really worked hard to expose the issue and come up with stuff. We were a bunch of hippies coming from the 60’s and we did get our work done. And one of the things that was happening as we were researching away was I found out that one of the ways that the corporations get these big advantages to get as powerful as they are is that they get cheap loans from the banks. So there I am figuring that out and then I realized, “Wait a minute. Remember how I was depositing my paycheck on my way to my work where I was so passionately involved and I was stopping off at Bank of America (always conveniently located) and depositing my paycheck and finding out that Bank of America was making cheap loans to the corporations that I was then going off working tirelessly to try to stop?”

They’re funding all the same corporations and because of fractional reserve, they’re multiplying my deposit times ten to make loans to these killing and polluting corporations all over the planet. So they’ve got ten times my money in the bank, but there aren’t ten of me showing up working. This is conflicted behavior. All my good passion and purpose was not being supported by my daily decision to go stick my paycheck there. That’s when I realized that passionate intent needs unconflicted behavior in order to manifest. It’s that basic. But, unconflicted behavior needs information in order to be effective. If I hadn’t learned about the banks and how they worked, I wouldn’t have known that my behavior was conflicted.

So how do we get informed? There is so much disinformation and biased information. You’ve got your mother and your friends and this magazine and that telling you various things and I realized this is all about critical thinking. Motivated by my wanting to be passionate and purposeful, I’ve got to figure out how to do some critical thinking. I was greatly facilitated by F. Scott Fitzgerald who said,

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

That really matters because you have to just try it on, not actually believe something that you hear. You try it on. It’s like consciousness and activism come together here for me. Critical thinking requires a state of not knowing. It’s like that quiet mind in meditation. And I love it when I’m just blissed out and have no thoughts, but the real value for me of meditation is coming back. I’m meditating and then, whoops, I’m distracted with this thought and I come back to center. It’s that way with critical thinking and listening to these different ideas and, whoops, I’m reacting, then, okay, come back. I know how to do this, to actually hold these things.

So here we are. We’re passionate, on purpose, informed, committed to unconflicted behavior. Let’s get specific about equal rights. What are we going to do in our daily lives to deal with equal rights? I want to talk about this in terms of the role of technology in human evolution and how that might be impacting our goal — specifically, transhumanism. It’s huge — hundreds of billions of dollars invested into the international movement of transhumanism — which is essentially an interface of technology and humans. The basic worldview of transhumanists is that consciousness is the material consequence of synaptic impulses. That’s it. That’s what the whole thing is about. And since robots are so much more efficient, it would be really smart if we turn over not just our world, but human evolution to technology and robots. Transhumanism, also called “singularity”, was introduced into the mainstream by Ray Kurzweil. He’s currently the Director of Engineering at Google.

This is an interesting title of TIME: “2045 — The Year Man Becomes Immortal”. One of the self-proclaimed tasks of the transhumanist movement is the idea that we will never die. You can clone yourself. You can design you prefect next self and live forever. They say what they’re after is to cure death. That’s the notion here. They want to create a version of humanity that is so efficient, so different from what we now have, that it merits the term “post-human”.

This is a very significant thing because Google has a lot of resources. They have a relationship with the NSA. They have access to all of our personal data. There’s hundreds of billions of dollars invested in this. And they have recently purchased eight robotic companies since Kurzweil’s been there. One, Boston Dynamics. Another, Deep Mind, an artificial intelligence company in London. They have autonomous military robots, drones, humanoids, all kinds of artificial intelligence, Bill Gates, Toyota, Roche Pharmaceuticals, PayPal – Google’s not alone in this venture. It’s really big. There is obviously all kinds of stuff that can happen from transhumanists. They do 3-D printing of organs for organ replacement. They do mind uploading into artificial intelligence, they take a human mind an upload it into a robot. They are designing super soldiers that can go forever, don’t die, can kill on any terrain at any time, never get tired. They’re after total efficiency. The notion of empathy, intuition, emotional intelligence, or a spiritual connection to the cosmos — that is not part of the conversation here.

In honor of critical thinking, I decided to spend a day with a guy name Ted Chu who is a big proponent of transhumanism. This is so offensive to me. I would get hot flashes when I read about it and thought about it. Really. But I wanted to understand because with hundreds of billions of dollars and these kinds of people and corporations behind it, this is what’s happening here.

So Ted Chu, he says, “It becomes possible to turbocharge our hedonic indulgences with genetic engineering.” So, think about it — all that inefficiency. You have to make love to have babies. You can just clone yourself. Or eating. Why bother? You can create something that’s so much more efficient. That was his perspective. Then he says, “…it also becomes possible to pull the plug on instinctive drives altogether.” I like those instinctive drives.

Here’s the thing. It’s happening. This is happening and it’s going to end up in the new paradigm unless we figure out how it won’t. Not even how it won’t so much as here’s what I learned from being in it: that as offensive and dangerous as it seems to me, that’s how my worldview seems to them. That’s the truth here. We do not agree. When I think about the disparate capacities (remember we’re talking about equal rights), so this tiered civilization. You know the Tour De France and Lance Armstrong and that whole debacle? Nobody who wasn’t using drugs got any closer than 18th place. That’s drug enhancement. Imagine when you’re talking about chipped, robotic human interface. This is going to be very disparate capacities and we really don’t agree and my not agreeing isn’t going to stop technological and scientific events. I don’t believe I have a right to stop that any more than I believe they have a right to chip me when I don’t want to be chipped.

This is where I find the rubber meets the road in designing the new paradigm. How are we going to coexist across worldviews? Because, you know what? We are not going to agree. At this dinner with Ted Chu, he’s like, “What ‘s your guys obsession with freedom?” If I were banking on agreement, getting a worldview that everybody feels so good about we’re going to all join in, if I had to count on that for my hope, I would be hopeless. That’s the truth. Fortunately, disagreement has been going on for a long time and there are people who have been thinking about this for as far back as 300 B.C. And Thomas Jefferson. And Gandhi and King. And what they came up with is something they called the non-aggression principle and it is simply that you don’t get to violate me against my will and I don’t get to violate you against your will. It’s the one thing that everybody actually agrees to for themselves. Now, some people want to be violated, but then it’s not against their will. Some people want to violate others…

Think of it. Think how hard it is to get people to agree. Look at the world that’s being described to us with Danny that we all know about. So the fact that there’s something that people actually agree to and that it’s a principle… OK, what would that look like? What does that mean in terms of my daily decision, in terms of accountability, and application, and a guideline for actually co-existing? How do we solve problems without coercion? To me, that is the ethical question of the new paradigm. How do we do this? I would say first of all, be informed and learn how to engage respectfully with people who you really disagree with. It is so challenging. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t meditate. And I wasn’t kidding about hot flashes. I’m exhausted sometimes after it, but I feel that when I do it, what happens is I understand something.

I know how to navigate because what I’m looking for is how can they do what they’re doing, I’m doing what I’m doing, and we don’t violate each other so there’s personal accountability. When somebody’s polluting, they’re violating me so there’s a personal accountability. I have grounds to prosecute that that isn’t based upon us agreeing other than on the principle that we already said we agreed on. So I have some ground to start to navigate this and in terms of day-to-day policy and things, I would say one way to have unconflicted behavior along these lines is to make sure that you never support anything that’s mandatory. Mandatory is coercion.

This is the level of stuff where I feel like context matters — getting informed, understanding what it is that’s going on, and how do we apply this principle when we’re looking to actually hold people accountable for what’s happening.

So, freedom of personal expression…what’s an important bit of context here going on? The Trans-Pacific Partnership. It is proposed as a new form of global governance structure. It’s funny. It says “read the deal”. It’s 5,554 pages. It just came out this last Fall. Wikileaks, fortunately, leaked some of it, the investment section of it, so that we could read that in the Summer sooner than that. This deal governs 40% of the world’s GDP with these 12 Pacific Rim countries. It was negotiated in secret for seven years. It handles everything from the environment, immigration, the whole economic deal. There’s another one just like it, TTIP, doing the same thing in Europe that’s worth getting educated about, but I’m just focusing on this one right now.

It sounds really good when you go to the Trans-Pacific Partnership website. It says they’re going to stand up for human rights. There are economic and agricultural benefits. It promotes innovation and creativity and protects workers, preserves the environment, ensures free and open Internet. Richard was saying that whenever they say that, look the other way and figure out what is this really going to do.

What this really does is it empowers multinational corporations to sue governments if corporate profits are impeded. So we’re talking about freedom of personal expression. Let’s say you want GMOs labeled. What if that impedes the profits or it’s considered to impede the profits of Monsanto and they’re going to threaten to sue your government if you do something to get attention around that. Do you think the government isn’t going to have evermore incentive to make sure that your personal expression and freedom thereof is challenged. I think they will. Just in the last few weeks this came up because a trans-Canada oil company that is responsible for the keystone pipeline just sued America for $15 billion dollars for impeding their profit by interfering with that pipeline. There are 9,500 corporations in line to do the same if that one goes through and you know what language they’re using for the lawsuit? They pulled it right out of the TPP. It’s just laid right in there.

In fact, the World Trade Organization went after the Obama administration saying, “you know that little label on meat that says where the meat’s from, the country of origin?” It said, “Somebody might decide not to buy it if they were worried about the country it came from so we could sue you for that.” Well guess what? Those aren’t going to be on your meat anymore. They gave in. They said, “Okay, never mind. We’ll take those off.” How do we incorporate this reality into the process of actually achieving a new paradigm?

One of the things it does…I want to name a few other things. It forces Internet providers to filter all communications for copyright infringements with the power to censor sites. Remember how it said it’s going to help keep the Internet free and open. That’s your sure sign. That is not what it does. It just gives more reason to shut down freedom of the Internet.

It also extends patents to further benefit pharmaceutical companies and weakens requirements for patenting genes in plants. This really shows up in the whole medical cannabis world. This is Monsanto’s dream come true for GMO, cannabis, and putting small farmers and small dispensaries out.

It creates supra-national powers that override national laws and constitutions. This is one thing I really want to do a shout out to Danny and the Romero Institute for the Constitution Protection Zones. Thank you for that because it’s one of the ways around this and it’s something to really pay attention to as we focus our energies locally to make sure that what we’re doing there can hold up.

So what is unconflicted behavior? What do we do Monday about this? That’s still what I come down to. What am I personally going to do about this? I would say one thing is support Wikileaks. Thank you Wikileaks, for getting this stuff out to us so that we know what’s going on. Talk about it. Work on ending corporate personhood and supporting the organizations that are after that and after stopping the TPP and the TTIP, the one that’s going on in Europe.

The other thing is feeling it. This thing about passion — there’s so much information about the stuff that’s going on and in my experience this listening with our hearts and feeling it in order to heal it. The way I do it a lot of times is allow myself to feel it. I don’t want to separate it. I think, I’m a friend of your soul and an enemy of your project. Really work to keep that.

There’s a lot of strategic value here to feeling things and one of the strategic values is that I think that what happens is when we engage with our hearts, we find courage there. The Latin basis of courage, “cor”, means heart in Latin. It has practical and etymological applications here. Courage is not being stopped by fear and willing to carry on in spite of danger or difficulty. I think that’s really important. It’s not that you’re not afraid. You cannot look at these times and not be afraid. You need to be willing to proceed anyway.

I’m going to tell you something about courage. There’s this story that’s referred to all the time, the Solomon Ashe study that was done at Swarthmore College in the 50’s. It was used to talk about group pressure and how we will deny our own reality even when there’s evidence to support it in order to share the dominant reality of the group we’re in. The host goes out on campus and chooses some unsuspecting students, says, “You want to come in and be a part of this experiment?” He lines them up at a table (this guy on our right will be our unsuspecting student) and they’re looking at two screens. On one screen there’s a line that absolutely matches a line on the other screen. These people aren’t actually other random students. They’re part of the experiment and they’ve been told that what they need to do is go along with ‘B’ matches the line there”. There’s some obvious match. But then, they’re all unanimously going to do at some point they’re going to say, “‘A’ matches the line” to see if the person will change what they saw in order to go along with that group pressure. This is relied on all the time to show the impact of group pressure because it turns out that 75% of the time, that person gave at least one incorrect answer. But here’s the thing that was really important to me about this — It’s true, 75% gave at least one incorrect answer, but only 6% were always swayed, 25% never swayed, and 70% sometimes swayed. So what is it about that 25% that allowed them to stick with what they saw and knew and stand to it? I believe it’s courage.

I think about this sometimes. A friend calls it the “psychology of non-perception”. I can tell you that one way I feel that I am really in a Solomon Ashe study is when I look at the 9/11 Commission Report. I’m supposed to believe that in three seconds, Building 7 fell, looking exactly like a controlled demolition when I can look at a building a few weeks ago utterly consumed in flames that didn’t fall? Clearly there’s enough corruption going on to warrant deep inquiry into all of this and I think it’s one of the things that speaks to, in terms of Monday what can we do, we can support each other when we’re speaking up. Imagine if every time one of those students left the room who had held tight to what he believed if outside the door someone said, “Thank you. Thank you for doing that. I know your heart must have been beating when you went against what everybody else said and you did it anyway.” So thank you to the people, so many of whom are here today who are holding true to what we see and naming it.

One of the things that happens when we make a commitment to having unconflicted behavior is that it adds to our to-do list — psychologically, practically, spiritually. If I say I’m going to do what I can to have my behavior really line up with who I am, I’m going to have to make some changes. And we’re all so busy, right? So it’s really understandable that sometimes people (it’s always easier to see in other people) get into denial. It’s because there’s too much consequence to the information. For me, it’s helpful to understand that. I get it. Some people, they don’t have room right now for the change that’s going to have to happen if they know what it is you’re talking about, especially if our solutions can’t be based on coercion. Like, wow, that really adds to the to-do list. Almost every “so-called” solution I was taught was based on coercion. So now I’ve got to actually rethink the whole thing and do this.

And this thing about denial is most evident when we get into taking on our third goal: no wars of aggression. Remember one of the ways that we show what we value is by how we spend our money. This is just according to the National Priorities Organization that it’s a quarter of every tax dollar goes to the military. That’s nothing compared to all the money that we really know, that Catherine Austin Fitts can document, the war is different than the military, that doesn’t count homeland security. The bottom line is that I am being forced to have conflicted behavior by spending my money on something that I don’t want in my new paradigm.

So we’re here to architect the new paradigm that will have no wars of aggression and right off the bat, we’re leaving and kind of forced into the conflicted behavior and this is where feeling this really matters. I grew up in this conversation and it’s been very real to me for a long time. My grandmother was a suffragette working to get women the right to vote and she used to tell me a lot of stories about that movement and these bold, courageous women getting themselves arrested and standing up. She would tell me the inside scoop about how they would sometimes organize abstinence in order to get the guys to vote the way they wanted.

Remember rape was prosecuted as a crime against men’s property not long ago. So this notion of organizing abstinence and getting yourself arrested and standing up like this, this was really courageous. And I asked her, “God, weren’t you afraid?” And she said, “Yeah, yes, we were afraid, but you know what gave us the courage to do it? We absolutely believed that if women had the right to vote, there would be no more war.” She said the suffragette movement was fundamentally an anti-war movement. And then she lost her son to a war she didn’t believe in. I remember I went off to college. My brother’s housemate at the time got drafted as a medic into Vietnam and came home so traumatized that he couldn’t sleep unless he was sitting up in the living room with the light on, upright all the time.

So this thing about war, I feel it. And I don’t try not to feel it because I believe that it’s that feeling that motivates me to try to figure out what is going on with these wars. What is happening with my money here? I’m being told by this old paradigm who says with a straight face they offer killing as a solution. Whoa, I am so sad. Did you know that 22 U.S. soldiers kill themselves every day? That’s more than die on the battlefield. Of course, it doesn’t count the hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths, the spent uranium we leave behind, the infrastructure failures, the contaminated water, the people wounded for the rest of their lives. 60,000 U.S. veterans are on the streets of our country every night, homeless. The painful truth is that each of us is funding this through our taxes.

In 1991, the government banned news coverage of images of dead soldiers brought back into the country so you don’t see that anymore. I remember in Vietnam, day-in and day-out we would watch on the news these caskets coming home, draped in flags, greeted by mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and whole towns sometimes coming out in just true mourning. I think what happened is that the nation watched that and we felt it. I think it broke our hearts right open and that inside we found courage and that’s why we took to the streets — because you need to feel it to heal it.

So here we are. What do we do? What does it look like Monday morning, what are we going to do? I say do whatever it is you need to do to feel the heartbreaking cascade of pain that war is and then do whatever the courage in your heart calls you to do. Speak up. If you’re into voting, hold those candidates responsible. Look at their war records. It’s hideous. Call the headquarters. Get some accountability here if that’s the way you want to go. Also, support war tax resistance, but find someone who’s in prison because they refused to pay war tax and write them a letter and thank them. The range of things that you can do, and one I was thinking about, maybe just get an image of someone, preferably with sound, who’s just found out that they’ve lost their child to war and look at it, listen to this, and feel it so deeply that when you think about something like “God, it’s just so inconvenient to change my bank” or “I really like this credit card, this Chase credit card. They take it everywhere.” When you think about that, stop, and remember that feeling and that woman. Hold her in your heart. Send her a prayer. Let her know she’s not alone. And be grateful for the opportunity that you have to do something.

Gay marriage didn’t become legal because people stayed home quietly feeling sad about it being illegal. It got legal because some courageous people ventured into some uncomfortable conversations. That’s how it happened. Things change because people make them change.

I recently heard an interview with Ray Charles. I thought he summed it up perfectly. He said, “All the notes you need are right underneath your fingers. All you need to do is take the time and care to play the right ones.”

Thank you.

All of the talks of all of the presenters from this conference and an earlier one are available to purchase at the ANP website. I encourage you to take advantage of their offer, which you can access HERE.

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