NOTE: This article is a continuation of the thoughts explored in 2 blogs from last month (article links: 1 and 2) around the topic of what exactly is a “great America”?  Thanks to all the readers for their feedback on the subject.

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Today, as we continue moving into this new year of 2017, I offer as one of my “resolutions” the intention to create the greatest America possible.  Won’t you join me in that resolution?

So what does that mean?  There are 4 things about such an intention we must consider…..

One: The Resolution is Personal

By that, I mean that I can only be responsible for my own thoughts and actions.  I cannot sit back and say that only others are responsible for creating a great country.  I cannot put the onus on Donald Trump, the Republicans, the Democrats…or any politician, person or organization.

If I want to see a “great America”, then I need to accept my own personal responsibility in my own sphere of influence (no matter how large or small I perceive that to be) to be an agent of change to create that nation.  We may see people and systems “out there” that need to change as part of our vision….and although we can certainly do all that is within our purview to encourage them to do so….but we can neither sit back nor give up because we feel the task is to great and our reach too small.  We must start where we are.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~~Margaret Mead

Two: The Resolution Starts in Mind but Moves to Action

So many New Year’s resolutions get stated but never created.  Why?  They are not followed up upon by committed and consistent action.  The same pitfall exists here.

It is imperative that after you set an intention to create the greatest America possible that you move that thought into personal action.  Find one area of of need that you feel called to assist with and seek a way to get involved, volunteer and make a difference.  Put it on your “to do” list.  Place time on your calendar for social action just as you would your job, your personal life, your social appointments and so on.

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” ~~ Joel Barker

Three: The Resolution is Based on Love

Frequently we fail to consider the underlying emotion that is driving our inner intentions and outer actions.  Is my desire to be healthy based upon a fear of dying or a love of living?  Am I running away from something that I want to avoid or am I running towards something I want to experience?  What is your underlying emotion around any desire to create the greatest country possible?  Is it coming from anger, depression or fear?  Or is it coming from love?

One of my wife’s spiritual teachers wrote recently that “one of the most difficult concepts for mass consciousness to comprehend, [is that] it takes love to heal. Yet how many seek to heal with anger, depression, and fear? When one seeks to heal with anger, they create more anger. When one seeks to heal with depression, they become more depressed. When one seeks to heal with fear, they become more fearful. Those that love, by their actions are the true teachers in your world.”

These are very wise words that we should all heed.  If our vision of the greatest country possible includes a healing of our divisiveness and an increase of our levels of care and concern for our fellow citizens (and, perhaps, the world), then such a “healing” must be based on love.

“All you need is love.” ~~John Lennon

Four: The Resolution’s Results Can Be Visualized

If we want to lose weight, can we visualize what we would look like if we were successful?  If we want to be financially independent, can we see in our mind’s eye what that would be like?  If we want a meaningful relationship in our life, can we envision what that would like like?  How do we define success around our intention?  How do we know that we are making progress towards our goal?

So what is that “great America” that we want to create?  Below I share my vision for this resolution….but create your own.  You and I may not agree on everything, but where we do agree, there is great power in our collective intention.  And where we don’t?  Well, there is great value in the the diversity of thought….somewhere in our differences, some greater newness may we waiting to be organically birthed to create even a greater America….and world…than you or I can imagine at this moment.  We must be open to that space.

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”  ~~Helen Keller

Characteristics of a Great America

So here is what I envision:

That everyone strives to live by the “golden rule” of treating others (and our world) as they wish to be treated.  Ultimately, all of the following characteristics flow from that desire…..

That every person in the country is treated with dignity and respect and has access to all of the following factors no matter what their race, country of origin, political beliefs, sexual orientation, religious/spiritual beliefs, sex, income level may be.

That the personal protections outlined in our constitution are provided to all people.

That all our governments (national, state, local and especially our justice system) work fairly for all people.

That the highest ethical behavior guides the decisions and actions of our country.

That everyone has their basic needs (food, water, shelter, protection from harm) met.

That everyone has the right and access to receive a good education, including learning critical thinking skills.

That everyone has access to a good job that pays a decent pay that you can easily live on.

That everyone has access to high quality and affordable health care.

That everyone has access to highspeed internet at a reasonable cost.

That everyone has the opportunity to succeed and thrive in their lives.

That everyone is free to believe what they wish about the meaning of their life…and to practice those beliefs so long as they do not harm others.

That our shared commons (parks, forests, rivers, lakes, roads, bridges, air to breath, broadcast airwaves and more) are maintained and available to all people now and in the future.

That we treat our environment and all of the life within it with care so as to maintain our beautiful habitat and its diversity for all our descendents.

That our political discussions are always civil and respectful.

That everyone has access to voting and having their voice heard in our democracy.

That everyone here has the opportunity to travel beyond the borders of the United States and experience the greatness of the entire world.

That we develop and maintain peaceful and friendly relationships with the other countries of the world.

That we serve as the model for the world for personal rights, democracy and peace.

The creation of this vision is my intention.  Won’t you join me in creating the highest vision of our country?  Won’t you find your highest vision for our country and then become resolved to create it?

Mark Gilbert

ps. As always, the above list of characteristics can always be even greater.  Feel free to drop me a note and let me know what I may have forgotten!

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