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Today's column was inspired by an OPU reader who shared her thoughts and
feelings via email after last month's column titled; "Me and My Tribe." Her
insights and reflections moved me to want to share her email with the OPU
audience.

Dear Jack,

I read with interest your recent column on tribes. I concur that tribe mentality
is deeply imbedded. Years ago I was speaking with a mercenary who said that, in
his experience, tribalism was the cause of all wars, and would continue to be so
in the future.

I agree with you that we are all members of the tribe of humanity. In 1969 when
we saw the first photos of earth taken from the surface of the moon, it was
amazing. It is so obvious that all of humanity shares this planet; we have this in
common; our home is earth. We are the tribe that lives here. Seeing that sphere
of color suspended like a jewel in the blackness of space is a visual reminder of
our humanity, our vulnerability, our shared heritage of life.

In a special moment like the moon landing it is easier to experience our common
heritage and to actually have the experience of oneness. People all over the
globe watched this event and were united, however briefly, by this
achievement: "one small step for man, one giant leap for humanity."

The real question is: how can we activate this response in people on a regular
basis so that for the majority at least this experience of oneness, of being part of
"one tribe", the tribe of humanity, becomes the norm and not the exception?

Peace out.

Cynthia H.

Dear Cynthia,

Thank you for taking the time to write. Your thoughts and reflections deeply
resonate with me and continue to affirm that there are many folks out there like
you that feel the same way. In regards to answering your question that asks how
we activate the same response so it becomes the norm and not the exception, I
have always stated that it is my belief that it can only come with time as we
continue to evolve as human beings. One person at a time, one small group at a
time, doing small things that embrace diversity, promote unity and create
community - all that help to continue this shift in consciousness.

In looking back just in the past two centuries, this evolution process has helped
eliminate slavery, given women the right to vote, pushed racial equality closer
to becoming a reality and today is bringing a bright light to the gay community
where they are coming closer to having the same rights and respect as all people
regardless of sexual orientation.

If you told someone just ten years ago that one day it is possible that we will
have a man of African American descent leading our nation as the president, you
might have been laughed at or called naïve. Did you notice in the last state of
the union address given by President Obama that Democrats and Republicans sat
together, side by side and shoulder to shoulder, rather than in their normal
places in the chamber on "opposite sides of the aisle"? We're getting there.

I want to encourage you to continue to be a part of this shift in consciousness
and help in any way you can to be a promoter of peace and unity. Have faith
that this shift of becoming "one tribe" is happening and that because of folks like
you, it is moving that much closer to becoming a reality. Thanks for writing.
Peace out. Jack B.


jack Bloomfield is the co-founder and executive director of One Planet United,
Inc., a non profit 501(c)3 organization.

One Planet United's mission statement is: To bring unity and understanding to all
people through experiential and educational programs, projects and resources.
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