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Change Our Story

Composer, author and philanthropist Peter Buffett on finding your own path to life fulfillment.

(How You Want It) To Be

Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and touring his "Concert & Conversation" series in support of his book Life Is What You Make It

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“(How You Want It) To Be” by Peter Buffett  

This is a song about understanding; about how the stories we believe might change if we saw the world through someone else's eyes. Of course we all know the old "walk a mile in someone's shoes" line. But somehow the reality of that is hard to achieve. Partly because there are around 14 billion pairs of shoes to fill.

I'm writing this as I ride a high speed train traveling through the Chinese countryside. How could I possibly ever know the intricacies of the lives I'm seeing from a relatively close distance while speeding along at 200 mph? I won't pretend to. But I can respect the fact that I never will, and honor their life as one that is as important as mine or someone dear to me.

Why can't we assume that everyone has a life as complex as our own? That everyone has family stories that haunt us or inspire us? That every culture has a history that shames us or makes us proud? And that, in truth, almost all stories hold both beauty and ugliness—perfection in the very lack of perfection.

The opening stanza plays off of the old joke that even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. It's the idea that everyone can be right sometimes. But how do we make room for all the rest? How do we allow for the messiness of the gray areas?

As we move further and further into a digital world, one that's made up of ones and zeros in almost every facet of life, how do we keep this binary imprint from seeping further and further into our everyday thinking? As George Bush Jr. so perfectly said in very black and white terms, "you're either with us or against us."

I believe that this kind of thinking will destroy us all.

As the song says:
You can be sure of
What you take care of
Will start taking care of you

If we live a life of inclusiveness, we will be included in life.

What do you think? Share your story at changeourstory.com. Visit www.peterbuffett.com to learn more and Change Our Story to join the conversation on how we all can become active participants in shaping our future. 

Image courtesy of NeilsPhotography, licensed under Creative Commons.