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.
“(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
Image courtesy of NeilsPhotography, licensed under Creative Commons.