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Change Our Story

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

Without You

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

holding hands

This is a song about relationships:

“Without You” by Peter Buffett

It's about the fact that when we find truth in ourselves, we find it reflected in everything around us. We can only have authenticity if we ourselves are authentic. We will only see love and vulnerability when we allow the same in ourselves. 

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Let’s look no further than Rush Limbaugh. Rush is clearly hurting. His need to name call is such a clear reflection of someone that is wounded from the very same thing. This doesn’t make it okay. But it makes it possible to have compassion – even as you may feel intensely that he should never be heard from again. I don’t respect his opinion, but I have respect for how it was formed.  Rush has shown us who he is.

I believe that we form our first line of defense from the center of our deepest wounds. Then, I find that compassion can come naturally. Imagine a light saber burning with intensity being powered by personal trauma. This power can also be used positively; Eve Ensler’s phrase, “pain to power,” and her body of work, show that this power can be an incredible force for good. But most of us are too afraid of being hurt—of showing vulnerability. Massive walls get built to protect us from reliving the pain that was created so long ago.  And we play this out on many levels. People that are in positions of power end up hurting entire social, environmental, political and economic systems—public destruction that starts with personal pain.

When I was a kid, I remember my cousin telling me about how terrible the Soviet Union was. They were the enemy. My response was, “Don’t we need them so that we’re the good guys?” It seemed so obvious that the relationship was critical to keeping things in balance.

So, where to begin healing these wounds? With a new respect and understanding of what it means to be in relationships, with ourselves first, then with each other, and extending out to everything in the world around us. 

“And when I touch you I feel happy…. inside” - Lennon and McCartney 

Beyond just one of the five senses, touch runs deeper. Being in touch with our inner selves means being connected to what makes us feel, and feel things in others. When you’re “touched” the feeling starts in the heart. And it allows—maybe for just a moment—vulnerability. Which is the key and necessary ingredient to being in open, honest relationship. Once it’s clear that being vulnerable is a courageous act. It allows for interaction in empathic ways that neutralize artificial boundaries created out of fear. “Us and them” melts away.
“I wouldn’t be without you
nothing to see without you”

“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” - Margaret Wheatley  

Visit www.peterbuffett.com and Change Our Story to learn more. 

Image courtesy of josie lynn richards, licensed under Creative Commons.