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Change Our Story

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

Year - New. Happy?

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.

George Harrison may have said it best:"With every mistake we must surely be learning." 

It’s phrased in such a way that there’s hope and questioning. It sure makes me question. We certainly learn from our mistakes on a personal level. At least it’s a clear possibility if we choose to take responsibility for the mistake.

But do we learn from our mistakes on a collective level? Does the phrase “never again” really mean anything? I’m not sure we can make collective change if we don’t see individual acts as reflections of the greater whole. So when a person with an automatic weapon kills, or a group of men destroy a woman’s life through rape and torture, we must know that these horrific acts do not happen in a vacuum. They are stories within a story. Our story.

Let me see if this analogy makes sense: the sun's energy unfiltered comes to the earth and allows life to take place. Through what appears (to me) to be a miracle, plants can convert the sun's energy and the nutrients of the earth and sky into fuel for life. You could say that plants are the result of a conversation between the earth and the sun (actually, somebody did say that and I forget who it was). But I digress.

The point is, nothing in this equation is doing anything other than fulfilling a purity of purpose.

Through focusing the sun's energy, other things can take place. The first thing that came to me (I sort of hate to admit) is taking a magnifying glass and watching something small go up in flames.

So here’s what I’m getting at: Maybe there’s a universal force or consciousness. That’s what I’m guessing most people through the ages have named as God, or love, or spirit, or Gaia. Maybe there’s a natural purity of purpose in all things—a purpose that is life itself.

And when we hear about horrific acts of violence and destruction, it’s like the magnifying glass burning an insect. Culture is the magnifying glass that distorts and amplifies a particular quality of the sun (energy as heat) and creates a very different outcome—death instead of life—but only because of an intermediary distortion.

Our magnifying glass is scarcity and fear. Can we remove it?

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 angeloangelo, licensed under Creative Commons.