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Change Our Story

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


Finding the Truth

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

lego twain 

Where is truth? How do we find it? How do we know it?

“How Would You Know” by Peter Buffett
(Peter is giving this song away to Utne readers—click here for your free download!)

I wrote this song as yet another plea for questioning and answering. And when I was finished, I thought that it could use some sound bites. I’ve always loved to put together sound collages. My favorite is the "Urban Overture" from my show Spirit – The Seventh Fire. In it, I tried to create the sound of America going from what I called “analogue invention to digital consumerism.” Here’s a montage from the show.  

When I started to comb the internet for sound bites, I began to see a pattern emerge. Our presidents from at least Reagan forward (they’re the easiest ones to find on YouTube!) were saying many of the same things. It became relatively easy to weave a narrative together (punctuated by commercial interruptions) that had an eerie "we’ve seen this before" quality. 

In some ways, they were almost completing each other's sentences. What is going on here? As you know from other posts, I’m a big fan of Mark Twain’s quote, “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” Well, I’d like to end this particular poem and move on.

And so I keep writing essentially the same song and the same blog post until I get it right. Until we get more people singing the same tune … a new tune.

Recently I posted a thought on my Facebook page:

It's estimated that 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Instead of thinking, "oh my god ... that's terrible" - which is a totally rational thing to think, what if instead we thought, "how can the rest of us get to that point?"   

We have to turn this system inside out. Start with the heart, not the bank account. Start with power with, not power over. Start with feeling, not logic.

Start with remembering that each one of us is a perfect metaphor for all of us, made up of individual cells, all knowing their purpose and carrying it out by being perfectly themselves. The problems start when the cells forget their purpose and start to grow and divide uncontrollably as if there is no end to their hunger for growth and destruction.

The expected growth we see in government and economic sectors is impossible to sustain … it's cancer-like.

“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.”Kenneth E. Boulding  

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

Image courtesy of dddagg, licensed under Creative Commons.