Escape Velocity

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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.

When I was
young, I remember being awestruck at the massive power of the Saturn V rocket as
it lifted astronauts into space toward the moon. It took so much effort to get that rocket off the ground. But then I would
see animations of what would happen once the stages had been cast off and just
the top of the rocket, the Command and Service Modules, were in space. The
maneuvering looked effortless.

Specifically,
it took over 7.5 million pounds of thrust to get to the first 220,000 feet.
Once in space, the Service Module needed about 100 pounds of thrust to change
position.

Every day we live our lives in the gravitational pull of our
belief systems. And every one of them starts from the inside out, trailing
back generations often without our knowledge. My parents made lifelong
decisions based on how they were raised, and I did the same. Modes of behavior
were formed based on what I believed about myself and the world around me. As
invisible as gravity, these definitions regarding who I was and what I could
become created a pull that seemed as inevitable as the earth turning on its
axis. If I were born into another family … or in a far off culture … my center of
gravity would have been completely different but just as strong.

We need to create meaning out of everything we encounter. It
tells us who we are and what we need to do to navigate in our environment.
There is quite a bit of evidence that says that everything happens about a half
a second earlier than we perceive it. And in that half a second, our body and
mind create the reality that makes sense for us based on everything we know. We
are constantly telling ourselves a
story. And as our story becomes stronger through time and experience, its pull
can become nearly impossible to escape from.

Everything we
experience becomes a story we’re deciding to believe.

That doesn’t mean that outside forces don’t count. The
economy that we have collectively bought into has created crushing poverty for
billions. But that poverty comes from a system that promotes massive inequality, and defines poverty on its terms. It doesn’t have to be this way.

This is why escape velocity requires so much effort. While
it’s possible for some to wake up and dramatically shift their circumstance by
changing their story. For many, it will take all 7.5 million pounds of thrust, which translates to a collective shift in priorities, one person at a time.

What I’m talking about is a (r)evolution–remembering that
we actually share a common space–both on this earth and in our hearts. Once
we escape the pull of old stories and long held beliefs that no longer serve
our common humanity, it will take very little effort to correct our course.
Just like the Service Module in space, a small adjustment is all it will take
to stay on course once love and compassion are guiding the ship.

We’re trapped in the false gravitational pull of a political
structure, an economic system, and definitions of power and control that on the
surface seem impossible to change.

But it is
possible. We got to the moon in a decade. Why can’t we get to our hearts in a
minute?

Visitwww.peterbuffett.comandChange Our Storyto learn more.

Public domain image of Saturn V rocket courtesy of NASA

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