Sunday, September 6, 2009

Enough To Go Around


Today, we are celebrating a great thing. For those of you who are regular readers of InvertedAlchemy and who appreciate the quest for transparency, please read all the way through as this entry has to do with quite possibly the best example of the new paradigm that’s coming when the last of the incumbent greed breathes its last. For those of you who are here for the first time, please read several other entries to get the import of this post.

My dear friend Chip Duncan’s book that came out this week is quite possibly the most important publication of our time. And, when you’re done reading, I hope you see that it may be the most important book of all time. In a stroke of brilliance, Enough To Go Around is the first successful manifestation of telling an entirely new story in places we all think we know. From the Madonna and Child that graces the cover to the Sufi Mystic’s Ecstasy (page 114) to the Optimist of Mazar-e-Sharif (page 30) to the Face of Eternal Hope (page 89), Chip tells a graphic story of hope and humanity in places which have become synonymous with the worst injustices of our times. Assiduously avoiding a patronizing sympathy, Chip weaves the fabric – in images and words – which give the world a gift. The gift is that ancient present wisdom that when we understand that there’s Enough we are liberated from the greed that enslaves and we are then welcomed into a world where the ultimate wealth is found in the fellowship of a unified humanity.

However, this posting is not about Chip’s book. It’s about HOW Chip’s book came into being. As you will see when you read it, this book is the tale of three friends. One belongs to a family of inestimable monetary wealth. One has the power of telling ancient stories. And one is a couple who can make the intangible visible.

In the linear world of wealth and greed, this book may not have happened. These three sets of friends have scores of monetarily-endowed associates for whom supporting the publication of this book would have represented a rounding error in 30 minutes of market fluctuations in their asset portfolios. When asked to defray the costs of publication, for some reason, none of them responded to the request with what the linear world sees as their wealth. Ironically, like the Buddhist monks who realize that it is in their begging that they open up the opportunity for others to give, they offered, through their unfunded support an invitation for others to give. One friend responded with an effusive and eloquent gift of words which provide the book’s invocation. When it looked like this book might not come into being, one of the friends – oddly enough, the one who had the least available cash – agreed to sponsor the printing with the first check to get the publication going. And one of them, buoyed by the knowledge that there’s always Enough To Go Around, put reputation and credibility on the line KNOWING that if you Just Do, there will be ENOUGH. And when you think you know which friend is which, you’ll be surprised to know that all three are all three.

You see, we can futilely live in a world where we can find our humanity AFTER we have "enough". But the problem is that when we use fear of an uncertain future as our gauge of “enough”, there’s never ENOUGH. We don’t stop and ask ourselves, as I asked my friends in Salt Lake City one day, if our wealth came at the expense of implicit injustice, is it possible to redeem our souls with philanthropy? If our asset portfolios are loaded with stocks that always seek “shareholder value” at the expense of human dignity in labor, raw materials and energy, and relentless pursuit of unbridled consumption, can we ever find ENOUGH?

Can we see an Afghanistan where we all share the responsibility for the legacy of the Cold War that armed allies of convenience who, when winds changed became enemies and realize that both ally and enemy were, and are, a civilization which has persisted for millennia? Can we see that the fracturing of tectonic plates in Pakistan merely serves as nature’s commentary on what colonial impulses triggered which fractured families, communities, and religions and that rebuilding is not merely a question of shelter but of sanctuary? Can we see that our insatiable quest for oil and resources is directly fueling the flames of genocide at the convergence of Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan?

This book shows the faces of hope and smiles of the wealth of humanity in places where we expect to see none. This book tells the stories of wisdom held by those who, in the face of the loss of all that we recognize as wealth, find ENOUGH. And this story is told without political or corporate agenda so that its accessible to anyone who wants to taste a world where a different story – one energized by a borderless ENOUGH – is told. So, three improbable friends (and dozens of others who gave the project its current life), drawing on wealth made possible by the ALWAYS ENOUGH put into tangible manifestation a clarion call to all. By just DOING and bringing a book into being which carries the stories and messages of hope from those who are the most marginalized, we all have a chance to put an End to Irrational Fear.


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Thank you for your comment. I look forward to considering this in the expanding dialogue. Dave