Welcome and Introduction of the Speaker
Marilyn Turkovich: Good day everyone. I am Marilyn Turkovich with the Charter for Compassion International (CfCI). Welcome to the first presentation of our 5-day speaker series as part of the World Interfaith Harmony Week. We are so happy to have Karin Miller with us.
Karin Miller is Vice President and General Counsel of a major entertainment industry consortium. Active in the mind, body and spirit communities for over ten years, she served as pro bono counsel to Marianne Williamson for the formation of the Peace Alliance and as an Advisory Board Member to the Alliance for a New Humanity, chaired by Deepak Chopra. Karin founded Our New Evolution (ONE) to connect and empower people and projects that are aligned with Global Values to facilitate collaboration for positive social transformation. She suggests that only a radically different framework of how humanity organizes itself will be sustainable, and that we must shift from an isolationist paradigm to a new holistic approach. Global Values are the heart of Karin's new book, "Global Values: A New Paradigm for a New World." The book's Facebook page following has grown from zero to more than a quarter of a million in less than a year.
As one reviewer of her book stated:
A paradigm shift is not about the surface only. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of the individuals, so that we can have more trust in each other.
Here is Karin Miller. Welcome to the Charter for Compassion International speaker series.
[Read the introduction to Karin Miller's book and visit www.OurNewEvolution.org to learn more.]
Karin Miller:Thank you so much Marilyn. It is a pleasure to be here. As Marilyn said, I’ve written this book, Global Values: A New Paradigm for a New World. I’d like to share with you about it this morning. We live in such challenging times with war, terrorism, and political turmoil. During World Interfaith Harmony Week, we address religious conflict. Such challenges can work to separate us. They can induce fear. We need a love-based mentality. Through a love paradigm, we can shift from the world we see today and heal divisions. Today, I’ll walk through the ten global values and the story of unity consciousness and how we can shift from a focus on differences to seeing the similarities and commonalities and approach a more holistic perspective. These ten values emerged from my own personal challenges of anxiety and looking at the world through a fear-based lens. When I wasn’t happy, I tended to isolate myself even more. As I became tuned in to my own spiritual practice, I came to realize that the world around me reflected my own inner state. Being in “fight or flight” mode all the time is not fun to be around. We just become more isolated. As I shifted my perspective, I started running and feeling happier. I ran a marathon to raise funds for people with leukemia. As I began to smile more, people began to smile back. As I transformed my inner state, my outer world transformed. I became involved with the peace movement, the green movement. I began to think about what all these efforts/events have in common. I would see some of the same people at these events. I really think there has to be a common thread among the social transformation movements. I worked with Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra as a pro bono lawyer. These were value-based movements. They were about unity consciousness. We are all one body of life and everything we do impacts everything else. My personal values can serve to connect me with people in other groups that may seem very different from my own. We can begin to see similarities instead of differences. Rather than “me” vs. “you” or “us” vs. “them,” we start to see that we are all on the same team. Rather than a win-lose situation, we start to seek win-win solutions. Once I started to see that we are all in the same boat together on this big, blue marble, I saw the value of seeking a win-win.
I want to set the stage by listing the ten values I describe in my book. I selected these ten values to tell the story of unity consciousness in a way that is non-sectarian- so that they may be able to be heard by more people.
The ten values are: unity; community; life; freedom; connection; sustainability; creativity; empowerment; choice; and integrity. Let’s talk about each of these ten values.
Unity: Together we make up one body of life. Together we are whole. Unity is our essential state of being. We are one tapestry of many threads and colors. Diversity makes us beautiful. We value all the many pieces of the whole. All are interwoven. It is more of a systems theory, a holistic perspective. Recognizing that this is our essential state, you realize that the longer that we act in ways that are not from a unity perspective, the longer we stay in pain and in the challenges we face today. Solutions can be found through a global, holistic approach. Love and compassion connect us. The shift starts with each of us individually.
Community: Because we are one, individuals acting in isolation are often ineffective. By joining together, we find our true identity. Often our family, church, social circles are our communities. We start to see ourselves in this context of connections that we have created and chosen. Aligned with the Charter for Compassion is the importance of the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the path for creating successful connections with others and creating community. It is a core principle for creating productive and successful global communities that can find solutions. Rather than lashing out at people, we must treat each other as we would like to be treated. I believe it is important that each of us love ourselves first. We want to treat all with love and respect.
Life: Life energizes all things. Life is the core of all existence. It is the life force and energy that moved out from the “big bang” into matter. It is that universal intelligence that moves within all of us and animals and plants also. It flows through all of life. When we value life, we begin to take the perspective of life living through us. You can see yourself as an instrument of life- having life move through you to evolve to a higher state of being. We can choose to align with life and that energy or we can choose to work contrary to that- against what supports life and others and all living things. We need to remember our connection to all and choose to work together with that life force that energizes all. If not, we are often left in pain. Working to support life is beneficial.
Freedom: Freedom is a natural right. Democratic principles are the foundation of social justice. All individuals sense free will. Freedom is necessary for us to exercise our free will. We see this freedom in our everyday choices and also in the public sphere. We have collective agreements and social structures that reflect our values. Through our freedoms, we create our society. I talk about democracy. Democracy upholds equals rights and freedom for all so we can all create society together. It is up to us to claim it.
Connection: All things have an impact on all others. When we live with a sense of disconnectedness from others and even from our global challenges, we experience suffering and dis-ease. We may not know how to solve these global challenges- they may seem to be on the other side of the world or we don’t have the resources to solve them. I suggest that we think of ourselves as all part of one cell in the human body. We all have a role in the body. We need to think about our own role and how we can fulfill that role in the context of the whole. This may seem hard to grasp- but change starts within us. We must find our own individual role- transform ourselves inside so we see ourselves as part of the global context. This is in opposition to only focusing on what we are doing just for ourselves in our smaller communities. We need to zoom out and see the bigger picture of how what we do impacts all.
Sustainability: Sustainability practices are essential to maintain global life for the world. Often when we see the word “sustainability” we think of the green movement. However, we can broaden the term to include sustainability decisions we make for interpersonal relationships with friends, family, etc.; how we vote; how we conduct ourselves in our daily lives. Sustainability moves us from thinking just about short-term individual gain to thinking more about long-term collaborative synthesis- working as one unit, one body of life.
Creativity: Our purpose in life is to create and express ourselves in unique ways in order to support ourselves and the lives of others. Your will and your state of mind produce your actions and reflect your intentions. Fear creates more fear. By projecting a fear state inside, you get more fear. Love creates more love. It is a simple principle. We are all creators. We create our own lives and together we create our collective reality. We make choices that move us toward certain goals. Love, respect and honor create a world that exhibits love, respect, and honor of all things.
Empowerment: By empowering others, we empower ourselves. We are all one.
Marianne Williamson has said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”
I may think... who am I to write this book? But, why not? We must overcome our fears that we are unequal to the challenges of the world today. When we claim our own power, we can inspire others to do so. The spirit of power is to cooperate and not dominate others.
Choice: We have choice to decide what we do, how we react. It gives us power to have control over our lives. It is our choice what kind of world we create. By looking at our own personal choices, we can claim responsibility for our own lives and have more control over how our own life unfolds. The only things you really have control over are your own choices and decisions.
Integrity: Everything is integrated and part of the whole. When we recognize the whole, we are one. We must match our actions with our values. We have integrity with others when our actions match our agreements with others. We have integrity when our values reflect the integrated nature and oneness of all things, when we value the whole and our part in it.
The final chapter of the book is a call to action- to go within. The action is really non-action- to meditate, practice mindfulness, and shift our world view from isolation to cooperation. By going within, we can calm our minds and join with others and seek win-win solutions. The book is a framework to change our own individual thinking and then change the world.
Marilyn: Thank you, Karin. I am reminded of theologian Harvey Cox who said, “Not to decide is to decide.” Deciding not to get involved is a decision which can have a big impact in our own lives and in the world.
Now it is time for Questions & Answers. If participants have a question or reflection, please press 1 on your phone keypad to be recognized.
Questions & Answers
Reed Price: Karin, when you talked about connection, you expressed that we are in concert with each other. When we look at the world, we see a world ravaged by war, famine, politics, religion, etc. With all of the global challenges that we face today, how can any one person feel like they are making a difference?
Karin: Sure. Of course, as we just discussed, I think the most beneficial thing we can do is to go within and transform ourselves. You need to find what really brings you joy. So many sectors of society are calling for social transformation. There are so many different ways that each of us can get involved. You need to find what lights you up and brings you joy. That’s the key to finding the path to the best way to contribute. Always, you can vote and get involved and make your voice heard. This is crucial. But, at the same time, if you are an artist- you can take that path- express unity consciousness through art. You may be a musician or, in my case, a lawyer. As a lawyer, you can volunteer to do pro bono work, etc. Each of us can seek a very individual path. We need to work collectively toward an evolution of consciousness and society. Going within is the true calling.
Reed: In your life, did something happen that called you to take the path you are on?
Karin: My interests have changed over time. I ran a marathon to help raise money for people with leukemia. Then, I became a lawyer and did pro bono work for the Peace Alliance and other organizations. For all of us, it varies over time. The core thread I’ve found is in these values. These values help to articulate the global perspective that I’ve been working with all my life. I hope that by articulating these values that people can use them to connect with others and that the values will help people see that we are all connected.
Reed: Your organization is called “Our New Evolution.” What does that mean? How are we evolving?
Karin: I see us as evolving from a state of survival of the fittest and competition to a more collaborative model that values the interconnectedness of all things. Today, the benefit that we have is our ability to choose which direction that society evolves. All of our choices impact society and the whole. I see us as being able to consciously choose our path and how we evolve. We evolve in our ability to remember that we are all one body of life.
Reed: Do you think we are at an inflection point? Are we at a critical, new point in our evolution? Have we come to a cliff, a critical turning point?
Karin: Our opportunity today is that things move at a faster pace. We can see the impact of our choices and decisions. For example, our Internet/technology connections are rapidly expanding. We have the opportunity to have dramatic positive change in a short period of time. Also, though, it can go the other way as well. Inaction and faulty thinking can have a faster impact. It is important to apply ourselves to a more holistic approach.
Marilyn: Harvey Cantwell in an anthropological study, asked people to talk about their most important values. Sustainability was mentioned as well as a need for family and community. The third value surprised me. It was the need for “continuity.” Continuity is different from sustainability. People said they wanted to know that when they wake up tomorrow, that the world will be the same... that they will have food; they won’t be forced out of their homes, etc. The need for continuity is still with us. That is a personal value that is being disrupted in many places. Are your global values also personal values? Would you add other personal values into the mix? Are their others on the call that have personal values that would interface with this discussion of global values?
Karin: I want to emphasize that I am just using these ten values to tell the story of unity consciousness. There are many other values that are aligned with these ten and with unity. Speaking to continuity: I think there is value in being open to change and positive transformation and letting life work through us and flow through us rather than clinging to what we know best and resisting change.
Reed: I respect that you are laying out these 10 values for discussion. I think we create our own lives by being open to others. You do mention in many examples using the Golden Rule as a method for connection. Throughout time there are references to treating the stranger with respect and to honoring the fact that we ourselves are imperfect and need to have compassion for those who may fall short of our ideals.
Louisa: Thank you for this nicely-rounded value system. However, how do we take real action and create real change? I know that addressing the world within is important, but how do we get people to act to address the challenges in the world?
Karin: I think there are so many possibilities for ways that transformation can happen and many ways to reach people who have not even thought of their own values. Most important is to reach people through the heart... through music, the arts, something that touches them, inspires them, or moves them. For people who have not been exposed to some of these concepts, a heart connection can be powerful. There are different approaches for different people. Just a conversation with a friend can make a difference.
Marilyn: What are the heart connections that some of us have? I’ve had messages from people who were on our Charter Maestro call last week about the plight of Flint, Michigan. This cause has become their heart connection.
Lesa: I am passionate about engaging youth. Karin- I strongly believe in the importance of the global values that you have set forth. I also believe that the way you have stated them (not using a religious framework) allows them to be addressed more readily in public school settings and other venues. How do we engage youth in these global values so that, from an early age, they see the world through this lens of unity?
Karin: With respect to global values, I have a friend who is beginning to teach global values to youth in schools. It is helpful that the values can be communicated outside of a religious context. While I’ve been brought up in a Christian household, these values are resonating with Muslim youth in the Middle East and Southeast Asia and also with youth in Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc. Ages 13 to 24 seems to be a key age range. The values are resonating with young people in challenging times in these countries. I have great optimism from this response. I am hopeful that we can get this message to more youth through schools, classes, and to juveniles in the prison system, etc.
Marilyn: Are these all youth connecting via Facebook?
Karin: Yes. Check out the “Global Values” community on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GlobalValuesMovement/.
Marilyn: We would love to involve these youth in the Charter for Compassion Intl and also share your message with the global Compassionate Schools.
Sommer: I want to speak to something dear to my heart. There was a global synchronized meditation for Syria starting at 7 a.m. PST today. There is a group in Syria, located near ISIS. There are interfaith and religious leaders there and a call to action for people around the world to join with them in a meditation for peace. What is important to me are the millions of people participating in this meditation and showing their caring this morning. It is an example of what you are talking about.
The Compassion Games is also an example of how together we can be a collective global community-bringing and sharing our stories of compassion with the collective whole. The Compassion Games are happening as part of World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Marilyn:The Compassion Games are being played this week for World Interfaith Harmony Week. Go to http://compassiongames.org/world-interfaith-harmony-week/ to sign up.
Karin: I just love the Compassion Games and the “survival of the kindest” theme! By being compassionate, we all win. The Games are a fantastic example of how to bring these concepts into action! They provide a way for people to get actively engaged in being kind. Also, another great way people can get involved is through the global meditations. Many are going on now. I will start posting on these on my website. The meditations are important examples of going within and supporting global consciousness at same time.
Marilyn: You’ve been open about the fact that you suffered from anxiety and depression in early adulthood. How does your latest work on Global Values reach out to others in the world community who are dealing with similar struggles?
Karin: Sometimes people feel frustrated that things aren’t changing. We can get into a state of despair. These values can help us move out of that. With simple steps we can transform our own mood- getting out of our own fear paradigm. Sometimes, such a fear paradigm can be exacerbated by the media/news. We look for evidence of our worldview in everything around us. If we think the world is in dire straits, we watch the news and reinforce that perspective and we can bring ourselves down into a very depressive state. If you start the morning with a meditation, a positive message, setting the intention to see the world with beauty, kindness, and joy- by helping people, smiling at them, etc., then that positive perspective will be manifest and actually cheer you up. We can choose to be happy and see the beauty and good things in the world.
Reed: First, the Charter for Compassion International is holding five days of online presentations, Monday through Friday of this week in conjunction with the World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), a United Nations-supported event which began in 2010. This year, WIHW is February 1-7. Learn more about the remaining four Charter calls this week at http://bit.ly/cci-harmony. Or, you can go to the Charter for Compassion International home page www.charterforcompassion.org and look for “News” and/or check out the Charter’s calendar for upcoming events.
Tomorrow, Feb. 2, 12 p.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT, we have Imam Jamal Rahman, Rev. Don Mackenzie, and Rabbi Ted Falcon: the "The Interfaith Amigos."
Wed., Feb. 3, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, we will be talking with Marie Roker-Jones, Louisa Hext, and Aleasa Word.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, John Esposito will be presenting.
On Friday, Feb 5, 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT, we talk about the refugee crisis and human migration with Reham Hamoui and others.
Also, the Compassion Games International is staging a World Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition. This is a great opportunity for your organization, group, congregation, place of worship or interfaith community to play in the Games in the spirit of growing global unity and respect. Learn more at http://compassiongames.org/world-interfaith-harmony-week/.
Marilyn: I certainly want to thank Karin for sharing with us her global values. You can get the book on Amazon. If you purchase the book through Amazon Smile at www.smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a percent of the sale to the Charter for Compassion Intl. if you designate us as the non-profit recipient.
Karin: Please go to www.ournewevolution.org . The website has a link to the book. Also, you can read the first chapter of the book in a preview on the website. You can sign up for the newsletter to stay informed. If you are using social media to post/share about work that is aligned with these values, use #globalvalues. Also, we want to promote products and services that promote these ten values. Please contact me if you are interested.
Reed: I want to thank everyone for attending this Charter presentation on Maestro Conference. We’ll send out notes and a link to the audio of the call in a few days. These calls are always free to you, but our operation is NOT large, and we very much appreciate the financial support if you are able to “pay it forward.” Go to http://bit.ly/CCI-donate.
Thank you all, and see you next time.