AWAKENING THE BEST IN THE HUMAN SPIRIT…for almost 40 years, these words have guided us at Omega Institute in everything we do. When we are developing curriculum and choosing teachers, as we work together as a staff, as we serve our guests and care for our campus and land, we ask ourselves this question: what can we do to help people activate their most creative, courageous, loving, and wise potential?
In these days of great uncertainty and unrest in our country, that question has never seemed as important. In the past few weeks, we have been pondering what it really means to awaken the best in ourselves and in each other. We know what it doesn’t mean. We know that the “best” of the human spirit is not hatred, racism, sexism, greed, tribalism, violence, or domination. We know that all of us must work to root out and transform those destructive human tendencies in ourselves and in our society.
And what is the best of who we are—as individuals and as a society? Our work at Omega has always been to help people discover, awaken, and activate their best. One of the “bests” most needed now is the courage to reach toward each other across differences—racial differences, cultural differences, religious, regional, and political differences. Diversities of all kinds.
Biologists know that healthy ecosystems require diversity. Societies are ecosystems too, and ours is a vibrantly diverse one. This is a great strength of our nation, but it puts a responsibility on its citizens—harmonious diversity requires open-mindedness, acceptance, and communication. That’s why we teach these values and skills at Omega. Without them, humanity will continue on the path of tribalism, blame, and vengeance.
We also teach alertness—how to stay awake even in difficult times, even when we would rather go back to sleep. In our own lives, and in our lives as American citizens, this is not a time to go back to sleep. Both danger and opportunity are afoot. Now is the time to choose opportunity, to do what we can to awaken our better angels—especially our capacity to communicate wisely and to love boldly. We at Omega promise to provide skills and inspiration so you can make these “bests” real in your own life and in the world. We will continue to do this and build community through all of our workshops and conferences, on our campus and online. We hope you'll join us.
© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies