As the United States moves closer to yet another military attack that we can’t afford morally or financially, it may be good to consider our situation from a more comprehensive perspective. What are we as a species doing to each other and our planet? Will the most physically / militarily powerful countries continue to bully the rest of the world in order to make profits for large corporations and the few individuals who own and run them? And when will most people realize that we are living on a tiny, fragile planet that must be kept sustainable and cannot be replaced in time to shift our ways?
These were some of the questions Buckminster Fuller began asking himself and others in 1927. That was the year the famous inventor and futurist nearly committed suicide but was dissuaded by a “voice” which spoke to him on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Realizing that he had to do something other than attempt to support himself and his family, Bucky began “thinking for himself” and expanding his perspective so that it was on the level of cosmic. It was then that he understood that we have only one small planet to support us all, and he named that planet Spaceship Earth. He also began his quest to see if what he - as single penniless individual with no resources - could do to create “a world that works for everyone.” That pursuit led him to eventually write,
"Humanity is taking its final examination. We have come to an extraordinary moment when it doesn't have to be you or me. There is enough for all. We need not operate competitively any longer. If we succeed, it will be because of youth, truth and love."
This statement is even more important today than when Bucky first wrote it in 1972 because we’ve moved much deeper into that “final examination” to answer the question that Bucky proposed in 1983 just months before his death. He wrote that our final exam is about responding to the cosmic question,
Bucky was certain that because Universe always creates more than one entity for all vital functions that somewhere “out there” are more entities performing functions similar to humans. He would often point out that we have two eyes and two ears because our sight and hearing are so vital to performing our mission, and Universe would naturally design for critical needs in a similar manner.
Bucky was also aware of the fact that there are now enough resources on our tiny planet to sustainably support all life if we shift focus and resources from weaponry to livingry. However, if we continue to respond to incidents with more military force, we will not have the resources to provide food, shelter, education, health care and other livingry to people in the United States and around the globe.
So, challenge has been clearly laid out for us by an acknowledged wise elder. Our current task is to do what needs to be done to champion the cause of “youth, truth and love” that Bucky knew to be the foundation of our success as a species and as individuals.
May we all recognize our significance as a “worthwhile to Universe invention” and quickly shift our focus from weaponry to livingry.