There are thousands of wonderful organizations seeking to resist some aspects of what is unjust or environmentally destructive in our world today. All too often, however, social change groups know what they are against but struggle to articulate a vision of the world they are for. As a result, hundreds of millions of people get mobilized for one struggle or another but fail to recognize all the others as their allies.
These movements try to avoid anything that sounds “too ideological” out of fear of splintering the group. They believe they will be more successful if they focus on the specific struggle without trying to educate people about how the global system works, or introduce activists to a larger movement that connects the disparate parts. So even if they win one particular victory after years of struggle, they will nonetheless discover that global corporations have made dozens of new assaults on the environment while finding ever more clever ways to present themselves as socially or environmentally responsible. This leads to exhaustion, burnout, and cynicism about the possibility of change.
Our New Bottom Line and the platform we put forward in this Path to a World of Love and Justice provides the vision that is desperately needed in all of these struggles. In this way, the Network of Spiritual Progressives helps people from all different struggles recognize their common interests and the need to work together to build a shared strategy and program. Without this, we have little chance of heading off the disasters that face humanity in the coming decades.
The good news is this: most people quickly embrace the vision articulated in our Path to a World of Love and Justice once they overcome their initial “certainty” that it is impossible to achieve. Every time another one of us publicly affirms our support for a New Bottom Line and a Spiritual Covenant, we increase the likelihood that others will also overcome their certainty that change is impossible. It may take decades of commitment until we reach a tipping point, but when we do, millions of people will suddenly realize that they would not be alone in acting on their yearning for a world of love. At that critical juncture, a nonviolent transformation of our world becomes possible.
It is our contention that every human being has the need to nurture their capacities to be loving, generous, and free; intellectually and artistically creative; playful, joyous, empathic, and compassionate; forgiving and caring to others; connected in awe and wonder to the grandeur of the universe and the mystery of all being; to live in harmony with the Earth; and to be recognized, seen and understood by the many others in their lives. These capacities are systematically thwarted in a society in which people are encouraged by the dominant culture to focus primarily on their own needs. We can’t be who we need to be without everyone else having the opportunity to develop his or her fullest human capacities. It is the frustration of these needs, as much as the denial of material well-being and political rights, that underlies the suffering of much of humanity today.
The following version of our Path to a World of Love and Justice emerged from discussions with tens of thousands of Americans over the course of many years, and it is still evolving. If this vision speaks to you and you want to help spread this vision, please join the NSP. You can learn more about joining or starting a local chapter here. You can read our strategy for how to transform our society here.