2013-10-18-New Era Conversations 9
Topic: Practical Application of Sustainability Issues
Group: N. Colorado TeaM
Teacher: Machiventa Melchizedek
TR: Daniel Raphael
- Moderators: Michael McCray and Susan, a new member of our team
Invocation: Heavenly Father, Michael, Nebadonia, Monjoronson and his staff, and whoever else may be listening to today’s session. We join you now for another session of conversations. We thank you for indulging us in this way and we hope that in these sessions we can come to understand what our future will be and how we can best serve the Father and Michael during this Correcting Time. Amen.
[Note: We have added Susan, from Northern California, to our NEC staff. She has been working with the co-creative design team concept for several years now and will be a great asset with her practical field experience.]
MACHIVENTA: Good morning, this is Machiventa Melchizedek. (Group greets him warmly.) And welcome to our new member to this group; this is a wonderful addition. I enjoyed our conversations in Northern California very much. (Susan: Thank you.)
- Ongoing crises and tumultuous activity on our planet
MACHIVENTA: I will provide an overall perspective of today for this session. Many of you are seeing great and tumultuous activity on your planet that is related to earthquakes and volcanoes, rains, droughts, and then you have the social crises that are ongoing in your societies and your nations. You are seeing these crises also spill over into the political and economic realms. These three areas will continue to grab and hold your attention into the future for many years to come. You can account these this way, that each event is one small increment of change that brings pressure upon those social/political/economic systems that are non-functional, or do not work very well. You will find that eventually these will break down, as you recently discovered this week that the economy of the United States dominates that of the global perspective. It is not the “all in everything,” but it is the hinge that makes the world economy swing back and forth, and that without this hinge, there would be disarray and great difficulty economically and financially, down to the personal level from the international level.
This has pointed to the inadequacies of the concept of sovereign national economies. That is an oxymoron of sorts because economies are free flowing; they must be global, they must be national and they must be local. Yet the political sovereignty of nations is working against the free flowing aspects of your global, national and local economies. This will continue until they have found the underlying values and systems that will help those sovereignties and economies work together. There must be one unifying functional value system underlying it all, that will eventually work against the greed and avarice of chief executives and intentional destructive economic and market actions of large corporations. Do not necessarily focus your attention on any one individual, but see all these global developments as an eventual and collective gathering of those smaller developments, that there is a trend going on in your world that we have spoken about, which Monjoronson has spoken about extensively in the past few years.
I will leave those comments as complete, unless you have questions about them. For the sake of your procedures with our new member, I would ask that the established members ask first, and then let our new member chime in.
Roxie: I have no questions yet, but thank you for the update, Machiventa.
MMc: I don’t have any questions either. One of my questions was to ask you if we were going to be moving from emergency to emergency, and you’ve covered that completely, thank you.
MACHIVENTA: Does our new member have a question related to my opening statement, or if you have something unrelated, that is fine as well.
- Small developments within small communities
Susan: I have a prepared question that actually quite serendipitously is related to what you spoke of about the developments on a global scale being a gathering of many small developments. So, my question is about small developments within small economies. I don’t know if this is an appropriate time… (Machiventa: Yes, completely; please proceed.) I will go ahead then.
I have a question about how to begin to change the culture of business at the small business and community level. In reading past transcripts and observing my own experiences in business, I understand the need to evolve the motivating force behind business enterprise from the accumulation of wealth, power or self- aggrandizement to one that is a means of individual, family and community support, community service and sustainability. And what I have read in the transcripts tends to speak mostly to the corporate world as the place where things will change, and what you just spoke to sort of encouraged me.
- The threats to small businesses from businesses seeking dominance
In a small rural community, such as where I live, it is easy to see how vital the latter motivation is to our health, as each business relies on the health of others for its own viability. It is also easy to see how some levels of competition among us—those of us with similar products or services—when it is spread across an adequate market need, are very advantageous. Some levels of competition can spur innovation, can spur a desire for excellence and most remarkably, what I’ve seen, can spur a spirit of community service. But the scales can be tipped very easily if even one of these competing businesses moves from these sustaining motivations to a desire for dominance. And I’m going to assume that that’s obviously what is happening on a larger scale in our corporate world.
For us, when this occurs, the livelihood of others is immediately threatened, at least in the short term, and a business that is threatened in such a way, of course will react. Often the reaction that I observe is that the threatened business or entity ups their level of action to meet the threat of the other, by entering the same playing field. (I hope this is flowing and making sense.) This can lead both parties into a morally bankrupt field of play and antagonisms. In other words, it is challenging for a business to keep their moral compass on true north, when the actions of another threaten its survival and the survival of its employees and families, in the short term. I use “short term” to acknowledge that one sees how holding to “true north” is ultimately more sustainable, but it is harder to see how that will continue to put food on the table today.
My question is: What is an alternate course for a businessperson in this situation, when challenged with threats to his or her survivability by the greed of others?
MACHIVENTA: Well stated and well integrated, thank you. The answers you are seeking are in your community. If I understand your question correctly, the short term new threat is an attempt to pick the “low fruit” that is available in the market situation. Did I understand your question, and does this answer provide an insight to it? (Susan: Yes.) Thank you. There will always be a vulnerability to your market, your potential clients, as they see the aggressiveness of a new competitor who is seeking those quick-sales, those quick contracts and so on, to make their situation flourish. The long-term program of a local level must be as it is at the international corporate level — to espouse a core value system that appeals to the long-term interests of your clientele, and for you, your community.
You must acknowledge these values that are core to your business and to your community. We are referring to the three core values of social sustainability, which must also become innate, indigenous to every business. They are the means to improve the quality of life of their clients, and for you, that means an ongoing working relationship after the sale, or after the service, so that you have satisfied clients and customers who desire to come back and who will recommend you. The second value isgrowth. You can only grow on long-term stability. Short term sales, short term acquisition of new clients without these core values will not be sustainable; they will eventually fail. But in the meantime, your business will suffer from this high-energy competition. Third is that you want equality, to value each client as you would another, and that in this instance, would want to sell to a customer or client, a tractor, for instance, which may cost $13,000, as easily and as diligently as you would sell a new tractor that would cost $130,000. So, you want to apply this equation of values equally to every potential client and customer.
The third aspect I wish you to address would be to, in your local community, you perhaps have a business association such as the… what membership are you?
Susan: It would be a Chamber of Commerce or an Association of Realtors—there are several like that.
- Identifying business strategies
MACHIVENTA: Yes, and that you—you meaning the collective group of you—would want to meet and discuss business strategies, openly, without having an agenda. The agenda and intention must be for the long-term good of the community and the long-term good of businesses and families. You need to identify those strategies which work against social sustainability. We have discussed those strategies, and I will give you a couple of examples: One is “picking the low fruit.” This is detrimental to the stability of all businesses in a similar business venue. Second is the egoistic, self-aggrandizing need for being number one. The third one would be to—as has been explained before—is “winner takes all.” That is to do whatever is necessary, ethically and unethically to “die with the most toys,” as some of your contemporaries would say. The fourth aspect may be to establish a dynasty that would support or give longevity to the “winner takes all” strategy. As you can readily see, these are the strategies of children playing board games at the dinner table, and in the schoolyard. The business and economies of adults must evolve, and GROW in order for the quality of business life and customer service to support a sustainable community.
In any business environment, whether it is international or whether it is a local business, it is necessary for the long-term stability of your communities and the world business communities for it to identify those business tactics that are detrimental, hurtful and cause the instability of your field of business or reference. You have excellent examples in the financial world, that predate—if you were to examine the recessions and the “economic bubbles” that preceded the collapse or the decline of economies—there are particular lessons involved in those scenarios and those developments in the last 30-40 years, particularly within the last decade. These come down to very simple identities or identifications of unethical and immoral and un-socially sustainable immoral behavior. For instance, when a CEO of a given corporation misleads the Board of Directors or Trustees, to aggrandize their own accounts and their own wealth, or when there is a monopolistic behavior on the part of a financial institution that jeopardizes the investments of the client investors.
- Identifying what you do not want in your economy
What I am getting at is that it is necessary to identify what you do not want to occur in your economy. Usually, this is based on individual decisions and sometimes in collusion with other members of a corporation or board. It is necessary to identify those immoral—and when I say “immoral,” I am speaking directly to the morality that violates social sustainability, those behaviors that violate and compromise social sustainability, whether it is by an individual, or a corporation, or a company. I am not speaking necessarily of immoral personal behavior or the traditional mode. So begin by identifying the most egregious situations and examples, and it is not unheard of for local bankers, local realtors, local businesses, or local utilities to take advantage of the situation due to secrecy and business opacity of their dealings, to continue their immoral activities.
- The values of transparency in business
One of the values that is necessary in business is transparency and the open identification of a business and family with the values of social sustainability. This makes it more evident that when there is social sustainability there must also be transparency, and that this is actually a benefit to your clients and your marketing public, as they see your business is in alignment with the highest long-term needs of the community and of families, and of other businesses as well. In other words, you will need to begin a social sustainability design team (SSDT) when your community within your association that assists your community in devising standards—socially sustainable moral standards—for the conduct of business. This could turn into an educational program that would assist new businesses in finding their place within the business community.
As this is new and innovative, it will cause concern among highly competitive businesses in your community. This is standard fare, as the act of transparency will clearly show those businesses that do not adhere to and will not adopt the standard value system of social sustainability. They will point their own fingers to themselves through this process. I may provide an opinion to you about proceeding and that is to proceed in a dual manner: One is identifying an egregious business behavior which is detrimental to your community, and even to the international business community, and simultaneously begin examining the values that sustain businesses not for a decade or for two decades, but for centuries and millennia. As an open comment, there are three structures in society, in a civilization that must become socially sustainable: social institutions, the economy, and the political that underpin the sustainability of a society, nation, and civilization.
- Stability always begins at the local level
You, as a businessperson, are also a mother, grandmother and a partner to families, and so you have “two feet in two ponds,” in two areas, two venues of sustainability. One is the economic and one is the social. As you will see through examination of these three areas, you cannot have one being sustainable without all being sustainable. The result of sustainability in these three areas is eventual peace — social peace, economic peace, and political peace. When people pray for world peace, they really are praying for social sustainability in their communities first. You are not remiss or adventuresome to begin at the local level, for all political, economic and social stability always begins at the local level. It can only be initiated and authorized and enforced at higher levels of your states and nations and international levels. I hope these answers do not confuse you, and if they do, please ask further questions.
Susan: Thank you. This didn’t confuse me at all; it answered so much more than what I even asked. I see that identifying what we don’t want first is a core part of this process, something I hadn’t thought of before, and then examining those values that would sustain us, a two-part process. This is wonderful, thank you!
MACHIVENTA: You are most welcome. Proceed, the forum is open.
- The decline of volunteerism in the community
Susan: Our rural community has had a decrease in the level of volunteerism in the community in the past 30 years. 30 years ago, when our economy was more stable, there was a stronger sense of community and the importance of community service was much more evident. We are now in a time of economic crisis, which we have been moving towards ever since our main industry left the area. As it is now, because we are in this crisis, it is now that such sense of community and service to the community is soooo needed, but is so very scarce. There are a strong few who see volunteerism and service as vital to our communal health, but most others seem to drift in a world of individualism, and in the thought that others will make things happen. The responsibility for self within the larger organism simply isn’t there. We, the strong few, often discuss this question with no adequate answer as yet.
My question is: “How do we motivate individuals in the community to such service for each other”? It is the motivation factor that seems to be missing.
- The problem of extreme individualism and reliance on government
MACHIVENTA: Yes. You have hit upon a very large problem in developed democracies, that of extreme individualism. What we would espouse, and which you are asking for is a directed social activism that leads to greater community cohesion. When everything is fine and economies are great, individuals, families and communities can afford a tremendous separatism because there is a feeling of sustainable autonomy. At the same time, over those 30 years, what has happened is that there has been an increased reliance on government at all levels to resolve social problems. As we have said before, governments can do well at political and military and even large global and national economic problems, but they seem incredibly incompetent at conducting or developing effective social programs in the long-term. They continue to see social problems as economic, and throw money at the problem to resolve it, with the money being used usually in inadequate ways.
- Changing culture
What you are asking for is a change of culture from extreme individualism to a sense of social cohesion in a neighborhood and community. You will make yourself stand out from your community when you begin to espouse social action at the level of individuals, families and neighborhoods and communities that see the necessity of working together, as opposed—and yes, it will be seen as opposed—to the completion of action by large governmental agencies. The words will be true that the programs—large funded programs that government is prone to support—will not be forthcoming to a small community as yours. Your community thrives best when the prosperity of your large state is doing well. When the larger state is not doing well, and your community is not doing well, there needs to be a persuasion to individuals, neighborhoods and communities that the answers they seek must come from themselves. Social cohesion provides a synergistic additive that can assist communities to survive, and in fact, become socially sustainable. Extreme individualism will work against its survival
The egregious, extreme individualism of your American society will now work against its survival as a national society. There must be a coming together of not just business people who wish to see their businesses survive, but community families and neighborhoods [that] see the necessity of coming together to resolve common local social problems. These solutions will not be forthcoming from your county, state or nation, though they may commiserate with you to discuss these problems, and perhaps offer outside advice. But it is the hard work of working together that must be sold to your neighbors, individuals and families so that when times become more difficult, they see that through working together, they can survive better as individuals and families in that community. It is a matter of persuasion. The message must be consistent; it must be persistent—over the duration of years and decades.
To counteract the pernicious individualism that has been sold to your society, it is now enculturated in your local communities that individuals can solve problems at all levels by seeking assistance from governments. And, this simply is not true.
Thank you. You are welcome to follow this up with further questions.
Susan: Thank you. Once again, your answer is so complete I am at a loss to follow up. I am beginning to understand that it’s a rhetoric that needs to be pursued. I mentioned the strong few who still feel the need for volunteerism and community service, so it’s the rhetoric between those people and how we reach out into the community that will be the start.
MACHIVENTA: Yes, your message must be clear to your community that working alone will lead to isolationism, both socially, economically and politically and otherwise. In order to improve their survival, or their quality of living and growth potential, they must bring themselves in to see themselves as equals in partnership with their community. And, you must point out clearly what the benefits are. Now that you see what is ahead for your community and for your societies, you have a much clearer message to develop to those individuals, which unfortunately, will propose a truism before it is needed, and so, it will be seen as a self-fulfilling prophesy, so to speak, that benefits everyone. Did I speak too circumspectly about that?
Susan: Okay, we will propose a truism before it is needed?
MACHIVENTA: To be a community you must believe in community; you must believe that you are part of it and that you have something to contribute that adds more to the lives of others, as they add more to your own personal life.
Susan: Okay. This is wonderful! MACHIVENTA: If you do not provide that slogan or that truism beforehand, when it is needed, it will then be too late.
Susan: Ah, I understand. Thank you.
MACHIVENTA: You are welcome. Thank you for your questions, which point to the answers that are desperately needed throughout the world, particularly in developed democracies that have espoused individualism to the extreme.
Any comments or questions?
- The needed changes in thinking
MMc: Yes, it occurs to me that once the populace becomes aware of the values of social sustainability, they will almost come to see them as change that is needed in their world. There is certainly a change that is needed in their thinking.
MACHIVENTA: Yes, it is our intention to begin feeding these values in specific areas that need attention, but eventually the light will dawn on many people that these three values are applicable to almost all areas of social, political and economic reality, wherever they are. They must see the connection of these three values that have sustained your species for over 40,000 years, as now becoming necessarily integrated into their organizational structures, both as guiding values supported by operational procedures.
Susan: I have a follow-up question to your response to my first question; I hate to back track like this, but when you said to proceed first by identifying the egregious behaviors that are detrimental to sustainable business, and of course we can apply that to communities. Then you said, “examine the values that have sustained businesses for millennia.” As I’m looking at this, I’m assuming there are no businesses that have been sustained for millennia. Could you expound on that, what you were referring to there?
- The values of social sustainability for potential longevity
MACHIVENTA: Yes. I was only referring to the values of social sustainability as sustaining businesses that could be applicable to all areas socially and politically that will assist them to become long enduring for decades and centuries and millennia. Yes, you are correct: there are no businesses that have lasted millennia. The extension of the statement was to encourage businesses to see the potential of longevity, of what it takes for large and small businesses to survive. You would do well to do your research of business entities that have lasted centuries. The Rothschild family, for one, has been long enduring, though it has waxed and waned in its existence. There are other businesses that have lasted for a great deal of time—none for millennia, but there are several that have lasted for centuries. Look to them as to what has helped them survive. They must, obviously, have some values that would look similar in some ways to social sustainability.
- Sustaining quality and equality of businesses
Obviously, businesses seek to sustain the quality of their business, i.e. their bottom line, to avoid the red numbers below the bottom line, and to grow. The only difficulty that they have had in surviving is in the aspect of equality. As we spoke earlier some time ago, that equality is a two-sided sword. It will work for you as long as you remain within a competitive field as an equal, seeing the value of your competitors in your field. But when equality works to become dominating and controlling, then it works against your business and society. Businesses often think that they work apart from society, but they do not. Businesses often times see individuals and cities and communities—even whole states and regions—as their parasitical domain, where they can take advantage of those areas without supporting, providing the resources to assist those locales in surviving.
To give you a glimpse of the future, businesses must become much more thoughtful in supporting those people who buy at their stores. Everyone who comes to a store to buy things is an employee, or has been an employee, and so it becomes almost self-evident in a society that is moving toward social sustainability that employees have not receive just an adequate compensation for their labor, but must be more than adequately compensated so that they can maintain the quality of their lives and this added income or wealth assists them to grow as individuals, to explore their potential, and in return, this becomes a synergistic cycle or system that helps businesses grow.
Susan: Thank you. I have no further questions at this time.
MACHIVENTA: Further questions from anyone?
- The concept of “Godselves”
MMc: I wonder during your session in Northern California, you said that during this Correcting Time it was Christ Michael’s plan to bring people into their Godselves. Considering that there is confusion about God on Urantia, I wonder if you would explain this concept more fully for us, please?
MACHIVENTA: The Godself is identification between yourself and the presence of God within you—this is your Godself. You are not just an accident of the universe. Such philosophies or theories work against the unlimited, infinite potential of each individual. When individuals see themselves as [being] in partnership with God of the Universe, who exists also as a presence within them, they will eventually realize that they have an immense potential to develop in that relationship. People who are in social, political and economic distress have great difficulty in identifying with their higher selves, their Godself. They have great difficulty developing their growth; they are usually simply involved in their survival or their existence. The Correcting Time’s intention is to bring about a more equitable, higher quality and growth potential for individuals within their societies. Your societies provide a social environment, a seedbed, a nurtured field, so to speak, wherein individuals can grow.
Right now, your world is heavily overpopulated and it is in great distress because of that. The lessons that are now being learned in your societies must be put into bases of wisdom that can be taught to children, who grow into parents and adults, and you can begin expressing their Godselves with their children and developing and nurturing that in their children. You do not live in isolation, either in the universe or in your communities and families. You are interconnected and your survival, your existence and your sustainability—and even your thriving sustainabilities—depend upon that synergistic relationship you have with your family, your community and of course, with the God presence within you. When you realize this in these interconnected systems, you begin to realize that you cannot do this alone. That is the crisis that many believers have that they cannot do it alone and must have faith to believe that God willparticipate, is participating effectively in their life. When this occurs, then the God presence blooms within that individual and can be shared with others.
Susan: Thank you for that question, Michael. It almost seemed like the answer if I could just memorize it verbatim, would be part of the persuasive rhetoric that we would be doing in our community.
MACHIVENTA: I have enjoyed our community here, we four who are here together and we—my team and I, and those who are observing this—appreciate the definite magnitude of the addition of our new member, so we thank you, Susan, for being here, for participating and we hope you look forward—as we look forward—to our next engagement, our next session. We wish you all well and during these times of great difficulty to connect with your Godself, the God presence within you, and not only [to] believe in God, but have faith that God is assisting you in your life when you risk to invite Him in. Thank you.
MMc: Thank you very much!