Rob’s Blog

Rob’s Blog and Blogo-Globo present some bigger ideas in smaller packages.
Let’s think big. I believe that too much in our world seems to push us toward overly specialized, privatized, atomized existence. Too much else seems tribalist or mass-consumerist. We need to see the global, cross-cultural picture, and the historical, evolutionary picture, as well. We need to work practically and concretely in the realms of economics, politics, and society, and at the same time find fulfillment in the realms of love, art, and spirituality. We need to think critically but creatively, present positions but be open to those of others. We need to tolerate everyone — except those who are so intolerant that they mistreat others. We need to try our best to enjoy being alone and also enjoy being with others. We need to care for our selves and for the planet, “think globally and act locally.” We need to treasure aspects of the past, revel in the present, and look forward to the future. We need to make careful plans, but be spontaneous. We need to give thanks and find joy as best as possible but look clearly at what needs improvement and strive to bring that about.

These beliefs I have probably appear to be classic, liberal pluralism . . . though I am also conservative about some things and radical about others. But I am “liberal,” in that I read and think and listen to others and try to understand and appreciate others. This approach has been opposed in many countries throughout history, and it is currently under threat in many places where it had seemed to be strong. Therefore, I believe we need to practice a kind of passionate liberalism, or even, a militant pluralism.

We have seen our blue-green-brown planet from outer space; we have seen ourselves from deep inside our thoughts and emotions and physical changes; we have seen the more than seven billion of us humans, and our great doings and creations, but we have also seen our world torn by warfare and ugliness. It is way past time for us to think big.

Can we think “big” but not succumb to the kind of totalitarian boxes that so many individuals and so many religious and political groups have fallen into? Yes. That is precisely our goal. That is passionate liberalism.