Tuesday, July 7, 2009


To my colleagues in a new programmatic venture in general education at Rollins College, the “Rollins Plan.” The theme of our RP group is “Revolutions.”

What I aim to bring to our table as a member of the Revolutions Rollins Plan team is my perspective on “Human Frontiers.”

A frontier, from an American viewpoint, implies not a barrier (as in Europe) but a gateway, an invitation to a fresh start, new beginnings, new opportunities—and that suggests revolutions.

Thus the revolutions I’m particularly interested in exploring with my students are today’s and tomorrow’s revolutions, the ongoing and upcoming upheavals of the status quo and settled ways of what we know and do.

There’s no question but these are revolutionary times in the global human community, with momentous discoveries, breakthroughs, and alterations impending on every side—in science, technology, economy, ecosystems, governance, cultures, arts, and individual development, among others.

But these are also critical times in which large and difficult decisions must be made collectively so as to keep dangerous trends from wreaking havoc on our planetary ecosystems, on the well-being of Earthlife. Powerful as human motives have become in affecting planetary conditions, they must now be reconciled with what is best for the thriving of Earthlife as a whole—decisions that demand wisdom as well as knowledge, that demand a level of collective human maturity greater than we have yet attained.

Thus the revolution most necessary for a viable future on Earth is a fundamental revolution of human consciousness leading to the establishment of a Wisdom Culture capable of guiding our burgeoning intelligence toward the enhancement of life on this precious planet and beyond.

To ponder such a “Wisdom Culture” and to help invent it is the human frontier I aim to explore, and the most important calling I can imagine pursuing.