saving-the-planetI have renewed vigor to solve every problem the world has ever had.

Some of my earliest memories are of working out how to eradicate homelessness, global hunger and war. Obviously, I didn’t succeed. My parents have always taken refuge in the religious idea that God would solve these problems, and while a part of me wasn’t super happy to hand over all of the problem solving to someone else (even God), I wasn’t quite sophisticated enough to argue for any better alternative. What resulted, however, was my belief that all the problems of the world WOULD be solved and it was just a matter of time. Homelessness, global hunger and war were in good hands.

As an adult, I went through a time of self-discovery that didn’t include a loyalty to the religion of my youth. Not a whole-sale rejection, but I definitely no longer believed saving the world was something I needed to wait on. If I wanted to see global hunger taken care of in my lifetime, then I was going to have to help facilitate it in some way.

On top of this realization (which was a big one, by the way), I had finally reached an age where I could recognize the quantity, scope, and sheer complexity of world problems. It was up to me to solve them, and they were HARD. This may sound stupid and idealistic, but at some point in my twenties I truly held the belief that it was up to me to do it all. There was a moment when the question first hit me, “How in one lifetime was I going to accomplish this?” I just zoned out on the couch with my eyes the size of saucer plates and the word “whoa” playing on loop in my brain.

In the same way the 10 year old entrepreneur realizes that in order to make a million bucks they just need to get a million people to give them a dollar, I had a slightly more complex version of this epiphany hit me in regards to saving the world: I didn’t need to solve every problem, I just needed to find people who were passionate about ONE of the problems I wanted to solve, and then do whatever I could to help THEM.

There is a lot – and I mean A LOT – of wasted human energy represented on the planet right now. We focus on the most basic necessities, get those covered and then call it good. Am I surviving? Well, I’m not dead yet. Are my safety and security needs met? I have a roof over my head, and food in the fridge. Do I have people who love me and accept me in my life? Yup, have a “Friends and Family” plan on my cell phone. All good.

couch-potatoAnd then they just… stop. Stop being ambitious, stop seeing the more they could be offering. Now, granted, it’s not exactly EASY to get all of those needs met, and a fair bit of energy is required to nail down those three things (survival, safety/security, love and belonging). But if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s not the burden here in the United States and in other developed countries that it is for most of the world. On top of that, we’re not only lucky compared to the rest of the world, we’re extremely lucky in THIS time period of history. We have it extraordinarily cushy when you think about it, living better than Solomon in most respects.

That means this is the best time in history to capitalize on our circumstances and start REALLY looking at solutions. Sure, we still have “first world problems,” and sometimes they hurt. But let’s put things into perspective. We don’t deal with death on the scale that people did even 100 years ago, we generally have extraordinary freedom over our time (even if you work full time) since it doesn’t take, say, four hours to do laundry and we, as a culture, have gotten a little ‘soft’. That’s okay – I’m all for acclimating to a high quality lifestyle. That said, if our ancestors are any indication of what human beings can accomplish, we’ve got more inside of ourselves than we acknowledge, and often times way more than we’re actually giving.

So, let’s get back to how other people are going to save the world for me.
No one denies there’s a need to come up with solutions. Even the most zen of zen masters knows the world is mostly asleep, even if they’re accepting reality non-judgmentally. Qualitatively good or bad, there are challenges on this planet and they need people to create solutions.

No one denies that we, as a species, could be doing more. And no one thinks it’s going to happen magically. It’s going to take creativity and work from us as humans, and us as individuals.

Happily, that’s where you come in.

I have three questions for you:

1. If you could eradicate one problem on this planet, which one would it be? (Malnutrition? Sex trade? Animal cruelty? Pollution? Domestic violence? Curable diseases? Incurable disease? Be specific.)

2. What is your actual level of passion for giving value back to the planet? On the scale of “drop everything to work on the solution” to “total and complete apathy,” where do you fall?

3. What can I do to be of assistance in helping you a) develop passion to solve this challenge, and b) equip you to make it happen?

As a student of complex human systems, I’ve been blown away by the usefulness of models to solve major challenges. A lot of why we waste our energy as human assets is that we simply don’t know how (and where) to funnel our energy. We’re willing, but we very rarely feel able. And in this state of confusion and indecision, our energy slides away into a cosmic drain. But as Einstein said, if he had only an hour to save the world he’d spend 55 minutes defining the problem. Having a full understanding of ourselves first, a well-defined problem to solve next, and then a full grasp on how these two components can and should interact is the key. Understanding systems is an incredibly powerful tool when faced with the level of challenges we’re addressing here. It’s just one tool, but I feel it’s one that goes woefully forgotten, and it’s my ambition to equip every passionate, mission-driven person I come into contact with with this powerful information.

Why do I have renewed vigor to save the world?
joel-piper-antoniaI just had a baby. Tomorrow she’ll be two months old. I’m your stereotypical mid-thirties woman who was never going to have kids, got knocked up and now can’t imagine life without my amazing child. As I was looking at her alien-like, squishy newborn baby face one night, it struck me that I absolutely have to help save the world in any way that I can.

Not because I want to save it for her. I mean, yeah. That would be cool. But while I was marveling at the beauty and innocence represented in her squishy face, it struck me that every person on the planet was once a newborn baby. Not only totally dependent on others for its very existence, but a miracle for some mother all too happy to deal with exhaustion and new demands to make it happen. For every person who didn’t ask to be born but was anyway, and for every person that has to slog their way through a life of struggle based on bad luck or bad timing, I want to save the world for them. And for their mom, who only wanted the best for them.

I know, that sounds warm and squishy. I’m not usually a warm and squishy person.
However, if a renewed vigor to save the world is part of the package of new mom-hood, then I’m down with being a bit idealistic.

For the next few blog posts, I’m committing to writing (and recording) some of the absolutely most high leverage and helpful models of human development and behavior that I know of to assist anyone who has read this post and said, “YES. Saving the world. Sign me up.” So, keep your eyes peeled.

In the meantime, indulge me by answering those three questions below in the comments section.

Thanks for reading.


Want to learn more?

Discover Your Personal Genius


We want to hear from you. Leave your comments below…


  • FM
    • FM
    • September 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks for the questions!

    Number 1. If I could change one thing on the planet, it would be to eradicate the self-loathing that is so prevalent. I understand where it comes from and how it is encouraged every waking moment, through distorted religious dogma and consumerist marketing, unconscious agreements to not rock the boat, even though it is going down anyway.

    So the question may come down to, ok, its about love, loving ourselves (Thanks for a fine map Antonia, also appreciate your skillful reminders that the map is not the territory, but points to the treasure none the less). So how do we embrace the fullness of our humanity, find its intrinsic value and allow it to empower us to make the changes we need to make. I think I must start with the willingness to embrace myself fully, to love without evaluation, myself and others. I think that my service to the world would be to find a way to invite and encourage all people to take the empowering journey of self-knowing, personal accountability/ responsibility (the true joy of it), to give ourselves permission to fully embrace, to work, play and dance with what has meaning for each of us. Be specific? I would do one on one and group work to share tools that are available now; the Genius Awakening information, mind inquiry model of The Work as created by Byron Katie, and communication and governing models that facilitate a deeper understanding of the value of each precious being. If I were living at the level I desire, I would be in celebration more often than not.

    I would also be fully engaged in my art. My art has always included faces, I have always had an innate drive to embrace the full-on experience of what the face reveals and what it hides. to confirm that there is beauty there, even in the hard to “face” expressions.

    Number 2: Where am I at on a scale of passion for offering this to my world and beyond? Everything else is just everything else. My passion is not yet free, I say this with the discernment that that too is changing in me, even as I answer your important questions. So glad to be here.

    And Number 3: Keep doing what you are doing, I will keep tuning in. I have a sense that as I get clearer about what my own questions/answers are, I will have what I need to make the best use of your passion and mine.

    Appreciating you very much.

  • Elena
    • Elena
    • September 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Dear Antonia,
    many Compliments for your baby <3 <3 <3
    I want to be very quick and go the points:

    1) Love, food, water,good schools, family. this are for me the only really important tools to save our Earth, together. to be loved, I mean, True Loved, is absolutely the most important thing of all and food and water, a clean house, even small and wise teachers.

    2) Personally I have your passion, but I understand we are very different in traditions, cultures and so on…….no way, this is the true to see and accept and respect: my intention now is to do my best with persons wich I can help and speak heart-opened, but stay "safe" because energy is something very important.

    3) You can….help me to find the right man with whom I want to have 3 children: these new wonderful Human Babies will change the world. Promised. and as an artist I create
    with infusion of Love so I would really like to sell my works all over the word; but, I had many talent, not the selling one………:) Love to you and thank you.

  • Anthony
    • Anthony
    • September 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Hello.Good questions. 1) Raising the level of individual consciousness is the only way I can see to improve things across the board.So the problem is the one you mention. Firstly to realise that we are all closer to unconsciousness than we think, and secondly, to do something about it, and wake up. It then becomes easier to see what is going on with some love and compassion in our hearts – as opposed to merely rage – and come up with wiser courses of action for all the other problems which our sleep attracts.

    2) I sign petitions and write letters to politicians and institutions. Sometimes it is tough not to be taken by anger, but I walk the talk as well as I am able, and practice various meditations.

    3)You could become the most enlightened you can manage – wise and full of understanding, be happy, and radiate it in your communications. I think you are an inspiration so far. Thanks for the questions. AKW

  • Jason
    • Jason
    • September 13, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Solve a small but persistent problem — create a level playing field between islamic merchants and western equities by the use of zakat (alms) as a means of predetermining just supports of sentiments in imprisonments by the returns of progressive correctionals as factored in to mercenary roles of publicly reviewed interfaith determinations of nondenominational, including atheist and agnostic, dependence of corrective officers’ taxing of the public as an equity problem of reprobates’ handling with an eye on ethical furloughs including shrine, cemetery (from familial to Darwin), and religious pilgrimage under civil defense chaperoned watch during rehabilitative choicemaking between records maintained or wiped by entry into Geneva Accord status under acquisition of educated duty status supporting containment development of civil defense economics by donated supports as facilitating institutional movement when and where supported by institutional conversion in allowing a human right ethic of at least one visitation of consented proof (wailing wall or other, for example), in which correctives oversight and recontributory impacts combine to prove by public will and sentiment, the direct – and NOT weakwilled “strong on crime” politics for the sake of pandering – support of populations in coming to grips with the costs and mitigation of institutional economics by a kind of version of a travel booking engine for the incarcerated by invitation equally shared from among the charitable supports, the corrective readiness and the population of incarcerants to respect a “code of honor” supporting each other, and respect civil defense economy aims of stellar economics via share proceeds into the manufacture of said institutional goods as a spur to acceptance in local economies of ability to be responsive to civil economic practices and to derive benefits so as to place massive onus against disruption of stellar complex activities by impoverished recruitments into class resentments.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.