For me, reading this book has been an education in how to spend one’s time in the world working very hard to fulfill a responsibility we have toward one another: I am responsible for your welfare because we have the same interests. My belief is we are one in Christ. There is no separation between us. Only a false one. My interests are shared with yours. The world seems otherwise only because we made it so. The world has become fearful and living on a scarcity principle because the world is in an unnatural state of mind. God does not know separation. We do and we insist it is so. To such a degree we will kill and die defending it.
Sine’s book describes various pathways out of this dilemma, the false sense of self that follows it and our insistence we are right and God is wrong. “Live Like You Give a Damn” is about finding ways to make the world a better place by helping others through entrepreneurship and gaining better access to wealth. Sine’s approach for providing this help is interesting. Actually exciting. Or, at least invigorating. Use the very means that drives us as a capitalist society, depending on individual economic success stories that result from meeting the needs and wants of others. Spread the wealth by teaching others how to be successful in teaching and funding business models that bring those who are not in the economic fold and suffer from poverty and loss, those unable to keep up with those who have more, and need help in creating a better life.
I know the feeling of this kind of success. In 1993 I retired from my government job and opened my own consulting firm. Fortunately, I became very successful and worked with all the countries of the former Soviet Union, helping each to revise their product standards to be successful in new global markets. When that project ended I was asked by KPMG – Barents to lead their project in a newly formed country, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in revising their public administration laws from the old Communist system to a more democratic approach that will support entrepreneurship. Sine speaks with great enthusiasm about his work and I understand that. Working on my own and becoming successful was one of the most exciting things I had ever done in my life.
After a successful address at at a Thessaloniki, Greece UN conference on public administration reporting our success in Macedonia, I decided to return to my first love teaching piano and piano performance, moved to the Seattle area and began a successful business doing that. I love the idea of entrepreneurship, which after 17 years I’m still doing. And I think it must be a wonderful way to bring about change in societies suffering from poor economic status. There are many stores in this book regarding help in setting up entrepreneurial programs and other forms of social leadership, and Tom Sine is clearly a leader in showing how its done and helping others begin. The book is a great resource for community leadership programs for churches and other organization. Each chapter ends with a section on “Dreaming and Scheming.” which outlines ways to get started, not just on new ideas for entrepreneurship but how to re-think church as a partner in this kind of approach. Sine invites us all to develop and anticipate in programs like this to help bring the world to a place where God and Jesus are involved in the work we do, all for finding new roles for the church in helping societies bring success to a God driven world.
Jesus’ message is forgiveness. Our only function here in this world is just that. Our ways are built in opposition to this. I would surmise the world is designed in opposition to it. Even the meaning of the word forgiveness that so defines Jesus’ teaching is changed to mean other than what he demonstrated. Not that he asks us to undertake the extreme example of the cross. But he does want us to understand what he did for us, the last useless journey for all of us who breath in this world need take. Building better world systems, however, is not what he has in mind. Building pathways to forgiveness, expressing the power of our own holiness, letting go of the separation we think we accomplished — letting go of the suffering that goes with any unforgiving thought is, I believe, his mission. That few have ever done that is indicative of why we have such a divided world and why it is so bent on, it seems, its own destruction.
One’s own commitment to the principles of forgiveness, which Jesus taught, will always be enough. It isn’t necessary, nor does God ask us, to build new systems that will make the world work. None will work without our full attention to giving up the idea of separation, which under any system cannot work. The world will end because it is saddened by its own separation from God, and our thinking such a separation could occur. It is the real basis of all the world’s lack of success in partaking of the abundance so freely given by God who only loves his creations. We have enough food and resources to feed and provide comfort for everyone, yet we don’t. We have enough resources to wipe out all illness in the world. And changing the world to “better” place within its man made systems won’t do it. Nothing will, unless we solve the separation problem. The only way to God is through forgiveness, here. I believe that is Jesus’ teaching. If we can override all that we do and are capable of doing with this one message the world will meld into where we all come from, heaven. “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”, means our minds will change to accept the love of God, what we are. As, of course, He is. Heaven cannot come to a separated world.
I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.