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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 9
A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E /
Changecanbesimple...and
itneedn'ttakeheroicefforton
anyoneofourpartstohelpthe
worldspininamorepositive
direction.Justthinkofallthe
issuesthatyouwouldliketosee
resolved...poverty,hunger,vio-
lence,cruelty,greed.Attheroot
of them all is one very simple,
yetpowerfulbelief:thatweare
allseparate--thatwearesepa-
ratefromthesourcewhocreated
us,andthatweareseparatefrom
otherbeingsandotherthings.
Ifwewanttoexperiencereal
peaceandprosperityinourlife-
time,weneednottakeitupon
ourselves to change the entire
world.Instead,wecansimplyem-
braceandshareanotherbelief,a
differentvisionofreality--one
thataffirmsourinextricablecon-
nectionwithalloflife.
Together,wecanrecognizeev-
erylivingbeing,ideaandenergy
formasavalidandworthwhile
partofourownlifeexperience.
From this position, we become
powerful,inclusiveofthatwhich
mayhaveoncescaredus,andwe
alignourselveswiththemonu-
mentalforcesofGrace.Whenwe
dothis,theworldmayseemto
changebeforeourveryeyes.
Consider some of the great
philanthropists of our time --
Oprah,Bono,BillGates.Rather
than living from a tiny, frag-
mentedplaceofisolation,these
humansextendthemselvesfrom
a larger impulse of the heart,
reachingouttothoseinneed.
Their fundamental sense of
connection with the world not
only calls them into service in
the first place, but it connects
themwithalargerflowoflove
bringingtothemeveryoneand
everythingtheyneedinorderto
beeffective.
With each being they help,
aboldandfearlessstatementis
made,remindingusallthatour
world is beautifully connected
andinthatconnection,itissa-
cred.
Forthoseofuswhomaysee
ourselvesnowashavingfarless
resourcestoworkwiththanOprah
orBono,wecanstillbeginwhere
weare.Wecanstartrighthereby
committingourselvestothehigh-
ertruthoflife'sinterconnection
andsharingthisunderstanding
throughasymbolthatembraces
usall,theUniversalFlag.
Ratherthanrepresentingany
onegroup,race,creedorreligion,
theUniversalFlagisasymbolthat
includesalloflife.Withoutdis-
counting the value of diversity
and uniqueness, the Universal
Flag elegantly beckons us to a
higherwayoflivingandbeingin
ourworld.
Sinceitscreationseveralyears
ago,peopleallovertheglobe
have taken ownership of this
symbol,proudlyflyingtheflag
intheirhomes,schools,offices,
churches, and community cen-
ters.ItisflyingattheCenterfor
Spiritual Living in Las Vegas,
with Kaiwa in Uganda, in the
townandprovincesofFreetown,
Sierra Leone, and with a man
namedFredwhoteachessoccer
tohomelessorphansinAmerica.
Andrecently,itsvitalmessageof
Oneness has even inspired the
creationofathemesong.
Sharon Benson, a renowned
songwriter, musician and lead
vocalist of her band Soul Dogs
(a.k.a.TheCosmicRescueTeam
when the late legendary actor
DavidCarradinetookthestage),
has teamed up with friend and
fellowmusician,MichaelZephro
towrite"TheUniversalFlag."The
songcelebratestheflag'smessage
ofOnenessandinvitesustofly
theflagforpeace,unity,equality,
diversityandharmony.
Benson and Zephro make it
clearthattheprocessofchange
isinourhandsandthatitneedn't
bedifficult.Aswelistentothe
calming,sultrybackdropofjazz
instrumentation,wecanhear
theirinvitationtoanewpara-
digmandbeginconsideringhow
easyitjustmaybetocometo-
gether.
In addition to her work on
"TheUniversalFlag"song,Sha-
ron collaborated with Susana
Bastarrica, founder of the Vigil
for International Peace & Ecol-
ogy,inordertobringtheUniver-
salFlagtothePeaceVigilduring
thisyear'sUnitedNation'sInter-
nationalDayofPeacecelebration
inCentralPark.
In2001,theUNunanimously
passedaresolutiondesignating
September21asan"International
DayofPeace,"withtheintention
ofurgingtheentireworldtoob-
serveafulldayof"globalcease
fireandnonviolence."
In support of this objective,
Bastarrica'sVigilforInternation-
alPeaceprovidesavenueforthe
peopleofNewYorkCitytocome
together and demonstrate the
powerofprayerandintentasa
waytohealandempower.
Itisaone-dayeventthattook
placethisyearonSeptember19
with art, music, dance, peace
meditations,talksbyinterna-
tional and local peacemakers
and representativesfromworld
religions.Alldaylong,thanks
toBenson'sinspiredefforts,the
Universal Flag was also there,
flyinghighrightalongsidethe
flagsofmanynations.
Thevigilculminatedinthe
eveningwithagrandfinalecel-
ebration,whichincludedBenson
performing"TheUniversalFlag"
totheentirecrowd.Shewasac-
companiedbywateractivist,Wil-
liam "Waterway" Marks on the
NativeAmericanflute.
SharonBenson'sinvolvement
withtheflagcameoutofacon-
versation with Brian McClure,
founder of the Universal Flag
Foundation.Thetwoshareadeep
comprehensionoftheunderlying
realityoflife'sinherentholism
andapassionforhelpingtocre-
ateamorepeaceful,prosperous
lifeforeveryoneonourplanet.
Theybothunderstandhowim-
portantatooltheUniversalFlag
canbeinourtimesofpolitical,
financialandsocialupheaval.The
flagcanhelpusfocusattention
onwhatwewanttocreate,rather
thanwhoistoblame.
McClure is excited to see so
manypeoplebeginningtorecog-
nizetheflagasameansofem-
poweringthemselves.Ashesays,
"Whenwebegintoseeeverything
inourworldasinterrelated,our
heartsbegintoopenandwefind
ourselves in a world of infinite
possibilities.Positivechangebe-
comesanatural,organicoutpour-
ingofthat."
This is the kind of transfor-
mationhehopestobeapartof,
where individuals around the
globechangetheworldthrough
asimpleshiftintheirthoughts,
anopeningintheirhearts.
Wecaneachbeapartofthis
forward evolution by realizing
thattheUniversalFlagisasym-
bolforusall;itisaresourceto
helpliftourspiritsandraisethe
consciousnessinourhomesand
communities.Everytimeweraise
theflagordisplaythesymbol,we
sendoutasignaloflove,abeacon
ofhope,acalltoimaginethein-
finitepossibilitiesthatareavail-
ableifwebeginseeingourlives
throughtheeyesofOneness.And
thisiswhatwillultimatelyheal
theworld.
SointhewordsofSharonBen-
sonandMikeZephro,"Let'sraise
theflag,theUniversalFlag...flyit
highforeveryonetosee."
Universal Flags can be pur-
chased at the non-profit Founda-
tion's website, www.universalflag.
org
To have Brian speak at your
event: please call Steve at (818)
848-3213 or email: thebusiness
muse@gmail.com
THE uNIVERSAL FLAG...
A Resource for Peace
& Prosperity
By Lexi Soulios