There is a saying attributed to Albert Einstein: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” It seems that this is the spark that percolated in the brain of author, ordained rabbi, speaker and former Madison Avenue ad-man, Michael Shevack. I have known Michael for more than 15 years and find him to be an inquisitive visionary, whose mind is nearly always formulating questions that challenge the status quo, knowing that there is always a positive solution. He has found what he perceives to be a means of resolving the challenges that afflict our country and by extension, the world. He calls it The Six Fix: A Simple Spiritual Guide To Restoring America’s Goodness. According to Shevack, there are six simple concepts that all revolve around a four letter word….GOOD.
The six goodness principles are concrete enough that a kindergartner could undertand them (think Robert Fulghum, a fellow clergyman):
1. In everything you think, say and do, seek good for yourself.
2. In everything you think, say and do, seek good for an other.
3. In everything you think, say and do, seek good for all others.
4. In everything you think, say and do, seek good for future generations.
5. In everything you think, say and do, seek good for all Life and Creation.
6. In everything you think, say and do, seek good by continuously improving.
The book begins with the idea that there is room at the table for everyone and their spiritual and politcal beliefs, since at their core, they come from the same Source, which is Love itself. Folks from all traditions have endorsed this book, including an Evangelical Christian CEO , a liberal Rabbi, a Gay Social Worker, a Muslim chaplain, a Native American motivational speaker and author, a Jewish, Lesbian, African-American speaker, a Republican committee member and an African-American Interfaith Minister. The book contends that instead of shouting over each other to be heard, we would all benefit by truly listening and desiring the best for each other as we would for ourselves and our own families. He lays the groundwork with the t-shirt logo phrase : “Life is Good.”; which is not to say that everything that happens in life is desireable, but at the heart of it, is beneficial.
“That Life is Good implies that there’s an Order to Life. We Americans (and all human beings) don’t just live and act in a vacuum. There’s a spiritual way Life operates. It operates for good. Everything in Life takes place for good, for the purpose of creating and expanding good.”
He then proceeds to focus on the idea that we need Life Centered Priorities. Things that would fall into the category of its antithesis: dumping chemical wastes, waging war expediently, careless sexual interactions, and driving under the influence of substances. The next step is to outline what he refers to as Value Priorities:
Interdependence is a key factor; the truth is WE NEED EACH OTHER. Although we are unique individuals with our own ideas and values; joining together, we can be a greater force for good. This book can provide a catalyst to move from blame, finger pointing and divisiveness, to stretch ourselves beyond what we were indoctrinated to believe to acceptance, cooperation and shared purpose. We are all on the same side.
It reminds me of:
Prayer of the Four Immeasurable Minds
Through the working of Great Compassion in their hearts,
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless;
May all come to peace without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all beings.