Message from Dr. Denis Waitley – Director
We hear over and over again the proverb, “Unless we learn the lessons from history, we are bound to repeat them.” This is painfully true today as we move toward the second decade of the 21st Century.
No society has ever survived its own success. No geographical empire or civilization has reached the top and stayed there permanently. All leading societies, countries, and even industries of the past rested on their laurels and were knocked off their pedestals. In sports, when you become world champion and create a dynasty that is the envy of the sporting world, there is a tendency to bask in the glory and consider yourself as having arrived at the top. But when you’re on top, you become complacent, you sometimes forget the principles and work ethic that helped you make the climb, you become a target and are benchmarked by all your competitors – who want what you have. That’s why it is so difficult to maintain the will and the motivation to remain a world champion in anything.
In this sense, the game of life is similar – and we need a new concept of leadership for that larger game. Leadership used to center around power and being number one. It often meant standing victoriously over a fallen adversary or competitor. At this moment in history it is obvious that this must change. The leaders of the present and the future will be champions of cooperation, more often than of competition. While the power to maintain access to resources and the sovereignty of one’s homeland will remain important, the “survival of the fittest” mentality must give way to “survival of the wisest,” a philosophy of understanding, cooperation, knowledge, and reason.
The new, enlightened leaders will get what they want by helping others get what they want. Interdependence will replace independence. The world now has too many people, too few resources, and too delicate a balance between nature and technology for leaders to operate in isolation. We will have no lasting peace until there is a “piece of pie” in every hungry mouth. The expectation of tomorrow’s bigger, better pie, of which everyone can enjoy a larger piece, is what prevents people from struggling to the end over the division of today’s pie. We, in our privileged, industrialized society, must acknowledge that we are a vital, but single organ in the larger body of the world’s population. One segment of human beings can no longer succeed – perhaps even survive – without the others.
There are many hundreds of worthy organizations throughout the world working around the clock to help feed the starving, educate the destitute, heal the sick, and discourage war as a solution to problems. Each of them is making a difference, but much more needs to be done.
Success in our culture is usually associated with material wealth. And there is no question that capital is the source of power for good and evil, that resource is behind all research, that farmland and industries much be financed in order to provide food and useful products. But that’s the point. It is not what you get that makes you successful, it is what you are continuing to do with what you’ve got.
There needs to be a forum in which future generations can learn the basics about synergistic societies that survive and thrive tenfold over competitive, selfish societies. It is not enough to give money to charitable causes to help humanity and save our planet. There needs to be a proactive, collective gathering of leaders and stewards volunteering their “human capital,” in the form of knowledge, experience, dialogue and interactive, educational programs that are ongoing weekly events, rather than an annual day of remembrance or celebration.
Peace International Foundation was created with this vision in mind, and The Peace Club has been chartered to offer a stimulating, and meaningful means of transporting these concepts into an action-oriented vehicle moving us toward synergy, harmony and eventually