06/27/2012 08:27 am ET Updated Aug 27, 2012

Love or Fear: Our Choice

How do you want to spend the rest of your life? In what kind of world do you want your children and grand children to live -- a world built on fear or a world built on love?

I believe the opposite of love is not hate -- it is fear. Hate grows from fear, just as joy springs from love. Love liberates us and opens us up to possibilities; with love we can flourish. Fear makes cowards of us and as cowards; we become closed, cautious, suspicious and mean.

For centuries, maybe since the beginning of humankind, the foundation of our global society has been fear. We only need to look at the wars, conflict, pain and destruction we humans have inflicted on each other and on our environment to understand fear as the root cause.

How we think matters! It is all that matters, for it shapes our beliefs, and our beliefs shape our decisions and behaviors. Most people were raised to believe that people are basically bad: they are lazy; can't be trusted and have limits on tier growth. Those core assumptions have brought this world to where it is today -- a collective mindset of cynicism, self-doubt, and a propensity for violence. Is this good enough for us? Don't we deserve so much more?

We have been flung into the 21st century, and all bets are off. Nothing is working; chaos and conflict define our reality and we have no solutions on how to "fix" this mess. We do, however, have the opportunity to change, to transform. We have the opportunity to try looking at the world through love. Imagine a world where the collective mindset is love. What would our priorities be? How would we behave? What kind of institutions and organizations would we design? How would we shape our lives?

If our basic assumption about life is rooted in love, I believe:

Our children would be first, for they are the end point of life filled with all we know and hope for. They are the beginning of the future. Families would be a priority, for they shape us. Communities (however defined) would be places we cherish -- those are the places where we can express ourselves, contribute our gifts, "polish our gifts" and feel a sense of belonging. Work would be an expression of who we are and what we want to create together -- a joyful act.

Just take a moment and imagine a world where love is the core assumption that everything else grows from:

Imagine a society that values people, families, communities and the environment above money, status and things?

Imagine a society that places our schools in the center of our communities and people, services and community activities revolve around the schools. Our schools are community centers?

Imagine a society where ethical decision-making is rewarded?

Imagine a society where businesses are DreamMakers rather than merely MoneyMakers; they develop innovative products and services that solve real problems, charter new ground while serving the greater good. They are committed to "Sustainable Value" (doing well and doing good) and they see this approach to doing business, as an investment rather than a corporate responsibility. They create workplaces worthy of people's commitment; places that spawn creativity and innovation by unleashing the human spirit. They invest in the communities where their people and customers live and work.

Imagine a society that realizes democratic capitalism instead of elite capitalism?

Imagine a world where we regard our planet as sacred ground -- and as good stewards, our decisions and behavior nurtures and sustains our planet for our children and generations to come?

Imagine a world where we regard war as a primitive, immature and an immoral way to resolve conflict. We see ourselves as too smart, too evolved and too ethical to engage in war.

We human beings built these institutions, organizations, communities and societies and we have the capacity, the intelligence and the creativity to re-conceptualize, redesign and rebuild it. We need to move from our current state of fear and paralysis, which is grounded in fear, and choose love. Love will give us the courage and the will to create the world WE ALL want and deserve.

It is our choice; we are the people (individually and collectively) who will shape the future of humankind -- is it Love or Fear?

...and then the day came
when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin