Roundtable Live – Where Humanity Meets
Come join us at the round table and take part in a forum on social issues that affect us all. It will be a dynamic fusion of views and opinions that will lay foundation for an open conversation where everyone is heard and diversity leads to unity.
What Is Roundtable Live?
Roundtable Live is a discussion platform for a wide spectrum of socially conscious people: activists, scholars, artists, educators, public officials and everyday citizens. It is where we all sit around the table as equals and look for how to build a just, healthy and sustainable society.
How It Works
The first part of the event features a panel of 6-7 guest speakers. Every panelist presents his or her point of view and conveys it so that it relates to the other opinions around the table. The audience actively participates by contributing questions and comments to the discussion. In the second part, the audience continues the forum in guided discussion groups of 8-10 participants.
Roundtable Live will be broadcast at www.mutualresponsibility.org/roundtable
Why Roundtable Live?
Throughout the world, nations are awakening, demanding the governments to hear their cries and resolve their problems. The uproar is not only over food or housing prices – at the bottom of it lies a firm demand for social justice.
Yet, social justice is an elusive goal. With all of society affected by inflation, unemployment, lack of healthcare and education, one person’s justice may easily become another person’s injustice. In the current structure of society, it seems that whatever solution is reached, it will only perpetuate injustice, causing widespread disillusionment, which could lead to more violence and even war.
Hence, the solution to the demand for social justice must include all factions of society. The 2011 “Spring of the Nations” has proven that the world has changed from the root. Humanity has become a single global entity and requires that we acknowledge every part of it – nations and individuals – as worthy in their own right. They no longer tolerate oppression.
Compare humanity to a human body with numerous organs of different functions. No organ is redundant; each one contributes what it’s supposed to the body and receives what it needs. Likewise, to approach a solution for the unrest in the world, all social strata must be included. The key to negotiations involving government officials and protesters is thoughtful deliberation, with the premise that all parties’ demands have merit and should be addressed respectfully and taken into account.
In such deliberations, there are no “good guys” or “bad guys.” There are people with genuine interests, sharing their problems with one another and trying to reach an acceptable, dignified solution satisfactory to all involved.
Think of a large loving family: Grandpa needs medicines; Dad needs a new suit for the new job he just got; Mom needs aerobics lessons, and Brother has just been accepted into a prestigious college. So the family gets together for a meeting, a bit like Thanksgiving, but without the turkey. They talk about their incomes, argue about priorities, share their needs, squabble a bit, and laugh a lot. And in the end, they know what’s necessary, what’s not, whose needs should be met now and later. But since they are all connected, they agree to wait because they’re family, after all.
In many respects, globalization and growing interdependence have turned humanity into one giant-size family. Now we just need learn to work as such. Being part of a healthy, loving family is safer than being alone.
We also should keep in mind that in most countries governments are struggling with deficits and debt, and there are not enough resources to go around. However, there is enough to allow for respectable living for all, if we acknowledge each other’s needs. Therefore, being a family approach is the best way to ensure everybody’s well being; thus, social justice is gradually achieved.
King Arthur had a round table, around which he and his knights would congregate: it had no head, which implies that everyone who sat there had equal status. Similarly, governments and citizens need to understand that there is no way to resolve social problems unless all of us sit together at a round table and openly discuss them. We must remember that we are all mutually responsible for one another and interdependent, like in a family. The problems that seem to attack us from every corner are not the causes but the symptoms of our real problem – lack of unity and mutual responsibility for one another. Once we achieve it among us, the problems will all be gone.