Saturday, November 27, 2010


On November 19, 2010, NBC aired a very special movie, "Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World," which was inspired by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and produced by by Stuart and Julie Bergman Sender.  A trailer of the movie can be viewed by clicking on HARMONY and the movie itself can be seen in its entirety by going to the NBC archives video.

I have been so moved by this movie and its message that I want to recommend it to all who visit this site on a regular basis.  Lest you have any doubt, this is not a movie about Prince Charles.  It is a movie about how we can return to sustainable environmental practices that will preserve the earth for our children, grandchildren, and future generations.  Feeling passionately about this subject, I could write about it endlessly, but I think it's best to let the movie speak for itself.  I hope you will not only enjoy it, but conclude in the end, as I did, that we must all do more to protect the fragile resources that we have been allowed to use for our limited years on earth.

To give you a flavor of some of the topics discussed in the film, I am setting forth a few quotes from Prince Charles, as well as some relevant quotes from other thinkers such as Einstein, Gandhi, E.F. Schumacher, and Stephen Jay Gould.  May you find the same inspiration that I have found.

Remember that our children and grandchildren will not ask what our generation said, but what it did.  Let us give an answer, then, of which we can be proud.
* * *  
We have lost something very precious.  That is an understanding of our interconnectedness with nature and a world beyond the material.
* * * 
Carrying on as if, fundamentally, it is "business as usual" is no longer an option.  We cannot solve the problems of the 21st Century with 20th Century solutions.
* * * 
Visionary people have a vital role to play in helping the world to find the strength needed to address its problems. 
 HRH The Prince of Wales 

Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.

The best friend on earth of man is the tree.  When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources on earth.
Frank Lloyd Wright

We still have to learn how to live peacefully, not only with our fellow men but also with nature and, above all, with those Higher Powers which have made nature and have made us.
E.F. Schumacher

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Our world has enough for each person's need, but not for his greed.

Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the people of the earth.  Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.
Chief Seattle

Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock.  Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history.  Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.
Stephen Jay Gould

For those who are interested in pursuing these ideas further, Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World is also available in book form (see header photo) and can be purchased from either Amazon or the Harmony movie website.



  1. I will look into this.
    So very very everything.

  2. To Deb,

    Thanks for your comment, Deb. I think you will find both the movie and the book to be inspirational and thought-provoking. Have a good week.

  3. Thanks, George. I'll watch it when I'm back home. I was stunned the other day when I heard that certain Native Americans didn't even want to break the soil, that's how much they respected the earth. If we just remember that we are one, and not separate, we would understand that what we do to nature, we do to ourselves. Thank you for bringing our attention to this.

  4. To Ruth,

    Thanks, my friend. I would be interested in your comments after you have had a chance to see the movie. I think you will find it very inspirational. Much work is to be done if our children and grandchildren are to enjoy the the natural resources that we have had access to in our lifetimes. Have a safe trip home.

  5. I shall look at this film tomorrow(it's late evening here now and I'm not at my best at this time of day) but I am already familiar with the environmental views of Prince Charles. He is a man who practises what he preaches and has been passionate about environmental matters for many years - long before it became a mainstream subject. Charles has often been belittled and sneered at for his views but he is actually almost always ahead of the game. He's certainly done a great deal more to help the environment than most politicians. I particularly like Chief Seattle's words. Man in general thinks he is a great deal more important than he actually is. Sorry,have got a bit carried away here!

  6. To Rowan,

    Thanks so much for your insightful comments, Rowan, and rest assured that you can never get too carried away on my site. Passion is always welcomed.

    I'm so glad to hear your supportive comments about Prince Charles. Most of what is written about him in this country falls into the category of tabloid journalism; it's always about some perceived scandal or controversy in the royal family. Prince Charles is a serious man, however, and he is sincerely making an effort to save the world from the worst of its vices. I agree that he has done much more than the politicians have to preserve a world that's worthy of being passed on to our children and grandchildren.

    I enjoyed the movie immensely and I hope you have the same response. Thanks again for your comments.

  7. Well, I absolutely agree with you about the Prince. It's interesting that his ideas - influenced by many visionaries and thinkers such as Schumacher and Laurens van der Post, Steiner and Gandhi - have finally come into vogue. At one time he was dismissed as rather reactionary and a trifle eccentric by a narrow-minded press. But he stuck to his guns and has been proved right, and ahead of his time, in much of his thinking. The one quibble I have with him is that he can be a little blinkered about modern architecture. He seems to want all architecture to be 'throw-back'.

    Thanks for your comment just now on my blog. And have a good week too!

  8. To Robert,

    Great to hear from you, Robert, and welcome back. I hope you are well on your way to getting your new passport.

    Glad to hear that you have a relatively positive feeling about the Prince. I don't know much about his attitude toward modern architecture, but what he is doing on the environment seems to be spot on. I find myself totally in agreement with Gandhi's observation to the effect that the world can support each person's needs, but not each person's greed.

  9. HI-

    I look forward with eagerness to watch this movie. I am so happy you posted about it. We try with all we know to live simply and humbly and share what we have and never take more than we need - laughter and song and LOVE abound despite challenges we honor our limits and celebrate our freedoms. We had a surprise dinner guest - and her presence filled the room - filled each of us with goodness - I didn't even know how much I needed her until she arrived all the way from Italy. She is my sons new girlfriend and brought light and love to our home beyond measure. We are truly blessed -
    Thank you for knowing what is good and 'just' and honoring peace.

    Love to you

  10. To Gail,

    Thanks for your lovely comments, Gail. I hope you are inspired, as I was, by this movie. How wonderful that you had this unexpected dinner guest, your son's new girlfriend. Love and joy is often found in the place where one least expects it. Have a nice week ahead.

  11. Pertinent quotes. I read a review of the book recently.

    I have to confess his views on architecture get my goat, though. I like buildings to be new and exciting.

  12. To Dominic,

    Nice to hear from you, Dominic. Robert, The Solitary Walker, made a similar comment about the Prince's views on architecture. On the environment, however, I think his observations and recommendations are solid. We can argue about tastes, but there is no argument about the need to have sustainable resources if mankind is to survive.

  13. George thank you for sharing this. I had not been aware of it before. I saw the movie and it resonates with deeply with my view of the world.

    I was particularly taken with the final scenes about groups who had previously found themselves in conflict over the forests in British Columbia working together to preserve the ancient trees. This reconciliation of opposing groups resembles the work we do in our community to bring together people who once did not get along...

    I will share this movie over on my blog. Again, thanks for sharing.

  14. To Dan,

    Thanks for the comments, Dan. I'm delighted the movie resonated deeply with your own view of the world. I, too, was impressed with the progress eventually made between the environmentalists and the loggers in British Columbia. It was wonderful to see them working together as stakeholders in a common future.

    Great to learn that you will be passing this movie along on your own blog. One person at a time — that is the only way we will ever save the world from destroying itself.

  15. I look forward to enjoying this soon and thanks for bringing it to my attention. I've always had a soft spot for the Prince and was very saddened when I lived in the UK to find him so disrespected. I never personally heard a kind word spoken about him, but I've always found him interesting and appreciate that at least he's thoughtful and seems to care about the state of the world.

    I will be interested to see what this film has to say about the particular British Columbia forestry scenario featured, which I'm guessing might be the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast? There are are a small handful of happy stories here in BC regarding the forests, but in general, unless there is something that is considered utterly spectacular about a spot AND the First Nations of the area are strong and intact and do a fabulous job fighting for their land rights, the forests of BC (which I live smack in the middle of) are being ravaged more than ever under a government that has been hacking away viciously at environmental protection regulations for the past 10 years. The outlook for the inland rainforest near my home is very bleak. The extremely endangerd mountain caribou live here and can ONLY survive in the threatened and already severely diminished old growth forest that supports their winter diet. I hope we will have developed a new way of looking at the world before it is too late for them.

  16. To Fireweed,

    Thanks, as always, for the thoughtful comments. As the comments indicate, there are some in the UK who take issue with the Prince's architectural positions. In the environmental area, however, I think his conclusions and recommendations are unassailable. It is absolutely essential that we change course if we are to preserve a modicum of the earth for future generations.

    Yes, it is the Great Bear Rainforest that is featured in the film. It appears that considerable progress is being made there, at least in comparison to years past. I would be delighted to hear any further comments you have after having viewed the film.

    Good luck with the inland rainforest around your home. The only thing we can do is to make good, unselfish individual choices in our everyday lives and then let our voices be heard. Again, thanks for the great comments.

  17. Hope Prince Charles influences the world in this way, as it is doubtful he ever will influence it as king. We must give the poor man credit for his love of, and connection to, the earth - as well, of course, as his accent on how to live life with a light footprint and protect this planet for future generations. Thank you for highlighting this book and movie, George.

    I have always loved and subscribed to Einstein's quote that the solution to a problem cannot be found at the same level of awareness that created it. Perhaps that is why I appreciate your blog so much. You use it to encourage us to move to a higher level of awareness, action and being - a great service.

  18. To Bonnie,

    Thanks for the lovely comments, Bonnie. Prince Charles may have his flaws, as we all do, but I greatly admire the effort he has made to call the world's attention to pressing environmental problems — problems which literally threaten life as we know it for future generations. He could spend his days grouse hunting and enjoying the royal family's wealth; the fact that he does more is impressive to me.

    Thanks for your encouraging statements about the postings on my blog. If readers experience a shift in their perspectives from time to time, I am grateful. I certainly experience changes in my perspectives as I read the wonderful, inspiring blogs of others, including yours.

  19. Thank you for the recommendation George. It is now on our list to watch...

  20. To Gwen,

    Your welcome, Gwen. Hope you find the movie inspiring. Have a nice week.

  21. I've made note of your recommendation, George. My husband and I will watch the movie tomorrow. In my own experience, I've noticed that people want to use the land and resources but don't seem concerned about safeguarding, preserving, and renewing its treasures for future generations. We are a consumer culture, unfortunately. I find Gandhi's quote very true: "Our world has enough for each person's need, but not for his greed."

  22. To Barb,

    Thanks for the comments, Barb. I think you will find the movie to be rewarding and inspiring. I think you will agree that a major shift in our collective consciousness is required if we want to provide sustainable life for our children, our grandchildren, and future generations. Have a nice week.

  23. I have utmost respect for Prince Charles and it only happened less than a year ago when I purchased a book featuring watercolors he has painted. They are definitely works of someone who was learning, but they have such heart, such love for the land. To think he carved out time to admire nature, to try and capture what he saw, what he loved. The commentary of his was wonderful too. He adores (good) architecture, and I am very interested in this movie. I will carve out time to watch it. Thank you.

  24. To Margaret,

    So nice to have you stop by and comment, Margaret. I, too, have a great deal of respect for Prince Charles, notwithstanding the tawdry tabloid press, and I am especially impressed with the work that he has done on environmental issues. I think you will find the movie to be both thought-provoking and inspirational.

    I've just taken a quick look at several of your blogs and like what I see. I'm going to return when I get a chance and delve into your postings a little further. It seem that you are both an artist and a photographer, which means that we share a great deal in common. I hope you will return to this site and participate in the conversation. Have a good week.

  25. This is such a hopeful film, George. I am terribly grateful for the vision of the various entities working together, listening to each other, to move forward in respectful ways, of each other as well as of Nature. In fact, now that I’ve seen it, I agree with Prince Charles that really, how can we hope to move toward solutions if this kind of teamwork doesn’t take place?

    I have for some time been inspired by Janine Benyus’s biomimicry. What Nature models that we can imitate in engineering systems is incredible to me, and seems so simple, and yet ignored for too long.

    The echoes in Nature’s patterns, inside and out, are beautiful. As William Blake said, a universe in a grain of sand. I love how the film provides hope that if people and industries are informed and aware, they will often make the right choices. Why can't we believe it, be patient (yet swift), and believe that we can do it right?

    Thanks so much, I'm very glad I watched the film.

  26. To Ruth,

    Great !! So glad you were able to watch the film. I, too, am very impressed by the research that is being done with biomimicry. As with DNA, there is so much in nature that proves the interconnectedness of all living things. One thing is for sure: The human race, as we know it, will not survive unless we take care of one another and the essential resources that underpin life. Person by person, small decision by small decision — I know we can do it. Whether we have the will and focus to do it, however, is quite another thing. Thanks again for you comments.

  27. I'll have to admit, I was totally smitten with Prince Charles back when I was a college student in the mid-70s, and kept a cut-out photo of him taped above my bed. I'm not so fond of him now, but this sounds like an excellent project. I'm adding the film to my list. Thanks, George.

  28. George, have you seen information about Prince Charles' book, Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World? Huffington Post has a piece about it from a week ago, with a fascinating excerpt about Venus, the five-pointed star, the DNA double helix, a Stradivarius violin, and interconnectedness. It sounds intriguing as well. I'll link the article here.

  29. To Ruth,

    Yes, I have the book and I'm currently reading it. Quite fascinating! Thanks for the link. Have a good day.

  30. To Tess,

    Prince Charles is a complicated man whose life if overladen with a great deal of tabloid journalism. In the environmental area, however, I am compelled to give him great respect for the work he has promoted and done himself. He is ringing the alarm bells for good reason, and for that, I am grateful. I think you will enjoy the movie and be inspired by it, regardless of your personal feelings about the Prince.

  31. Hi George,
    better late than never, I am back in the land of the typing.

    Sadly, the Prince's book has met with a lot of derision here. He does like to pontificate from his ivory tower. He personally has added little of the work that went into the book, acc. to commentators.

    Having sad that I would only wish that looking after our planet were high on the agenda of people who have the necessary influence and power.
    Nations too, particularly the high consumption ones.

    It is up to every last one of us to step as lightly as we can.I certainly try to do just that.

    How many actually do?

  32. To Friko,

    Sorry to hear that the book has been met with a lot of derision in the UK. From my standpoint, the book and the movie are about the message, not the messenger, and the message is a powerful one, specifically, that we must take action immediately, individually and collectively, if we are to bequeath our children and future generations a world in which life can be sustained. I feel so strongly about this that I respect anyone who uses their position of influence to call attention to this important problem. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

  33. I really enjoyed the film. I don't think Prince Charles ever claimed to be anything other than a spokesperson and advocate for the cause. But I say this from "across the pond" and really don't know much about him. Friko may be correct in her observation.

    There were many points that resonated with me... (1) It's not just about how we treat the world, but also ourselves - The planet and our bodies are non-seperable. (2) We need to live with a higher consciousness and not think of people as disposable. (3) The global & economic crisis must include the poor in the process - and that it be seen not as charity, but as an investment. (4) Everyday life is based on the sacred - that is harmony. (5) How harmful it is to have "opinions" about the "other side" and no empathy. Learning to listen to the "other side" and respecting what they need is vital to progress. (6) Change can only come through educating the people.

    I wish Prince Charles was more popular on a wider scale. I only knew the tabloid stories and always loved Diana. I have changed my perspective now and I truly think he has been done a huge disservice.

  34. To Margaret,

    Thanks for your insightful comments, Margaret, each of which finds me in agreement. I'm delighted that you were inspired by the film and recognized that there is more to Prince Charles than one would know from just reading the headlines of tabloids. He is a serious and moral man who is trying to use his position to focus our attention on environmental sustainability, which I believe is a moral imperative.

    Pass on the film to others you know. Every little ripple toward progress helps in the ultimate achievement of the worthy goals your enumerate. Have a good week.