Posted August 8th 2013 at 8:12 am by
in Art

Calling for Technology of the Heart at MIT

We need innovation based on the power of love, which is the only renewable energy that can sustain us and that we can all share without depletion, because it is infinite. I call this innovation “technology of the heart”.

The technology of the earth was originally used to provide for human and community development. We have since shown how great we are at making the technology of the earth to produce weapons of warfare and sources of destruction. The Bible challenges us to beat the swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, turning weapons of violence and harm into tools of progress for food, clothing, housing, a healthy environment. One is technology that takes life – that’s low tech. The other enhances life – that’s genuine high tech.

Vincent Harding, in his book There is a River, challenges us to develop “a new and informed humanity and not equal opportunity in a dehumanized society”. I add: a society where love is the question, and the answer is a city and world community where all the tribes are welcome and all the gifts are shared.

I believe the innovations we need to seek call for us, and our technology, to be about love and forgiveness – a belief that we can change the way we see and treat each other.  My initial involvement at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was as a participant in the summer study organized after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik in 1957, under the leadership of Jerrold Zacharias. The group I participated in developed an approach to learning and teaching based on systems analysis.

I’m not sure whether a similar approach is applicable as a way to think about the innovation that would move us in the direction of a new and improved humanity. There has to be a place in MIT to work on innovation technology of the heart.  The thing that struck me was the mobilizing of variety of skills and interests do deal with the gap in science technology and math, all to compete with Sputnik and compete with the Soviets accomplishments. The results of those efforts speak for themselves. Now let’s accept the challenge to develop the New and Informed Humanity with the same energy and resources. This time to power spaceship hearth by love, the renewable energy we all can share.

Father John Harmon observed in “The Cycle of Silence” that to really listen means to be willing to change. I believe that such listening values the individual and group and recognizes their humanity. It means listening to the cries of the children whose trust we hold. It means changing what we expect from ourselves as stewards of our government, creating the movement – the technology of the heart – that beats our swords into health care, education, and housing and is based on love.

In the words earth and heart, we have ear and art together – to produce the art of genuine listening. With the words earth and heart, we form hearth – a comforting and creative place to listen and bring out the best in us. I am urging that the Institute create the hearth that fosters the “high tech” of life-affirming innovation.

I listened to Barack Obama’s acceptance of the presidential nomination on the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech – a speech that envisioned changes in how we treat each other and an end to militarism. I understood Obama to say this significant event was about us, not him, and that each of us should find the role and path to follow. So I wrote this song.

Post, song, and video by Mel King.

T2i - Red Heart

Photo credit: Doug Weller on Flickr.

One response to “Calling for Technology of the Heart at MIT”

  1. So beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing.