Read Deborah and Carlos’ Speeches from the Commonwealth Club Medalion Award Ceremony

The Santana’s were asked “What do you see as the most significant challenge confronting humanity in the 21st century and what should be done about it?”

Carlos’ response...

I believe the most significant challenge confronting humanity in the 21st century to be that humanity loves to worship and has total preoccupation with the god of economy, which is the love for power. The economy is more important than life, people or the planet. We kill and create global war and every time we use Jesus Christ, Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Jehovah and any other god we can imagine to kill one another, take the land, life and everything that the people have, and justify it in the name of a superior god – which is the economy. This is what I perceive to be the most significant challenge confronting humanity.

In 1967 a movie came out called 2001 A Space Odyssey. There was a scene where two tribes of apes were fighting over the water hole, which was really mud.  Instead of joining together and making the water clean for all families, they would kill one another over mud. It comes to my attention that we are still fighting over mud, which is now global oil and we have not moved very far. However, I do feel that the monkey mind of humans is ripe and ready to choose the diamond over the preverbal banana. The diamond, at this point, is a metaphor for embracing spiritual consciousness and collective consciousness awareness. You can say – man is ready to open his arms and embrace a concept of absoluteness and totality. Yes – you can call it a hug from God. When you aspire and you yearn to receive a hug from God, at that point you want and need the highest good for life, people and the planet. You then cease to give importance to patriotism, countries, boundaries and you give birth to a multi dimensional warrior, like Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and so many others.

I believe the second question is what should we do about it?

To correct the sickness-fever of separation from the Supreme Being, the symptom of this separation-fever is guilt, shame, judgment, condemnment and fear. The medicine is spiritual education – not religion, not politics – but spiritual principles that can be applied in a meat and potatoes world.  I know without a doubt, that in the future, beauty, elegance, excellence, grace and dignity will be the only passport towards global healing. Free water, education, food and electricity for every human on this planet will be the result of living with these spiritual principles.

I believe with all my heart that now is the time to infuse, activate and ignite man’s mind by acknowledging that in our DNA you will find divinity and grace. We are spiritual beings, having a human experience. Not humans creating Halloween everyday- with fear.

It has been said that you cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly.  So perceive this- every person is a beam of light that comes from the mind of God.  May the heavens open up and the angels bless each & everyone with the deep awareness of your own light.


Deborah’s response…

Good evening.  It is a great honor to stand before you as Commonwealth Club Medallion honorees and to speak of what we see as the most significant challenge confronting humanity in the 21st century. From my vantage point, I see the greatest challenge as how people can live and work from a personal center of integrity where the best in life is the goal not only for oneself, but for each human being on earth.

There can be NO world peace as long as the selfish pursuit of wealth remains a goal only for oneself or for one’s country.  This model has produced an imbalanced planet of calamity, the one in which we now live with America as a super power still using the archaic method of war as a false attempt to make progress.

As a product of the United States Civil Rights Movement, the struggle for equality for people of color in this country affected me personally. Even after the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the NAACP, Fannie Lou Hamer, and thousands more, on many levels the battle is still raging and it has become global. Our country’s leaders have not brought us to holistic wellness, but to systems of disconnect and I believe this is because the desire for wealth outweighs the desire for truth and integrity.

In 1994, with the values and morals of my parents’ teachings, I took over the management of the Santana Band. Carlos never doubted that I could supervise the staff, oversee the finances, and steer the corporate machine that supported the music.  I never doubted I could, either.  But, my wisdom was in utilizing and expanding our team and in listening to the experts who had taken ten musicians, as many crew, and tons of equipment across the globe with great care and efficiency for more than two decades. My wisdom came from hearing the staff’s perceptions, along with business partners who had promoted and nurtured Carlos’s career before my ascension to Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. In this circle of listening and consensus, we built a supernatural organization that remains a model of service and light.

We have this opportunity in the world – to listen to the leaders of other countries and offer our power of service, rather than our machines of war.  Perhaps because our generation came through the lies of Vietnam, racism, and patriarchy, we hold the belief that we can overcome the current hierarchical arrangement that is preventing consensus, unity, hope and truth. Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” When I look towards the future, I do not want to look through a political lens. I look at the possibilities we have not yet reached and believe that the people must lead the government; the people must look into their hearts and care for one another; we must care that people live in poverty, and we must care that human rights are taken away from individuals everyday so that a few can maintain their wealth.

Our family just returned from a tour of South Africa with a delegation of artists and activists we partner with, led by Sharon Gelman of Artists for a New South Africa. It was a dream-come-true experience because we marched against apartheid and for the release of Nelson Mandela and other political leaders. Touching the soil of South Africa was a great gift. After more than sixty years of struggle fought by so many, this young democracy is living its vision with grace and brilliance, joy, and a palpable balance of justice and forgiveness. The torture, hardships, sacrifice and, ultimately, the integrity and dedication to work together from a center of truth to liberate and guide 10 million people is a stellar example of what can be done to significantly change the world in the 21st century. Let us become a circle of true democracy, a circle of listeners, a circle of respect and honor for all people. Let us choose to be intelligent but humane, successful but compassionate, powerful, yet humble.

Thank you so much.

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