"America’s destiny is
not power. . . . it is light.”
-- Benjamin Franklin

Background, A Vision for A United State of Americans and An Invitation!

As a Community Economic Development specialist my focus is on helping individuals, organizations and communities realize and actualize their Ultimate Potential. I also hold a vision of A United State of Americans and am helping establish The Foundation for A United State of Americans to help Fulfill the Ultimate Destiny of the USA, which by the way Benjamin Franklin said was not power but LIGHT!

I was blessed to serve for many years as an award-winning disaster relief specialist, turn-around management expert and Community Economic Development official for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. I served under 5 US Presidents with assignments in Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio, Detroit, Chicago and Kankakee Illinois. It was a very sad disappointment to me when I realized that the US political agenda was driven by, if not controlled by special interests, regardless of which party was in power.

In the far distant past I was politically affiliated, first at the age of 18 with the Young Republicans Party in the then Democratic Mississippi Delta (to support the campaign of a wonderful man who had essentially adopted me after my Father died.) Later in my 20's I registered as a Democrat and in my 30's I began to consider myself an Independent. While I have not been active in politics at all for decades (except for placing a Draft Colin Powell bumper sticker on my car), I am concerned about the political divisiveness apparent throughout our country and the negative impact that could have on solving the social, economic and environmental challenges we face locally, nationally and globally.

Please note that I am not supporting or working against any political party or individual! What I AM FOR and am seeking is any possible way to encourage, help facilitate and "stand-up" for a more positive, civil and solutions oriented dialogue throughout every community and every level of government in the United States. I love the JFK quote above and share the sentiment that each of us and every elected national official should remember we are first an American, then affiliated with a political party.

In my work as a community organizer and community development specialist, I  have conducted visioning, planning and strategic planning exercises for companies, non-profit organizations and communities. Two of the main questions we usually include and the top three answers to each one revealed through The Three Round Method of Brainstorming (developed by the National Center for Community Education and the CS Mott Foundation) are provided below. As I reflect on those answers specifically for solving community problems, I see now how timely and relevant they are to the Not-so United States of America!

(1)  What are the greatest problems affecting the quality of life in the community?

Inadequate citizen involvement in community affairs.
Inadequate leadership throughout government.
Lack of community unity and cooperation and collaboration.

(2)  What corrective measures can be taken to address those problems?

Develop more community-based programs
Expand church and community involvement.
Provide access to resources that will enhance self-help, empowerment and capacity building for individuals and organizations

In response to those results, several successful Community Resource Centers have been established and now Universal Stewardheirship, Inc and Ultimate Destiny University are launching the Expanding the Circle of Success campaign to help establish a network of locally initiated non-profit CAN DO! Community Economic Development Empowerment Resource Centers. For excerpts from hundreds of newspaper articles about training programs produced by CAN DO! and the Community Development Resource Center and visit www.candoresourcecenter.com.

"We can’t solve problems at the level of thinking
(or consciousness) where we created them." -- Albert Einstein

Excerpt from Graduation Remarks for the CED Master’s Program by Charles Betterton

During one of the classes in the 1990-1992 Community Economic Development Master’s program at Southern New Hampshire University, students spent time discussing the root causes of the problems that threaten our society. They developed the following list:

The me generation
Getting away from God
Lack of spirituality
Lack of common vision
Absence of wisdom
Focus on accumulation versus circulation
Spiritual and cultural disintegration and the
Lack of an appropriate value system and ways to express it

The following month they considered potential solutions to these problems by reflecting on the values of community economic development which they described as including:

Spiritual underpinning, a sense of oneness
Application of cooperative principles
A focus on human development along with community development
Retention of wealth in the neighborhoods
Valuing community and the larger society
Consideration and appreciation of multicultural differences in religion, values perspectives and communication and
Enabling people and communities to empower themselves

The class defined the role of CED as an educational process to help people become empowered and connected with others, thereby becoming the curative process. Through the information, exercises and experiences shared during the Master’s program, participants all completed another upward spiral in their lives and careers. They acquired skills and techniques and access to resources that can transform our lives, our organizations, our communities and our world.

Again as I look at the social, economic and environmental challenges we face at the local, State, National AND global levels, it seems to me that those root causes of the problems and the potential solutions my CED classmates and Identified 25 years ago are even more needed in these days. . .

In a recent workshop, we asked participants to answer the following question:

 “Given the global economic and environmental crises, what attitudes and skills can help us apply more positive, creative, conscious and sustainable approaches?”

Here are some of the answers we received (that we have incorporated in our programs and that once again seem relevant to the present situation in our communities and Nation):

  • Awakening to our spiritual identity.

  • Realizing more of our inherent potential.

  • Harnessing our creative mind power.

  • Flowing our energy to solutions rather than problems.

  • Remembering who we really are and why we are here.

  • Fulfilling our life purposes and missions.

  • Making a difference and leaving a legacy.

  • Maintaining a positive mental attitude.

  • Loving, serving and blessing others.

  • Applying creative thinking and problem-solving.

  • Manifesting stewardship over the rich talents and
    treasures entrusted to us by God/Spirit/Source/Creator.

Our ultimate vision for America is seeing (and helping) it fulfill its Ultimate Destiny as envisioned by Ben Franklin and as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. We understand that is something like “Liberty, enlightening the world”.


This forthcoming book from suggests that THE Foundational Principles upon which we as a people and as citizens are UNITED are far more significant and meaningful than any personal, social, economic or political differences, beliefs, opinions, STATES OF mind, disagreements, or divergent perspectives for as Benjamin Franklin said, “The destiny of AMERICA is not power, it is Light”.

The book presents a possible future vision of a
United State of Americans. It also issues an invitation, a call
to action and a comprehensive Strategic Implementation Matrix
for  establishing a network of CAN DO! Community Economic Development Resource Centers
for Self-help, Empowerment and Capacity Building.

The Resource Centers will educate, equip and enable individuals, organizations and communities to realize more of their potential and expand their capacity to help solve the social, economic and environmental challenges we face together on what
Buckminster Fuller referred to as SpaceShip Earth and "betterment for 100% of humanity."

By providing expanded access to development training resources and "
successful living skills for the 21st Century" including "infopreneurship" individuals, families and communities will be strengthened, jobs will be saved and created, and America will fulfill its ultimate destiny.

In his award-winning documentary I AM, producer Tom Shadyac asks some of today’s most
profound thinkers, two questions – What’s wrong with our world? and What can we do about it?


 Tom's insightful documentary provides background on why we incorporated the Community Economic Development Resource Center, Inc.  based on the new Benefit Corporation model. It also validates the reasons we are launching the Expanding the Circle of Success campaign to help answer the two questions his documentary ends with: What's right with our world? and
How can we help manifest what we refer to as Earth StewardHeirShip? 

“Inherently, each one of us has the substance within to achieve whatever our goals and dreams define. What is missing from each of us is the training, education, knowledge and insight to utilize what we already have.”  -- Mark Twain

I believe America IS a great Nation, and still the greatest Nation on the earth! And YES of course, there are many ways we could work better together to solve the social, economic and environmental challenges we face as a Nation and as a planet.  I suggest that the questions we need to be asking (and answering together) are:

(1) What IS RIGHT about the United States of America?
(2) How can we work together to make it even BETTER?

Please Click Here or on the link below to share your answers to these questions! http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ecr28v5riorsfxlz/start

What IS RIGHT about America?

What can we do to make it better and how?

How can we overcome our differences and work together?

What do you believe is The Ultimate Destiny of the USA!

How would you like to help "Make it so" as Captain Picard would say?

"When a community and its people are empowered, they have the capacity to articulate their needs; to identify actions to solve those needs; and to mobilize and organize resources in pursuit of commonly defined goals. When the people of a community come together to visualize and work together to achieve a common future, they recognize that everyone--regardless of education, job, race, age, or background--has something important to contribute to personal and community empowerment. Indeed, the greater the diversity of the participants, the richer the vision and the more effective its accomplishment" -- Lorraine Garkovich, University of Kentucky

Loraine's visionary statement and the inspiring words from the song Earth by David Roth below encompass our ultimate vision and mission of fostering personal, community, national and global transformation. We seek to accomplish that by providing expanded access to state-of-the-art resources for Community Economic Development training while incorporating CED principles of Self-Help, Empowerment and Capacity Building. 

I love what Ernest Holmes had to say about Love and Cooperation in business AND I am optimistic enough to believe that it may also be possible for us to one day discover that practicing Love, Cooperation, and Respect for divergent perspectives and policies in our government might help us Fulfill the Ultimate Destiny of the United States of America!

There are many wonderful resource available to help us learn how to practice love and cooperation including The Love Center, The Love Foundation and the Global Coherence Initiative.

"To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order;
to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order;
to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and
to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right." - Confucius

Earl Nightingale, the “Dean of Motivation” and co-founder of Nightingale-Conant (the World Leader in Personal Development since 1960) told a story about a father who was trying to work who had a young son who wanted to play. The father cut a picture of the world out of a magazine and made it into a jigsaw puzzle. He gave it to his son and told him that they could play when he had put the puzzle back together. 

The father, who had imagined that it would take his son at least several minutes to complete the task, was surprised when his son returned almost instantly with the puzzle completed. When he asked his son how he had managed to put it together so quickly, his son answered: “It was easy Dad. There was a picture of a man on the other side and when I put the picture of the man together, the world was together too.” 

The Community Economic Development Benefit Corporation and and Ultimate Destiny University are fostering the realization of human potential and helping  “Expand the Circle of Success” to help people learn how to learn, especially those who may have had limited experience with development training materials. We are helping these individuals learn how to put their own “success puzzles” together. And just like the story about the father and his son, as the individual pieces come together for each person, the puzzle for the whole world begins to come into focus.

Because we see a correlation with strategies for enhancing opportunities for personal, community and national development and empowerment, we want to share our vision with you and invite your participation helping resolve our personal, political and religious differences, and come together to solve the challenges we face AND take advantage of the rich opportunities that lie before us.

THE Foundational Principles upon which we as a people and as citizens are UNITED are far more significant and meaningful than any personal, social, economic or political differences, beliefs, opinions, STATES OF mind, disagreements, or divergent perspectives. As Benjamin Franklin said, “The destiny of AMERICA is not power, it is Light”, and the Statue of Liberty is named LIBERTY, ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD!

The United State of Americans

Red, White, Black, Brown or Yellow,
We are all evolving human beings.
Rich, poor, some even entrepreneur,
We live and work in one global economy.

Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or other,
We are all spiritual beings having a human experience.
North, South, East, or West, even in the US Territories,
We move through space together at thousands of miles per hour.

Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or neither,
We are all Americans first, living together in One Nation.
Let us stand together united and not let anything or anyone divide us,
As we remember our rich legacy and fulfill our ultimate destiny.

(© 2010 Charles Betterton)

A Declaration of Inner-Dependence and Inter-Dependence

Once again we hold these truths to be self-evident as we collectively remember, honor and fulfill the ultimate destiny entrusted to us as citizens of the United States of America, one nation under God, with Life, Liberty, and Happiness for all.

Our ultimate destiny as citizens is to actualize our inherent potential, individually and collectively, to help empower, enlighten and evolve ourselves, our brothers and sisters and the global community we share that Bucky Fuller referred to as Spaceship Earth.

Our Founding Fathers and Mothers were inspired by inner guidance to establish the foundation upon which inner Wisdom and interdependence could help foster the pursuit, and the realization
of Life, Liberty and Happiness for all.

The ultimate destiny of the United States of America is to enlighten, empower and elevate our consciousness to the realization that we are one people, living in one global community, with only one future that we are destined to co-create together.

 © Charles Betterton, 2010   

A Call To Action and Invitation!

Let us come together in spite of any political, geographic, religious or cultural differences and contribute our time and energies toward further evolution of a "more perfect union" as the Greatest Nation on Earth of the people, for the people and by the people.  Perhaps we can benefit from Arthur Morgan's description of The Great Community and apply that to The Greatest America Ever!

The Great Community by Arthur Morgan
(Adaptations in RED by Charles Betterton)

"Where there is no vision, the people (and or the Nation) perish.' So it is with communities and Nations! Americans have had no great expectations of theirs, and have had no picture of what a great community or Great Nation might be like. The hope of the small town has been, not to be a great community, but to become a city. Seeing our communities as of little importance, we have neglected them, robbed them, and fled from them. Only as we come to see them as the sources of population and of national character and culture, and as possible centers of interest and opportunity, will our young people choose them for their life careers. Economic and social security are not enough. If a community is to hold its boys and girls, building with them a great community, it must be to them a place of significance and of high adventure.

Because economic security is so generally lacking, many have felt that if a whole community should be economically secure, other limitations would disappear and the good community would emerge. Yet often where economic security has existed the community has been uninteresting, if not banal, and young people have fled from it. Other communities, with the idea that education is the magic key have staked their hopes on schools and colleges, only to find their young people driven from home and burdened with student loan debt to seek careers.

There have been many ethically fine communities in which nearly every family lived in a spirit of good will. Believing that fine human relationships is the one essential of a good community, they rested on their fortunate condition. Young people of such communities, finding few home opportunities for adequate careers, and lacking a vision of the Great Community, left for more promising fields. In this manner, many fine communities have been almost depopulated. 

The Greatest handicap to human progress has been a partial view of life. When people set their hearts on achieving some particular excellence, their success has sometimes been remarkable, but the resulting lopsided development has often resulted in social breakdown. All-round growth may be slower and less spectacular, but is more enduring. That is true of communities as of people. The Great Community and Great Nation must be built on a full all-round view of life and its possibilities.  

The Great Community and Great Nation will achieve a living unity. It will not be just an aggregation of individuals, families, congregations, firms, cliques, and interests. Holding that 'that which unites us is greater than that which separates us,' it will develop unity of outlook, purpose, and program without thwarting individual or group autonomy. Its various organizations will not tear the community or Nation apart to advance themselves or their political party, but will be agencies of an enlarging and unifying community life and fulfillment of the Ultimate Destiny for the United States of America!"

Arthur Morgan wrote The Small Community and The Great Community in the 1940's. He founded Community Service, Inc. and served as President of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

We invite you again to Click Here or on the link below to share your answers to these questions. http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ecr28v5riorsfxlz/start

What IS RIGHT about America?

What can we do to make it better and how?

How can we overcome our differences and work together?

What do you believe is The Ultimate Destiny of the USA!

How would you like to help "Make it so" as Captain Picard would say?

As you think about Americans (still alive or not) who have demonstrated a love of country ahead of personal or political interests, dedicated their lives and or careers to public service and who helped promote cooperation, collaboration and effective communication, who would you recommend for The United State of Americans Hall of Fame Award?

Would you like to learn about how "cause-oriented" companies (based on the new Benefit Corporation model, Community Economic Development Principles and the 4Ps of Purpose, People, Planet and Profitability) could generate up to a million dollars a year through the Equity Crowd Financing provisions of the JOBS Act AND help make America better, stronger and more prosperous for all Americans?

Thank you for taking time to review this web page and to Complete our Survey!

EARTH A Song by David Roth


Dream of a day when we can live without anger.
Dream of a time when we can live without pain.
Dream of a way that we can live without hunger.
Dream of a sign that the earth can be peaceful again.

What can we do to get our people looking higher?
What do you do in the darkness but look for the light?
We can join hands and do whatever we desire.
We'll never fail as long as the reasons are right.

We're gonna' live in peace, Its our only chance on earth.
Get all that fighting to cease and remember what life is worth.
Each of us has the power to bring about changes,
Though society separates us from the time of our birth.

We won't live here much longer if we live as strangers,
No time at all if we don't learn how to live with the earth.
Combining our efforts instead of being parted,
Sharing a vision that we will have a new dawn.

Remember that love is how it all got started and
Don't you know that love will keep going after we're gone.
What can we give the earth that we haven't given in the past?

A way to live here on earth, make it last and last and last.

Dream of a day when we can live in communion.
Dream of a time when we can live without fear.
Awaken a way to get all of us working together.

And know that the time when the earth can be peaceful is near.
And know that our thoughts and actions are honest and clear.
And know that the people on earth can be safe from all fear.
Know that the time when the earth can be peaceful is near.

Copyright David Roth. All rights reserved.

You might be interested in learning how the Benefit Corporation model and Equity Crowdfunding provisions of the US JOBS Act can help us progress toward this vision for A United State of Americans!  Details are available at www.cedbcorp.org and www.WhatGoodWouldYouDo.com


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