In a post “I can’t predict the future” February 15, 2012) I commented on the predictions of the future that we are bombarded with. Some of these predictions have a negative tone and others have a more optimistic tone while still others beg for continuation of the status quo and would have us believe that the disruptions we are witnessing are really just a blip and we will return to “normal” as soon as we can “get the economy going again”. I noted that perhaps the easiest way to respond to these predictions is to not respond at all and instead to continue to bury one’s head in the sand. After all life is short and who has time to consider these weighty issues when there are lots of other things to occupy our time and energy with. I also stated that I am not able to ignore these predictions and I often reflect on what the changes may be and how I will be impacted or better yet how I can have an influence on the expected changes and our move to a new world.
My belief is that we are heading into a world of opportunity that will in fact result in a very new world. I also believe that it will be a better place and a milieu where humanity reclaims some of the more salient features of the natural human condition. I refer to a world where we are based in a foundation of compassion, love, consideration of others, cooperation, connection and community and all those good things. A move to a world that is not governed by some of the things that currently make the world go around yet do not support humans in a positive way (or the planet for that matter).
These are non-sustainable elements of today’s world are those that I believe need to change. They do not sustain or support us or the planet rather they lead us in the opposite direction- to dysfunction. I actually believe that the severe alteration or disappearance of these now accepted elements would benefit mankind and the rest of life in the world. I acknowledge that finding our way beyond these accepted practices and systems is not at all easy. There will be times when the transformation will seem ridiculous or when it seems like revolution, something that we in the western world tend to shy away from.
There are many aspects of our current world that we cannot continue if we are to survive as a human race and if we do not wish to destroy the planet. How things unfold in this ever evolving world is dependent on whether and how we choose to participate.
We can choose to wait it out and try to escape the personal impact of the ever-increasing dysfunction. After all none of us are on the planet for that long and some of the changes that we are anticipating will take considerable time before there is significant impact on all of us (i.e. destruction of our clean water system). There is a distinct possibility that we will not feel any personal pain as a result of these shifts (i.e. we may be fortunate and remain financially secure). However, no one on the planet is without connections and those connections most likely lead each of us to consider what we are leaving for those still left here in the world. In other words we all at least should care about the long term impacts and changes because they will impact our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren or those of our friends or other people we love.
We can also choose to turn a blind eye to what is occurring right before us (i.e. war and revolution here and abroad; poverty, homelessness, addictions etc.). Perhaps they are not directly impacting us or our families personally thus we are able to dismiss their significance. Our personal detachment allows us to keep the blinders on and push our attention aside. This delays our participation or consideration but only postpones it; it does not make the pull go away.
We can also choose to open our eyes, soften our hearts and pay attention to what is happening. We can choose to contribute to a more peaceful world.
Part of the change that is evolving in the positive world transformation is the realization that what happens to other humans and the planet is really happening to all of us. This realization moves us beyond our view and feelings of separation and isolation from others and away from the false notion of being protected from the harms that others experience but we do not. We come to understand that their experience and ours is one and the same, perhaps only manifested in different ways. The connections, just like those with people we know we love, become critical in attending to our choices. What if we expanded our definition and scope of love to go beyond our families and friends and to the brotherhood of man? What would our choices look like then?
So the question we are left with is what choices will we make as individuals in responding to the opportunity to shape our ever-changing world. How will we intentionally choose to move forward? What have we been blind to and now can see? How does our freedom to exercise our ability to make choices impact others and the evolution of our world?
This leaves us with a lot to think about but leaves me inspired by the realization that my actions can make a difference. This leaves me much more able to contribute and participate in a positive shift than I would be able if I was to remain in a state of fear about the future.
Wasn’t it Margaret Mead, the well-known cultural anthropologist who reminded us to: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Irene McDermott © 2012