A Chance to Choose.
THE WORLD as we’ve known it has come to a standstill. What do we do now? What will it be when we reemerge? What will we be?
Like bears coming out of hibernation, we can ravenously return to our former life of consumption, ignoring the consequences. Or, while we await our reemergence, might we imagine a different model? A different way of being in the world? Do we hibernate in our virtual caves awaiting “spring” or do we mindfully create something new, a chrysalis of intent, and use this time to transform ourselves and our future into one of new purpose, hope and meaning?
The world we’ve withdrawn from is dying. We are killing it. If we don’t want it to die, we must change. Like a gift from the gods, we have been given this chance, maybe a last chance. What we do with it is up to us.
What we must do to survive on earth is simple in the abstract:
- Cease burning fossil fuels.
- Cease manufacturing and releasing toxic waste.
- Create a sustainable economy (not based, like cancer, on escalating growth), one that nurtures life.
- Clean our oceans, lands, rivers and sky.
How to do that is the challenge, a challenge so overwhelming that many will not even engage in considering it, let alone confronting it. And besides, who has had the time to consider any of this in the former frenzy of everyday life? For many decades, I didn’t.
But what else have we got to do now? Binge watch the same stories retelling the same cultural myths of redemptive violence, heroic dominance and sanctified indulgence? The same myths that encouraged and enabled this assault on the earth, its ecology and indigenous peoples?
That’s one choice.
Or go within and discern a new purpose, a new work, a new way of being alive, fresh and inspired. Then fuse with that vision and emerge anew.
Our world has all but stopped. It will start up again. When it does, we can try to return to what it was before—continuing a sleepwalk towards a living nightmare of horrors and deprivations. Or, we can commit to remaking it into something that nurtures body, mind, spirit and all of life. Of course there are vast, powerful, entrenched centers of power that will resist such change with violence and rage—the very forces that created the ecological, existential crisis we now face. They will dangle tantalizing comforts while threatening those who resist. And we can succumb. Again.
Or we can take this time to transform and reawaken our innate power to create community, harmony and beauty in this world. Yes, there will be profound loss and grief for the people and things we will have lost. Suffering is part of life, it is the path to wisdom. But powerlessness is not, hopelessness is not, despair is not.
We have the power to change our world. It’s in our hands. Do we dare dream? Do we dare act? Will we take the risk—for ourselves, our children and their future? And that includes me, who has yet to do much of anything. Still…
…We are the people we have been waiting for. Or no one is.