One of the things that has come clear to me – and perhaps millions of my fellow humans watching the events of the past few weeks, is that we cannot expect our “leaders” or our governments to do what is needed to protect and preserve this “little blue dot” which we share with so many other living things. We must do it ourselves.
The other thing that has become clear is that we CAN do it ourselves. We just need the will. Standing Rock has been such a beautiful symbolic expression of the whole David and Goliath story that is going on between corporations with their “bottom line” blinders and all the rest of life on this planet.
I can’t help but feel that stories like the Biblical David and Goliath story have been given to humans down through the ages to give us the courage to stand up against seemingly overwhelming odds. Standing Rock shows us how coming together – peacefully and prayerfully with patience and determination, really can change things.
I read a book a few years back about “tipping points” and I believe that we are reaching one – of massive proportions. For many years I did a monthly online journal that was a collection of stories about individuals and groups doing positive work around the planet. So I have built the habit of immersing myself each day in “good news”! It has given me a very different perspective from most of the people I know who are only exposed to mainstream news each day.
If your only source of information about the world is mainstream news and Facebook, you will likely see the world as a rather frightening place filled with bad people who will do you harm if you don’t protect yourself and your family from them. And so you might buy a gun. And even if you don’t, you may spend your life with an underlying, perhaps mostly subconscious, feeling of dread.
But statistically the world is safer and more free of war and crime than it has been in a very long time. But you will rarely see a news article about this. The world has grown less safe in other ways, though. Never before was all life on earth exposed to the chemical soup that we breath, drink and ingest now. And the population of humans has grown so in numbers that we are beginning to do real lasting damage to our planet and the species we share it with. When there were only a few million of us the damage we did was easily reversible. Perhaps it always will be. But many of us are sensing that our sheer volume is overwhelming the planets resiliency. We can’t continue to do things the way we did, consuming resources endlessly in a way that is not sustainable.
How we will transition from a world of consumers to lifestyles that are regenerative is not yet clear. Perhaps there will be many solutions for all the varied situations in which humans live.
Cooperation will be the driving force, I am sure. All the answers that are emerging on the edges of our societies involve collaboration. Worker-owned businesses, co-housing, systems for food production that work with Nature, emulate Nature rather than controlling and fighting Nature.
The ideas and concepts are already out there being tested and used by people around the planet. There are already working models. One interesting working model that I was reminded of by the death of Castro was Cuba. Because they were cut off from oil and food imports available to much of the rest of the world – most of Cuba’s people have lived on locally, organically grown food for the last quarter century. Studies of how they survived are being done and will be useful in the times to come.
Did you know that the number of Farmers Markets has grown hugely in the last decade. Just watching our busy and popular local Growers Market expand the few years I have been here has been so encouraging. The number of local products produced has doubled or tripled in the 9 years I have been here, as well as the number of farms – most run by young people. This seemingly small factor is indicative of our future. Local farmers growing organic produce and meat and local entrepreneurs creating a wide range of products for our use – from beer, cheese and soap to sweaters made from locally grown alpaca wool! This is the smallest taste of what is going on in communities everywhere on the planet. A quiet revolution.
If you have ever been to one of these markets you may have noticed the happy, upbeat energy that fills them. There is something about buying food and goods directly from the grower, food grown nearby and harvested within the last 24 hrs., lovingly displayed and sold. It gives off a wonderful “we’re-all-in-this-together” vibe. It’s such an exquisite community-building activity unlike most of our usual consumerism. Going to the farmers market is a social event! I cannot go there without running into several people I know! That rarely happens at the local stores. This is a taste of our future.
It’s not that we need to stop consuming. We will always do that. We just need to learn to do it in new ways. And those new ways will bring so many perks along with them that it will be a joy to participate rather than a hardship. We truly needn’t live in fear and dread of our old system collapsing, because the one that will take it’s place will be so much better in every way!
Instead of living in dread we can work together joyfully to “compost” the old system, knowing that the new one that is growing out of the decomposing waste is the “more beautiful world our hearts know is possible”. (Thanks Charles Eisenstein – author of a book by that name!)