Saving Our World
A big topic today. But a moment’s thinking—whenever I remember to do it—reminds me that there can’t be any more compelling subject for anyone who cares about own survival, or about that of our loved ones, or—not a big stretch—about every human being on our planet. Actually, I’m talking about the survival of all living forms—Earth may well continue in some uninhabitable form long after all life as we know it has gone.
I’m writing this, first, to try to get my thinking clear on this weighty topic, and second to feel and hopefully discharge my feelings. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right places, but I don’t often see and hear people talking or writing totally openly about their personal thoughts and feelings about the possible—even probable—destruction of all life on Earth. I’m sure the reason is that it is too hard and scary to face without a lot of support from others, who themselves find it too hard to do the necessary supportive listening. After all, we still avoid feeling and thinking and talking deeply about individual deaths—our own, our beloveds, anyone else’s. How much harder to try to bring the same courageous feeling and thinking and talking to the subject of the death of all life forms. We’re almost all pretty well numbed out.
As a sort of experiment, I’m going to list here, in no particular order, a bunch of the prime factors contributing to life’s possible total destruction. And see what comes up—at least for me. So here goes: isolation, greed and fear of others, capitalism, oppression of ourselves and each other (especially women, young people, people with disabilities, and hordes of marginalized groups, war, competition, imperialism, racism, indigenous genocides… More than enough to get us started. Hard to read back this list to myself, especially aloud. At least I can still feel tears pushing through my anger and—more deeply buried–my dread. Imagine no plants, trees, flowers, animals, fish, birds, fresh water, or human beings—all I know is I wouldn’t want to be the last to go.
So can I rally some hopeful and helpful thoughts and ideas to brig against all this dark, impelling, seemingly unstoppable force. Yes, I can, I know I can. First, I believe—no, I know, that none of those evil “prime factors” are born in us human beings; they are all acquired compulsions. We are born hugely loving, intelligent, creative, cooperative beings. Second, I have undying faith that there are forces of good dwelling within and without us that will guide us—are guiding us—to a world of unending love, peace, harmony, creativity, and beauty. Third, we can tap into these glorious forces and be guided by them towards true progress—at first personally, then in harmonious cooperation with an ever-widening circle of humanity.
A few things we can all do right here and right now.
- Constantly remember we are each one of us significant, in charge and responsible for all life
- Practice an attitude of hope and confidence
- Set our sights on solutions
- Don’t be bystanders! Take a lead!
- We don’t have to reach everyone, only enough people to bring about the transformations we all long for
- Value everyone’s thinking
- Take risks, try new things, and be willing to fall on our faces plenty of times
- Never blame other people
- Ask others for help and support
- Play a whole lot! Get out in nature even more!
- Shed our painful feelings of grief, sadness, anger, fear, even embarrassment—to maintain our zest to keep going!
I just read this to Dorothy before posting it, and she told me about (https://earthoptimism.si.edu). Now this sounds promising—how did I miss it? There are sister events all over all through 2018… Byee!