Tuesday Apr 28 2009
Spring flowers bloom passionately on this sunny West Coast day, birds are preparing nests for their young and people run madly by me as I sit by the ocean and ponder what it takes to survive in these times. My search for a place to live has not yet been entirely successful, and the conversations I’ve had reveal both desperation and gnawing hesitation in myself and others to actually put a stake in the ground—metaphorically speaking—and declare that this is the future we are committing to. It’s almost as if, with so much uncertainty about so many things in our lives, we are afraid to take a chance—whether on an investment, a potential tenant, a business expense or a relationship.
What do we lose when we put aside possibility and focus on surviving?
I think that we lose touch with our courage and creativity. When things look difficult, change is tumultuous and our internal sense of balance is thrown off kilter, we often forget there is a silver lining to the economic doom and gloom. We now have an opportunity to return to the heart of things, to simplify our lives, to free ourselves from practices that might have had us living beyond our means.
There is a depth of poverty that exists in other parts of the world that we may not even be able to begin to fathom. Even if we cannot comprehend living in a country where there is no social safety net, we can at least look at the value we have placed on what makes up our lives: our possessions, our homes, our work, our relationships, our commitments, our communities. Do they still serve us? Are they aligned with what we hold most dear? Do they reflect the future we want for ourselves and others?
We will never be 100% certain about the future. All we have is the present. So why not do what comes naturally to all livings beings? We can put aside our doubts and hesitations about what’s going to happen, choose what we really want our lives to be like, let go of what no longer serves us, and then focus our actions on creating a life that works.
Then at least there will be a possibility that someday someone will be able to say that this was the era of the Great Turning, an era in which all the bullshit we collectively created became fertilizer for a world that actually works for everyone.