It is Our Turn Now

(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

As a civilization, we now stand on the edge of a precipice. One could easily name a hundred concurrent crises that, even by themselves would have posed a serious, generation-defining predicament, but combined, they seem like the perfect storm to bring about an unprecedented paradigm shift. Peak oil, the ticking commercial real estate time bomb, global warming, a rapidly declining honeybee populations, the decline of the Ogalla Aquifer, our interminable wars of imperialism, the skyrocketing national debt, the Eurozone facing collapse, oceans that are on the verge of death from over-fishing and pollution, one could go on and on.

As the current order of things fades into the sunset, it is our duty to create a whole new world. A world where humanity seeks to live in harmony with itself and the rest of the planet. A world that is sustainable. A world that recognizes that we are all part of the same whole. A world of mutual respect and cooperation. A world where humanity serves as a steward, rather than an exploiter of nature.

America was undoubtedly once a great nation. It is not a coincidence that when we took the best care of the least of us, that we were most prosperous. It is when we viewed ourselves as citizens of the word, when we created the Marshall Plan, when we treated the defeated Germans and Japanese with respect, when we created the United Nations, that we were most happy as a people. We can still see characters in the art of this period that reflect what the American character once was. Rick Blaine in Casablanca, the tough guy who ran guns to Ethiopia and fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. He was the man who always stood on the side of what’s right even when it was more profitable to do otherwise. Or perhaps George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. The small time building and loan operator who gave up his dreams of going to college to stand up to Mr. Potter, the malevolent old man who owned all the city’s banks. Throughout the film, George is portrayed as an individual who chose to help others, even at great cost to himself. When George loses a large sum of money and is about to be foreclosed on by a bank inspector, all of the people who he had helped over years come together to scrounge up what they have and keep the building and loan open. These are the types of heroes that America used to lionize and they reflect the attitudes of a populace who did not see the pursuit of wealth as the only intrinsic good.

America was given more wealth, more resources, more of everything than any other country in the history of the world and we have failed to be generous with those gifts. Much is expected from whom much has been given. If we could only imagine what amazing things we could have done with the wealth that we frittered away in a fifty year orgy of greed, violence and hedonism. It is a sad thing to contemplate. Despite this, I absolutely believe that the average American is good at heart, but we have let ourselves become distracted by materialism and mass media, and thus acquiesced in allowing a highly corrupt ruling class commit unspeakable acts of evil. Perhaps therein lies our collective guilt.

Though the hour is late, I don’t believe that our fates are yet sealed. We have to accept that the entire political system is no longer of any use to us. Every politician save for perhaps a tiny handful are committed to perpetuating the current paradigm until we fall right off the cliff. What America needs right now is not more calls or letters to politicians or debates over various political minutia, but an incredible amount of positive energy. Revolutionary acts at this point in our history will not come from rioting or protests but from things like giving to the homeless or to a poor family, or showing an unexpected kindness to someone who is your enemy. The only way to bring about a truly lasting revolution is to work from the bottom-up instead of imposing from the top-down.

My challenge to each of you reading this is to commit a revolutionary act this weekend, feel free to share any examples in the discussion field below. Much hangs in the balance, but I believe that history is finally ready for us. Let us strive for nothing less than a whole new world.

1 comment

  1. Every politician save for perhaps a tiny handful are committed to perpetuating the current paradigm until we fall right off the cliff.

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