Does Anybody Know Where We are Headed?
The Answer is NO, but perhaps that’s OK
I find myself in a very strange psychological state these days. While I am very much enjoying my personal life I find myself retreating from engaging to any great extent with the “big, bad world” out there for this reason – it seems that NOBODY has a clue where we are headed! Aren’t there any “adults” out there to take charge? It seems not.
Once this painful realization trickled into my consciousness I found myself less and less interested in the news. Why? I think it is because I can see no pattern – it seems that all events are random and make no sense. I guess that means I have a compulsive need to see patterns and then use that information to help me better understand both “the world” and my life within that bigger picture. Now that I cannot do that – I have lost interest.
Now, here is my main point: perhaps human society is reflecting what is happening to the Earth’s global climate system. We are sliding over from one stable to a new stable “normal” – a world so completely different that we have no reference from which to create our bearings from. If you look at this diagram about climate change perhaps my sense of loss makes more sense. Now, you first have to imagine that significant shifts in the human world are not that different in structure from the Natural world and are, in fact, linked – as we are a part of Nature. Thus, if there are disruptions in Nature, there are bound to be disruptions in human society as well. Thus, my confused state of mind makes sense as what I have understood in the past was only possible within the framework of the world of the past – the interglacial world – but now we seem to be moving to a “Hothouse Earth” planet – a world you and I do not know and cannot understand.
Are you also in this state? Do things you hear make no sense? Are you honestly able to listen to the news, especially about our dear friends south of the border, without cringing and losing whatever bit of hope you had for your kids future? It seems to me that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, commonly known as Entropy, [ie. left to themselves things become more chaotic and less structured] has taken over and is resulting in a painful slide into… something.
What is that something? First, I have no idea. Second, I would be very leery of anybody who claims to know, at this point in time, where we are going. In other words, everything is possible. That means the good, the bad, and the ugly. The only problem with this uncertain state is that it is so much harder to imagine the good than the bad.
So, given that this article is a part of the series that asks “What can I do?” I give you this idea and achallenge. First, the idea.: life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Given that we are in a state of flux this quote from To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee expresses a powerful truth about today’s world:
People only see what they look for and only hear what they listen for.
Thus, when we look for the bad, we will find it. When we look for the good, we will find it. Thus, the challenge: look and listen for the good. Flee from the ugly. Spend your energy not complaining or “fighting” bad ideas or bad people, rather, find good ideas and good people to spend time with and work with. Now, I don’t mean for you to become unaware of all the nastiness of the world, but rather, to only notice it in your peripheral vision. Your focus, mind and heart, is upon what you CAN DO, not what you cannot do. For example, here is what one couple did on their wedding day because Covid-19 did not allow them to have a sit down dinner with their guests.
This past July, when Tyler and Melanie Tapajna of Parma, Ohio decided to opt out of their plans for traditional nuptials in light of coronavirus concerns, they came up with a creative alternative that was truly inspired. The Tapajnas contacted their caterer, Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers, but rather than looking for a refund, they asked owner Lena Brown if it would be possible to take the money from their reception and turn it into meals at a local homeless shelter instead. Having already contacted Laura’s Home, a local shelter for homeless women and children, with an eye toward making a contribution, the couple left Brown to coordinate a kid-friendly, cafeteria-style menu with the Laura’s Home kitchen manager. Their only request? They wanted to help serve the food themselves—on their wedding day.
So, let’s be more like Tyler and Melanie and help turn what seems like a terrible situation into something unexpected, yet perhaps better than the world we once knew.