Facing our crises

What follows is not anything you don’t already know. But I believe it is important to name the crises we are facing as the first step in beginning to deal with them. My intension is to write about some ways I believe we can tackle some of these problems, but that will come later.

Environmental chaos is unfolding before our eyes and will only worsen, rapidly. Our youth know we have failed them, bringing them into environmental, social and political chaos.

Social contracts everywhere are breaking down. At every turn we find efforts to make us suspicious and fearful of anyone who isn’t like us, to force wedges between those who are white, and those who aren’t, between the haves and the have nots. There is an immoral distribution of wealth.

Authoritarianism is on the rise around the world. Freedoms are being lost in places that once had them. Too many places never had much freedom.

It’s hard to believe how far the United States has fallen. I would have never imagined children being torn from their parents arms. That help would be withheld from climate refugees in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and other places with people of color, while those in white areas do receive help. That our very air, land, and water would be sacrificed for corporate profit. That we would have a wannabe dictator as president and an administration intent on destroying the rule of law, freedom of the press and the right to protest. To defund social safety nets and destroy environmental protections. To provoke war.

I find myself constantly enraged about our evolving environmental disaster. I have to work really, really hard to find patience with all who now can’t believe what is unfolding. But it does no good at all to say, “I told you this would happen”.

We feel helpless to stop these things. What I intend to write about after this are ways we can.

I remember the death camps of World War II, and I couldn’t understand how the German people let that happen. But now we are going down a similar path. I can’t get the sounds and images of children torn from their parents, and put in cages, out of my head. This is an intentional cruelty, which had no intention of reuniting children with their families. Another immorality.

In the past there appeared to be times when we could influence our government’s policies by lobbying our representatives, writing letters to newspapers, or peacefully protesting. It seems to me that stopped being effective long ago.

In the past organized religion might have been helpful to some in dealing with how we feel about these situations. But many have been failed by, so no longer trust organized religions. Church attendance continues to decline.

So what can we do, other than just give up? I intend to write about this soon, but this is already long enough. I believe the answers are already within each of us. Take a real look at what is going on around you. Then clear space in your heart and mind, move past what is, and dream, envision what you wish could be. That vision is what will change the world.

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