Is The World Worth Saving?

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Photo by Jeff Hughes

Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture…We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it. — Arundhati Roy

“All through Trump’s term, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock, the best general assessment we have of the state of the world, moved closer to midnight — termination — reached the highest point ever. This January, it exceeded it. The analysts gave up minutes, moved to seconds: a hundred seconds to midnight, thanks to Donald Trump.” — Noam Chomsky

Strange that it would be up to us, the human species, to save the world. We hardly notice its divine beauty, the miracle of its existence. We could easily know what to do — and more important, what not to do — if we had eyes to see the reality of the paradise we inhabit.

Having eyes to see is exactly the problem. Our mind is blinded by our received ideas. Our culture has a heartlessness that is invisible to us. Our “leaders” are sociopaths, criminals, stealing us blind and destroying the natural world. The worst part of this story is that we keep voting for them. If they mouth the right cliches and look like we could share a beer with them, we go to the polls and shoo them in. They look normal to us.

The only problem is how normal sociopathy has become in our time. It’s not “normal” to function in the world from sensitivity and kindness. It goes against the grain. Somehow, along the way you should have been “toughened up.”

Artists and poets are used to meeting an ill fitting optic, from school to business to personal relations. Some can adjust. You read, for example, about a famous poet who was also an insurance agent, or even the rare soul who created masterpieces and made a living off them. But it’s more common to get swamped by the mechanical, transactional system and lose your way, to start to think there’s something wrong with you and give up your dream of creating beauty.

The usual way of being in the world is facing a challenge right now. There will be a brief opportunity to change things. The choice is stark. We can have a kind, beautiful world or we can commit suicide, one or the other. Which do you choose?

Having a kinder world is not going to come easily. Some self reflection will be involved, something the human race has an aversion to. We have had a series of shocks to our view of things for several thousand years. We still haven’t learned the basics of how to live in peace on the planet. I’m afraid the shocks are going to increase in frequency and impact the closer we get to killing off nature completely.

The spirit of Creation is not trying to wipe us off the face of the earth, but it does seem to be trying to alert us to the dangers of our way of being. The message is simple: proceed from love or die. It couldn’t be more clear.

We have an opportunity now to stop, look around, look inside ourselves and grow in awareness of what our situation is and what it requires. That’s a tall order for most of us.

Nobody knows where this is going to end up. Logic won’t tell us because it doesn’t take into account the love that everything is supported by.

That’s the unpredictable part. That’s the part that lets me sleep at night.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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