When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data.

But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world. ~ Paul Hawken

*

A Brief For The Defense…( fragment )

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

— Jack Gilbert

Facing catastrophe, we would be forgiven for becoming hypnotized by it because dramatic injustices abound. Cupidity and destructive energies are unleashed and promulgated abroad. We are reaping the whirlwind.

But we must wrench our gaze from the gathering train wreck to see the beauty of the world we inhabit. We mustn’t forget to laugh and delight in what we are given. That is how we thank the gods who made us and put us here. We live, as Keats said, in the vale of soulmaking. Souls may be tempered by injustice but beauty and delight are its lifeblood.

Wise souls are creating a better world right now, but that is not newsworthy. What is newsworthy is the effort of the criminals and sociopaths driving our collapse. We’re mesmerized by the sheer dramatic stupidity of prominent people. How did these folks get into the driver’s seat?

Oh yes, we put them there out of our own feckless irresponsibility. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Is there an exit door? Can we abort this disintegration, or is it too late already? Karma is hard to avoid, unfortunately. I suspect we will be drafted into an unpleasant period of time where we will be disoriented and confused and in pain. A lot of people will suffer and those who could help, in government and business for example, will flatly refuse.

Strange belief systems will be used to excuse cold indifference to the plight of millions. That is already our world, soulless as it is.

And yet, there is another side to all this. Kind people are working to help. Creative people are building a new way because they can see the obvious — our current path is a dead end. That much has been obvious for a long time.

I think we’re on the cusp of a new world, a new way of living, created by a new kind of human. It may look like humans are committing suicide if you watch the news, but there is another story we aren’t told about. That’s the real news.

A new world is coming. There will be delight.

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

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