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Post disaster can be beneficial. In the Middle Ages, traders brought the plague bacillus. In two years, it had killed one in two Europeans. Before 1348, aristocrats who owned land sold or bought serfs. After the epidemic, due to the labor shortage, they had to treat the peasants better and the serfdom disappeared in two years.

But the aftermath can also have evil effects. Because Germany had been humiliated in 1918 by the Treaty of Versailles, the Germans could not rebuild themselves. A pseudo-savior arrived … And in 1933, he was elected, which caused a world catastrophe.

There, we will have the choice to live in solidarity in another way: by giving a voice to many of those we are rediscovering now, caregivers, nurses, letter carriers, garbage collectors.

If we do not do so, there will be candidate dictators. — Boris Cyrulnik

(Translation from French by me and Google Translate)

We have a choice now. What we decide will determine what kind of future we’ll have, or perhaps if we have a future at all. History shows us the results we can expect, depending on whether we are acting out of fear and hate or justice and generosity. The stakes couldn’t be higher because we have the power now to bring down the curtain on all life except maybe fleas and cockroaches.

There are few countries with enlightened leadership. North Americans are happily leading humanity off the cliff. If that mindset weren’t so real and energetic I wouldn’t be worried, but the outcome could really go in either direction from here.

The first thing you think of is your children and grandchildren. You bring it down to your life and your personal circle. Will they have a world worth living in?

And then you remember all the unsuspecting animals living out their lives in the beautiful forests that are on the chopping block. The seas, plains and arctics are full of living beings earning their livelihoods every day just as they have done for thousands of years, never imagining the storms brewing in the mind of one species — human beings.

We humans are being asked to understand our place in the web of life on this planet. We are being asked to remember our relationship with existence because we moderns have forgotten what we once knew, that we have a responsibility to the planetary soul.

It’s in our hands now, to keep or kill the world. Have we the wisdom to make the right decision? What do you think? Am I the only one who has doubts?

This current moment shows a power that we underestimate, a power that can stop us in our tracks and that exists at a micro-level. It can confound us and shut our ill conceived way of life down very effectively, but everything depends on how we meet this challenge.

If we see it as a power struggle, we stay in the same war against nature we’ve been in for too long already. If we can conceive of working in partnership with nature’s wisdom, we may have a chance. I realize that for the advanced technological cultures that’s a radical change, but unless we can make that change it’s hard to see a way forward.

The change we need to make is a spiritual one. The mechanistic, materialistic age is dying now. It has outlived its usefulness and has become toxic. It’s time to rediscover the soul of the world and realize we can’t boss it around anymore. It has finally lost patience with our adolescent shenanigans.

May we take our lessons to heart in this crucial moment and proceed with the intelligence required. The old ways have exhausted themselves.

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

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