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Image by Boby Atanasova

Yet what is distinctive is just how selective we are about the topics we deem it possible to educate ourselves in. Our energies are overwhelmingly directed toward material, scientific, and technical subjects and away from psychological and emotional ones. Much anxiety surrounds the question of how good the next generation will be at math; very little around their abilities at marriage or kindness. We devote inordinate hours to learning about tectonic plates and cloud formations, and relatively few fathoming shame and rage. — Alain de Botton

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“The world we live in is a house on fire and the people we love are burning.” — Sandra Cisneros

If we aren’t helping to put the fire out, what the hell are we doing that is more important?

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I believe, while we may see many natural and social catastrophes over the next decades, that we can avoid worst outcomes and grow as socially just, nature cherishing people, communities and societies:

The Alternative: Caring about the Earth

Another way to avert collapse, the authors contend, is fundamental civilizational transformation….

In the absence of rapidly building a Dyson Sphere, the physicists suggest that to escape our collapse trajectory “we may have to redefine a different model of society… that in some way privileges the interest of the ecosystem above the individual interest of its components, but eventually in accordance with the overall communal interest.

So the most effective way to increase our chances of survival is to shift focus from extreme self-interest to a sense of stewardship for each other, other species, and the ecosystems in which we find ourselves. — Douglas Nafeez Ahmed

Our patriarchal, utilitarian culture has become a danger to Mother Earth. We need a different relationship to each other and to the living earth itself. Now is the time for a fundamental change of heart. We’re on the precipice.

Politically, ecologically, psychologically, spiritually, we will undergo a shift in consciousness or expire in chaos. We have to care, that’s the crux of it. We have to care about others. We have to have a nurturing, motherly approach to the planet we live on and the beings we live with. So far, in the history of humans there have been a select group of avatars who insist that love is the way, but their teachings have been met with incomprehension and even violence.

Our cultural foundations of indifference and self dealing are deep and sturdy. Change won’t come easily to our minds. Maybe that’s why a general collapse looks inevitable. All our systems are built on sand. We automatically think in terms of profit and loss. Living without accumulating status and power doesn’t attract many followers.

One way or another, the future looks fraught. Staying the course we’re on leads to disaster, while evolving a heart centered way of living can only emerge as a result of serious shocks to the system. Either way we’re in for rough sailing. Collectively, humans won’t react without an overwhelming challenge.

So, I agree, if we aren’t helping to put the fire out, what have we found that’s more important?

Yes, there are misguided folks feeding the fire. I’m not talking about them. There are good people who know there’s an emergency but who don’t act. To those people on the sidelines I say, get involved somehow in the solution. Vote, help others vote, speak up, write, donate time or money. Lend your shoulder to the wheel. This is a global and national emergency. If the criminals take complete control, our children don’t have a future.

America has created a system whereby everyone is focused on basic survival. It seems like a luxury to think about others, about the fate of our country, about nature, about the planet. It may seem grandiose, but I think we have come to a time when it’s essential, a matter of life or death.

Let all good people come to the aid of the world.

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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