Where are we going? Heaven or Hell?

Jangled nerves:

government moves to penalise those on low incomes who choose to abstain from vaccinating their children, government moves to remove indigenous people from lands they have inhabited for thousands of years, dolphins with ischemia (caused by radiation poisoning) wash up dead on Japan’s beaches, religious extremists kill hundreds, drought in California, extreme weather in Sydney, volcanic eruptions in Peru, Inuits say the sky has moved – the Earth has tilted on it’s axis.

Global warming threatens the future of our planet. Global warming doesn’t exist. Because scientists say so.

If you don’t believe us, you are bad and wrong and a threat to our way of life.

Vaccines are saving humanity. Because scientists and governments and media and corporations say so. Vaccines are harming humanity. So say doctors and scientists and doubters of every ilk.

If you don’t believe us, you are bad and wrong and a threat to our way of life.

Corporations don’t care about people or the planet, they care about profit. Corporations are run by people, plain old people like you and I. The structure is flawed, not the corporation. We need corporations to give people jobs, so they can buy food and shelter and white goods and new phones and new clothes and better everything. The wolf of Colonialism dressed up in a grey suit and a reassuring smile, ready to bring Macdonalds to every street corner. Can’t take land any more, but culture is always up for grabs. Everyone wants better everything, right?

Soothing balm?

we are in the midst of a global shift in consciousness, all of this upheaval is just the old paradigm in it’s death throes, love love love, everything is OK if you align your chakras and do deep breathing. Tra la la.

Doubt.

Everything is opinion, some more substantiated than others. Because science. Because economics. Because the common good. Because God. Because Nature. Because government policy. Because because because because, because, because of the wonderful things he does …

The trouble with listening deeply is that information pours in from every quarter, overwhelming, nigh on impossible to assimilate without sliding into lunacy. No wonder most ordinary folk turn the other cheek. We are descended from creatures who only had to consider their tribe, their lands, their animals, their stars. Our brains simply aren’t cut out to address the needs, desires and conflicts of billions.

Who will change things if not us? Even Ghandi only had to contend with India, large as it is, monumental as his vision was. What would he advise, faced with the injustice, suffering and outrage of the whole planet?

The microcosm.

each morning brightly coloured birds chatter and sing, vibrant flowers reveal their delicate beauty, the breath of Wayra (wind) whistles, sometimes tugging, often gently caressing. The sun pours golden light across the valley, flashing off the sea. A Wedgetailed Eagle soars on the updrafts. Mower growls next door. Snippets of laughter. Smoky garden rubbish burning down the road. Wafts of spicy sizzling onion garlic dinner. A few words, voices raised. Toilet flushing. Clatter of dishes being washed. Bedtime children. A charmed life in all its minor beauty and conflict.

What of the world then? Rampaging, suffering, pushing against, campaigning, championing, struggling, claiming, uprising, jostling, clamouring for attention. Little wonder the smallness of reality TV is so universally appealing. A cup of hot tea. A chat about the weather. Uncomplicated. Is it facile? We, the privileged, not starving, not imprisoned, educated (often freely), healthy (for the most part), lucky (by what miracle?), indulge ourselves.

Guilt.

Not golden but insidious, creeping and rampant. All our histories blanched and blemished by acts of war and selfish human conquests of every kind. Meekly guilty middle class, signing petitions, Impotent rage on social media. Modern angst.

And yet …

Boy creates machine that cleans plastic from the ocean. People unite across the world in the name of reconciliation and understanding, every single day. Dog saves master from drowning. Millionaire buys 400,000 acres of Amazon rainforest from a logging company solely to preserve it. China fights water pollution, bans paper mills and oil refineries. Man invents shoes that grow so poor kids don’t outgrow them. Global shark fin trade is declining. A thousand tiny kindnesses are spawned in each moment.

An unfiltered world: bad, good, rotten, great, successful, freakish, beautiful, nasty, shameful, ignorant, fabulous, knowledgeable, acceptable, unacceptable.

What if every person in the world was kind, compassionate, tolerant and truthful with each person they met? What if we stopped worrying and looking for the panacea that will bring the world to rights? What if there will always be (and has always been) suffering and injustice? What if the only world you can change is your own backyard? One tiny step at a time, born of the truth in your heart, not the clamour in your mind, each move rippling out and touching the world that lives around you – bird, human, tree, water, sky, mammal, moth, spider, breath of wind. Spreading slowly, free from labels, guilt and judgement. What if each small kindness had seismic impact? No rampaging required.

What would you change? Will you?

4 Comments
  1. Brilliantly said, all the threads of my mind laid open, all the conflicting feelings and thoughts of what is ‘out there’ going on, things that make me sad and happy and sad that I am happy because of the suffering. What would I change, I need to think about it and yes! I will if I can! I have enjoyed reading this post the most of all your writings, love your rants!

  2. Reading this reminded me of a Buddhist saying about how you can’t cover the world in leather so it’s better just to wear leather shoes (or a vegan equivalent haha). I think all you can do is choose to make a positive impact on the people you meet and interact with, and hope that it creates a ripple.

    • Yes I agree with you Anja, but sometimes there is a part of me that pushes me to try and ‘save’ the world, which obviously I can’t do as a single person. If we all chose to support life and, as you say, ‘make a positive impact’ on people we meet (and other living beings also), imagine the state of the world …

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