“They may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.” John Lennon
It is easy to feel like we are at the end of times. The world is awash in fear, violence, and frustration as each day brings something new to worry about or lament. Thus far, 2021 has been a year of extraordinary conflict, death, and despair. Be it bombings, cyberattacks, mass shootings, mass censorship, lockdowns, or even random buildings collapsing, the news has no shortage of scary and oppressive stories to report. Add in drought, fires, and crop failures and we can almost hear the hooves of the four horsemen approaching for the final descent to hell.
Yet there is hope in finding ourselves at what appears to be the beginning of the end. Certainly, the current situation is bleak and the attack on our freedom is vicious. We are experiencing the lengths those in power will take to maintain their control and seeing the nefarious agendas being played out. But as they attempt to tighten their hold on us, the ruling elite are showing their real faces. That revelation is the silver lining of the chaos and turmoil in the world--the truth of who runs our world and what they want is finally coming to light. What once was hidden and obscured is being forced to the surface, where we can view it and make a choice for something different.
As more and more people wake up and start questioning the mirage we have been sold, the contrast between the world we have and the world we want has become so stark and alarming that it is increasingly impossible to ignore.
Instead of conflict and war, we want peace.
Instead of poverty, we want prosperity.
Instead of disease, we want health.
Instead of pollution, we want a pristine planet.
Instead of famine, we want everyone to be fed.
Instead of prejudice, we want equity.
Instead of surveillance, we want privacy.
Instead of control, we want to be free.
We are yearning for a new golden age of humanity founded on goodwill, kindness, and compassion where everyone is brought along for the ride. We are yearning for the turning of the tide. The burning question is: What are we going to do to bring about a better world?
Distracted into doing nothing
Feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world is a reasonable response. To truly see what is afoot on our planet is to confront some devastating and abhorrent realities that make many want to avert their gazes and plug their ears. The abuse, slavery, and sex trafficking of children is a clear example. The concentration of enormous wealth in the hands of billionaires while millions struggle and starve is another. The lies, deception, and control measures around COVID-19 and the shot is further evidence of repression.
It is an unwillingness to uncover and address the failings of our world and ourselves that allows what we don't like to flourish. Our ambivalence is our complicity.
It is our contribution to the problem even if we are not the ones directly harming, killing, deceiving, or manipulating other people.
Our society has made it easy to ignore the plight of our planet by feeding us an endless supply of distractions. In a frenzied pursuit of success, we chain ourselves to unhealthy routines or mindless entertainment and then claim we have no time for anything else. To appear acceptable to our friends and family and avoid discomfort, we stay within the lines of others' expectations and go along with prevailing thought, however prescribed and fabricated it may be. Faced with a lack of information and full understanding, we believe we don't know enough to take a stand. Absent what we view as authority, we assume we are powerless to make a change, hoping others will do what we don't think we can or are too afraid to attempt.
That is what they want us to believe. It is what we are trained to believe. From nearly the day we are born, we are taught that love and respect must be earned and that our worthiness is based on what others think of us, how well we conform to social norms, and what we contribute to society, as defined by those at the top. We are conditioned for compliance, often leaping at the chance to censor and censure those who don't act or think the way we think they should.
Compliance, conformity, and passivity often get confused with safety, teaching us that differences are dangerous, not just to our individual ego but to our collective society. In seeing each other as threats to our safety and competition for our prosperity, we fear one another, which keeps us apart and fighting one another. That fear distracts, divides, and disempowers us, allowing the government and the corporations that direct them to set the terms of our existence for their own benefit. In our dependency we almost can't imagine a world without them.
Yet that is exactly what we need to do. We need to release the programming and brainwashing and envision the future we want.
Instead of accepting everything the media and powers-that-be feed to us and creating their vision, we need to put energy behind our own.
Creating the new normal
It is useful to know and acknowledge what is really going on in the world, for that is what creates the desire for an alternative and gives rise to different choices. A benefit of the pandemic experience and the social unrest that occurred at the same time is that unprecedented numbers of people availed themselves of the opportunity to reassess what is important to them, both in their own lives and in the world around them. They turned inward and took an honest look at what was working and not working. Many chose a different path more aligned with their heart's desires. In getting distance from what was "normal," people could take a broader view.
From that detached perspective, the pandemic revealed to us how our political and economic systems benefit the few at the expense of the many. We saw how a health care system that is based on people getting sick is woefully unprepared and disincentivized to protect public health. We caught a glimpse of the nature we have battered and abused and the balance we have disturbed. We saw how manipulative our media is, fanning fear and spewing misinformation to make us feel vulnerable and justify restrictions and rules.
Yet, in the disintegration of “normal life” in a matter of mere weeks, we also saw how precarious the whole apparatus is. That should give us hope.
This is not to say that it would serve us to burn the system to the ground. Doing anything so drastic that it would collapse financial markets, sow chaos in the streets, and leave us without any leadership would likely make us vulnerable to new authoritarian regimes and lead us right back to being controlled. But it does highlight that our future is not set in stone, the final chapter is not yet written. When we come together, we can effect massive change, for better or for worse. We must always remember that there are more of us than there are them and that will matter when we decide we are serious as a human collective about change.
We may not be the puppet masters holding the strings but we are the system. It survives through our participation and attention. Through collective action and non-participation, we can deprive the systems of the oxygen they need to breathe by turning away and building and supporting alternatives that honor human freedom and dignity. Like Gandhi said, we should be the change we want to see in the world.
The alternatives that we want to move to must be actively created by us, before the old can fully fall away.
We are seeing this happen with the creation of open platforms that welcome diverse views. As social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube diligently remove content that they deem "misinformation," sites like Telegram, Bitchute, and Rumble continue to grow, showing that people want to support efforts that encourage the free sharing of information and discourse among differing opinions. For example, a growing number of people are rallying behind the doctors and scientists--blacklisted from Big Tech platforms--who are coming forward to share their research and insights about the risks of the COVID shots. When Amazon Web Services removed America's Frontline Doctors' website from their servers for "hosting misinformation about vaccines," the group's supporters stepped up to help them get their website back online quickly, where they continue to sound the alarm on the COVID shots and share information that can save people's lives.
It is up to us
It is time to take back our power, individually and within our communities. Though there are those with a vested interest in claiming otherwise, we create our lives--and by extension our world--through our thoughts, choices, and actions. We can choose to keep feeding our energy to despair and all that we dislike or we can elevate ourselves above the fray and orient ourselves toward solutions. That is where we exercise our freedom and find hope. It is also where we find resilience. Author Rick Hanson calls resilience the foundation of lasting well-being in a changing world. It comes through building “a deep sense of capability and contentment,” based on strengths like self-worth, self-compassion, self-trust, and patience. The resilient person can weather any storm because her inner world is calibrated to calm.
As the world shakes, the question facing all of us is: Who will I be in the face of continued challenge?
Will I play the part of victim, bemoaning my lot, or will I find that place of power within me that knows I can make a difference? Will I be willing to examine my own heart and mind to see where I have contributed to the current state? Where have I sought to control others? Seen others as less than, undeserving, and unworthy? Withheld love, dignity, and respect based on someone’s differences? Acted out of fear and contempt?
Until we are honest with ourselves and see how we have each individually and collectively been complicit in our participation in the systems we now despise, there can be no real change. What will give us the world we want are convictions in our own hearts that we are all one, we are all worthy of a good life, and we have nothing to fear in one another. Getting there may be a long road, but the sooner we can all start cleaning up our own house, the faster change will come. As more of us make better choices, the foundations of control will weaken and the house of cards will fall.
Taking personal responsibility for the world we find ourselves in takes courage, which is why so many people shy away from doing so. It is easier to blame a certain political party, religion, or some other class of people or circumstance, as opposed to confronting our own perceived shortcomings. It is easier to deny things are as they are. But do we really want to allow the state of the world to get to such a point that we have no other choice but to act to protect our very survival? How much contrast and turmoil do we require to decide to seriously work for something better? I would say we have had enough. Even if we never uncovered another misdeed, the reasons we have now for wanting a more peaceful, just, and healthy world are reason enough.
We are the ones out ahead
In this time of revelation, we may be witnessing the desperate last grasps and gasps of a system that knows its days are numbered. We could be on the precipice of a grand reckoning and the dismantling of the illusions that kept us asleep. The wonderful thing is that once certain things are revealed and enough people decide to care, we can never go back to the old ways. The permanent trajectory is toward the good and better. Today's children will help make that so.
It is important that we face the coming challenges with grace. While it is normal to be outraged and disgusted and want to riot in the streets, we will not create the new by resorting to the tactics of the old regime. This is not to say we should ignore our feelings or stay silent, but to approach these problems with anger and revenge in our hearts is to keep feeding the beast. As Martin Luther King, Jr. wisely said in his 1957 address Loving Your Enemies:
"Hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe...Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody."
The answer to fear and control is not more fear and control.
This is where we can make a real difference. There will be a time and place for accountability, but instead of pointing fingers and dragging the guilty through the streets, we can start embodying the values of the world we want to create. Every day, with every interaction, we have the choice to start creating a more loving, understanding, and compassionate society. We can set fear aside and have the courage to stand for what is important to each of us without forcing others to agree with us or judging those who are still asleep. We must be comfortable being the way-showers, path-finders, and visionaries, even if it puts us at odds with those around us.
Whatever tough times still lie ahead, we will prevail. The momentum is building for worldwide disclosure of what most people have not yet been willing to see. It will be devastating and too much for some people to handle, but on the other side of these revelations and human awakening is the world we know is possible for us. A world where no child will know or conceive of what it was like to live in times such as now. But to get there, we have to say no to the old and yes to the new.
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