There is no reason whatsoever for anyone on our planet to not have enough food, enough clean water, enough housing, enough medicine, enough education and enough love to live lives without created suffering. We have enough resources on our planet to end the global environmental, refugee, food, and war crises we have today. There is no logical reason for human injustice and suffering to happen anywhere on our planet. None whatsoever.
BUT we have a collective flaw. We want what we don’t have and will not give up what we do. So much so that we will kill, persecute, disenfranchise, and ignore others who have less. We are inhuman in our collective ability to solve these very solvable problems.
Yet everyday I see messages of understanding, of pleas for justice, outrage at inequality, and lonely shouts out into the world of people searching for meaning and balance in their day-to-day lives. How can it be the case when there are so many efforts and pleas for a better world yet at the same time the world is filled with so much human created grief? It is a dichotomy that is at the heart of who we are as a species, and a dichotomy that beggars us to a whiplash existence from grace to hell and back again over and over.
Ask yourself this one question about the state of our world. Is there a single leader or government that continually works for the collective well-being of us all? A leader or government that holds human care and wellbeing above any other consideration? In Canada we have Justin Trudeau, a man who was elected with great hope, but is now creating a system where corporations will build out our much-needed infrastructure improvements for a profit, and is ignoring his own promises for democratic reform to our electoral system. Barak Obama maybe? He spearheaded some amazing strides forward for the United States with gay marriage, health care, and brought his country back from a near economic collapse. But he and Congress allowed the people who created that crisis, and the suffering that went with it, to continue without any penalty.
We saw what happened in Sierra, what happened in South Sudan, what happened in Iraq, what happened in Turkey, what happened across Asia, what continues to happen across our planet. Nothing was done, no effort was undertaken, no action completed, to stop these mountains of human suffering. It happened and we shook our heads and made sad noises. We donated some money and posted to Facebook our outrage. We soothed ourselves with our own thoughts of “ that is horrible“ and moved on. I do this. You do this. We do this.
And we, in the west especially, lull ourselves through our days with pictures of our wonderful lives posted as displays of a faux identity. We alleviate our loneliness in likes and retweets and struggle for meaning in something that does not have meaning. We have bought into the lie of our identity as nothing more than consumers, and because we always want what we don’t have, we allow corporations and the governments that serve them to continue on unhindered and undeterred. We are complicit.
We don’t do anything about this. I don’t do anything about this. I rant and rave in these words in the foolish hope that someone else will recognize and understand some small part of what I am inadequately expressing. In the hope someone will reach back and ask to help me to make a change, or better yet , ask me to help them.
And there are moments of human beauty and generosity. There are moments, millions of times a day, that we do or say something that is transformative. Millions of moments everyday where we exceed our own expectations and become something better than we are. Millions of moments of kindness, of laughter, of art, of caring, of LOVE. So much so that in any second, on any day, in any country on the earth, you can witness this and be left breathless with the how extraordinary we are.
But we have yet to overcome our basic flaw collectively and for more than a second. If I have a prayer for this new year it is that. That we find our way toward the sustained effort of being, not extraordinary individuals, but an extraordinary species. A species that sees itself for what we can offer one another and our planet and not a species that wants more of what we don’t have.
Peace to the people of earth and peace to our collective hearts as we stumble forward seeking who we can be rather than what we are.