After a Year of Silence, Some Thoughts

2021 was a strange year, wasn't it! Despite the pandemic and the losses, friends married, some had babies, some even dared vacations and travel. We coped. The climate crisis didn't go away. We still long for integrity, kindness and the quest for equity. Business as Usual competed with hope and with challenges to exploitative Capitalism.

Turning the world around isn't a life time endeavor: I've come to realize that building social movements is an eternal effort. I think the fatigue comes in when we expect victories quickly. Or when we think a win means that the entrenched powers have succumbed (and find they haven't). And when we don't take time to celebrate, to rest, to change who is in the lead.

I've thought a lot about what it might mean to turn the world around, over the past year. The needs are so huge that it can be overwhelming. So I got involved in a local justice issue, over a shelter for people who have none. I found new citizen partners, and some surprising opponents. Eventually, the shelter site was chosen; yet social movements have eternal work to do. First we build the shelter. And in the process, lessen the fear we feel when we see a social cast-away. Dreaming big, everyone is housed.

I'm no longer young, but I can remember when I believed in the perfectibility of the human condition: so hopeful and naive! Now I believe in the endurance that comes from cultivating love, comradeship and compassion. Now I believe in creative collaborative visions. As the current structures tremble under the weight of massive inequality and exploitation, we have the room to create new social and civic structures. It's happening all around us!

Everyone can do something to create the conditions for life to thrive. We can compost, and push our local governments to have compost services. We can volunteer for efforts to preserve voting rights, to provide health care for everyone. Pick what energizes you, and find a group that's already effective. It all counts: help your immediate neighbors, or your community, state, nation or work internationally. It's the collective efforts that make significant change.

Over the next months I plan on sharing stories of the emerging world, one where all life is valued, people are treated fairly, and the democratic process sustains.

Here's the first one: a "B" corporation, Luke's Lobster, of Saco, Maine. Their Impact Goals for 2022 include installing a water filtration system to lessen the burden on the local wastewater treatment facility, and thus decrease its green house gas emissions. Our environment suffers because we don't make businesses replenish, reduce harm or pay for exploiting our common resources such as clean air and drinkable water. The emerging way is to build a business that feeds people, and takes care of the Earth.

So dream big, take a first step or a second or third: what sort of world do you want to help create now?

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