“The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago… had they happened to be within the reach of predatory human hands.”
~Havelock Ellis, The Dance of Life, 1923
From climate collapse to mass extinction, water shortages to world hunger, the catastrophic problems we face are clear indicators that we are in need of radical change; transformation on a global scale.
At a time when the number of our species equals nearly seven billion, gone are the days when we could procrastinate about necessary changes or take baby steps toward a sustainable humanity in the hope that enough individual “good deeds” could create a meaningful impact. At this point, drastic, sweeping changes are needed, and this fundamental shift in society as a whole must begin with each one of us.
For too long, movements for change have over-emphasized the importance of minor lifestyle “tweaks” – socially-correct choices and eco-friendly purchases – while ignoring the underlying mindset that supports the fundamentally self-centered and hard-hearted behavior of humanity. Sadly, this approach has served to mistakenly teach us that it is possible to “make a difference” without making a difference in one’s perception of ourselves and our relationship to the rest of the world.
But if we, as individuals and as a society, are not willing to honestly examine the perspective from which we’re looking, how will we ever change the direction in which we’re heading? Perhaps sooner than we think, we’re going to end up with no choice but to press pause, step back, and take stock. But it seems that when we finally put some much-needed attention toward the magnitude of the tragedies that have already begun, the question will be whether we still have the power to avert those yet to unfold.
Our collective willingness to overlook the most basic rights and needs of others in order to fulfill our own desires has driven us to invent a way of life that treats everything and everyone around us as expendable resources, whether the exploited be the planet’s natural eco-systems, its populations of wild and domesticated animals, or our fellow people; those in developing nations and those right here in our own.
For some time we have been at war with the natural world, and increasingly, we are finding ourselves to be on the losing side. And now, as our grand experiment begins to reach its climax, we are starting to learn that we are not, in fact, above the laws of nature. As we approach the end of our reign as self-appointed dictators of our planet’s future, we now find ourselves, appropriately, on the receiving end of the violence; reaping the karma of the devastating cycle of destruction that we, ourselves, set in motion.”
To read full essay Another Chance.
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