From the devastating blow of The Supreme Court in the US rolling back the settled law of Roe v. Wade, to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and the creeping sense of global recession, there is a lot of sad news about. Add in our pandemic exhaustion and climate emergency and this is all starts to feel rather treacherous. We are certainly living through another moment. Which is why I believe it is so important right now to keep focused on the many incredible qualities of humanity that can and will (I believe) see us through this set of stumbles into a progressive, inclusive, and more emotionally and spiritually intelligent future.
Why is this my focus right now? Because I know through my experience and studies of the human condition that we are naturally prone to anxiety. I also know that we function poorly when consumed by fear – we become more insular, less creative, optimism shrinks – we begin to give up. And the last thing we need right now is brilliant minds bodies and souls forlorn at the wheel. This is a moment to stand in your power and lend weight to the values you would like to see embodied throughout our global community. I’m voting for: Safety, Health, Wellbeing, Truth, Justice, Equality, Inclusion, Financial & Environmental Prosperity.
So, instead of diving deeper into what’s wrong, here are four reminders of things we can celebrate about humanity today.
Progress For The LGBTQ+ Community
When I went to school the very worst thing you could be was gay. It was the punchline of jokes and came with an ever-expanding array of insults. We were taught it was the last thing we should be before we even really knew what it was. For a gay child like me – that was a most peculiar form of psychological abuse – one that demonised an emergent aspect of my being.
Today – the UK is different and at least a little bit better and I have high hopes that the Heartstopper generation will be a much safer place to grow up for the alphabet community (LGBTQ+). I also believe that as more societies heal their wounds around sexuality and gender, space will be made for all individuals to emerge with their gifts and voices intact – to the enormous benefit of the collective.
We Are Waking Up to Climate Change
Whether you think it is too little too late or are optimistic and action-ready, we all now care about the environment – that is a big change. Given the confusing headlines – I wanted to delve into the facts around this myself and get to grips with how to be part of the solution and at least a smaller part of the problem. In case you are interested – this is how I did it:
Podcast: Climate of Change with Cate Blanchett & Danny Kennedy (via Audible)
Books: Regeneration, Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation / Drawdown both by Paul Hawken.
TED Talk: Elon Musk Interviewed by Chris Andersen, Head of TED Link.
What I can say is that I am still not that knowledgeable – the subject is massive – but I have come out of this research more optimistic than I went in by a long way and empowered to do my bit personally and professionally. My conclusion: the jig is not up – we can solve our problems – and more quickly that you think.
Mental Wellbeing Is Part of The Discussion
I was listening to Michelle Obama’s podcast the other day and both she and Barack (funny how a podcast puts you on first-name terms…) were musing on the trajectory of progress being a movement forward in fits and starts and how this impacts mental health.
Their conversation is medicine for the soul not because the ideas are so profound but because of the example of their love, clarity, emotional intelligence, and values which are so grounded in both their personal stories and our shared humanity. We connect to them because we too find ourselves swaying between futility and hope. When Michelle describes her low-grade depression at the state of the world, her vulnerability allows us to experience our own mental frailties more compassionately.
And so mental wellbeing has become part of the mainstream discussion, and this is huge progress. We will get better at this conversation, and as we do our capacity for compassion will also grow. Go us!
We Are Still Here
I suspect that in the not-too-distant future we will be navigating a much broader reality in which we are in contact and partnership with distant civilisations, as yet unknown. As our consciousness expands to learn more about our place in the order of things, I also suspect we will hear stories of countless failed worlds and extinct intelligences. The fact that we are here, we are many, we are learning, and we are increasingly capable, is something to celebrate and to cultivate further.
So, in closing – I guess it is all-hands-on-deck on Planet Earth!
Eyes open, hearts open, heads up and breathe. You came for this moment and if you look closely, I suspect, you have everything you need.
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