We are living in interesting times. Many of us are facing a time of dramatic change, and we are first confronted with our entrenchment, our fixed ideas about how the world, our life, our partner should or should not be. Much of this will be challenged over the next few months if not years, as that is the zeitgeist of our time.
The turmoil in our society started back in 2008 in our financial institutions and now it is moving further into almost every aspect of our lives. However in many if not most cases we have not applied ourselves to meet the challenge, to truly face up to the issues that confront us, that persistently call for our attention and our change. When we refuse to face the challenge we go into denial, indulgence or other forms of distraction. We would do anything but meet the challenge and when finally we get run over by the challenge we revert to being a victim.
As always it is easy to look out onto our world and judge others for not meeting their challenges. Southern Europe is a good example. So is our political system, creaking like an unseaworthy vessel heading for a super storm. The USA with hardly an election word about the human effect on the environment has had a serious calling card with Hurricane Sandy following a year of crop failure due to drought. But the USA is certainly not alone in ducking the challenge as it appears across the world.
As I write this two phrases come to mind: the first is, “ If we want things to be different then we need to change.” The second is an Einstein quote, “ We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
These are both ardent calls for change, for change we must. It is the only thing that is guaranteed between now and this time next year. Things will change and where will we be after the fact?
Let’s take a little time and look at our lives. Where are we not facing a challenge, not addressing the issue that we know needs to be addressed? Is it our relationship, our family, our money issues, our career or our health?
For me it is my health. Since the compression of my spine earlier this year and my recovery from paralysis I now know it is no longer an issue to speak about, to idly wish about; it is for me to take the bull by the horns and really shift myself, to make a few hard choices and make the changes. But it does not stop there for I know I must remain vigilant about my tendency to turn away from my challenges.
We can sit and wait, hoping the politicians will grow a spine or the bankers will achieve some integrity, eager for the corporations to grow a conscience, or therapist and religious leaders to practice what they preach. But if we look closely we will realise we are doing what we blame them for. It all starts with us -individuals willing to face our challenges and deepest fears while refusing to be stopped.
Many of us are now or will be called to meet many challenges over the coming months and years. While this can appear a daunting prospect, it is essential to remember what makes it so much easier and that is our ability to be in good relationship with others, to have the courage to communicate without fear or blame, listening to the people around us, supporting others in their challenges while facing our own and making that leap into interdependence, mutuality and community that will be the essence of the next stage of humanity’s journey.
We wish you every success in your challenges as we know you do for us.
Jeff and Sue