Copyright (c) 2010 Scott F Paradis
Stagnant economy, burgeoning debt, environmental catastrophe, stretched military, declining resources, aging population, threatening foreign powers, vested internal political interests competing for self-serving ends - the challenges we face are daunting. We stand on the edge of a precipice. We can stare down into the great abyss - the graveyard of empires, the necropolis of dreams, or we can fix our gaze to the heavens, shoulder the load and launch the adventure of a generation. The time of indecision is past, the time to chart a new course is now. Are we up for the challenges ahead?
What do we know about human nature? A person's fundamental purpose is to relate and create. Now the energy employed to this purpose can easily be turned to destruction. A clash of intentions is but an exploitation of humanity's fundamental weakness - ego.
Ego is the yearning to be separate, secure and exalted - the need to control - the desire for ultimate power. On a grand scale - ego is the most destructive force on earth. As we close in on a population of seven billion souls stripping the planet of every easily accessible resource we must evaluate our status as a species and inquire at the most profound level - Can we, are we to survive? And if we are to survive, how can we flourish?
Human beings as individuals or a society are misguided by ego believing we are above nature. We are fundamentally attached to, dependent upon, one with - nature; the environment; the world around us. Every resource we exploit, every enemy we vanquish is in fact another aspect of ourselves, albeit one we do not recognize or appreciate. In the final analysis, we pay a price for our brashness, our insolence, our avarice. By way of excess and selfishness we hurt the planet, others and ultimately ourselves.
Now at a cross-roads, our species can die a slow and painful death disintegrating into competing elements fighting over every last scrap on a human time horizon of centuries, while the planet seeks to rid itself of this cancer and refashion itself on a time horizon of eons, or we can refocus on our fundamental purpose - relate and create.
We can begin anew. We can be in harmony with our world. We can begin to relate to one another, to nature, to the world and universe around us and create a new reality - a reality of high adventure. We can realize a unifying purpose. We can each create a world richer when we leave it - better off for having had us here.
The choices before us individually, as a nation, as a world community are: Will we consume or contribute? Will we compete or cooperate?
The answers to these questions do not lie with political bodies - they are not the stuff of presidents, or legislatures, or corporate bodies of any sort. They are answered by ordinary people, in everyday circumstances - in families, in communities. These are questions for you and me. We succeed and achieve together or we fail and fall apart.
The wealthy, the powerful, the privileged elite can lead. But, as has been since the beginning, their aim is to feed ego. Seeking their own aggrandizement, their motives have been an accelerator on the road to disaster. Don't look for leadership to them.
Until it dawns on us, the great unwashed masses, that the precipice is near - we will not act. The choice for the salvation of this world is an individual one.
Enough with the petty games. Enough feeding the egos of the advantaged elite. Enough manipulating the masses to benefit a few at the expense of the many. We must see with new vision, hear with new discernment, and act with new determination to remake ourselves and our world.
The answer to the question, "Are we up to the challenges ahead?" can only be determined by you and the choices you make.
Choose to contribute not to consume. Choose to cooperate, not to compete. Choose on behalf of unity, of harmony, of peace. Choose wisely. For your choices affect us all. Are you up to the challenges ahead?