The End is near. Everywhere you look, read and listen, folks are seemingly focused on an apocalyptic end just a few blocks down the road. You would think it would be easy to see that end, what with all the high octane vehicles racing down both sides of the road, with Mad Max styled harbingers of chaos at the wheels and manning heavy machinery mounted on the roofs of all the vehicles. And if you can not see the dust from those wheels, there is the zombie epidemic rambling slowly towards you from Mr. Wilson’s front yard, just a few houses over. That does not even bring up the doomsday scenarios of widespread illness brought to the shores of America and Europe by the plotting, conniving Chinese government. Or the wide swath of nuclear armament hurtling through the edge of space from Iran, North Korea, and the formidable Bear of Europe, Russia. Pick your poison, it will be here, delivered wholesale by Wal-Mart and Door-Dash, ready for your consumption.
Or maybe not. None of these scenarios are seemingly likely, though now that I have written these out and published it to the public domain, it is a sure-fire bet to happen next week. Seriously, it does not help matters much when we watch inept government management by the likes of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson take place, both striking hard and deep at the core requisites of Democracy. Trump, doing so in the name of making a better environment for his businesses to thrive within…and Boris…well, we’re not quite sure of his entire motivation, but there is likely some aspect of greed tied in there somewhere. With monumental governmental policies being formed by two individuals that can barely form a proper grammatical sentence between them (I’m no saint in grammar either – but I’m not running a government either), it can be a fair bet that brain-eating zombies are not far behind.
I have kept fairly quiet about things political, mostly because of my job. Making super overt political statements was always frowned upon where I worked. In order to keep the peace, I kept quiet. However, I have seen a lot of other people keeping quiet as well…and not because of their jobs. Mostly because of apathy. We all know the system is broken. We all know that something needs to be done, but we all wait on someone else to do it.
This evening, I was watching Disney’s ‘Tomorrowland”, a movie that does a fairly good job of smashing you in the face over climate change. There is a scene where Casey, the main character, is in her classes at school. Her teachers are talking about the doom and gloom of society, and she is wildly raising her hand to ask a question. When she is finally recognized to ask a question, she states:
I get that things are bad, but what are we doing to fix it?
That one quote from the movie resonates with me as I look at where we are at as a general society on this planet. Thanks to the internet and the exponential growth of social media, we have a wonderful platform to communicate. We can share ideas, come up with strategies for common causes, and work together as a hive mind (of sorts) to try and puzzle out ways to make things better. Instead, we use these tools to complain, argue, bicker, and fight. We don’t focus on what needs to be done; we’re more focused on “winning” arguments on the internet, so we can pat ourselves on the back for being so damn clever. For utilizing our brains to count coup on others. We want to look spectacular without having to do spectacular things, or put ourselves into action. Because sitting and complaining takes a lot less personal energy to accomplish that feeling of superiority.
In the meantime, the very environment that we covet so much – desire to take care of, is getting destroyed all around us. As a general society, we consume with no mind on replenishing the resources we use. Knowing that fossil fuels will run out very soon, we don’t spend time seeking alternative energy sources – instead, we consume fossil fuels at an even more rapid rate, not worrying about what the effects of that increased usage is doing to the planet around us.
And that’s just the damage we do to the environmental system we live in. Our politics have become so divided that we no longer seek to care for others, we only want to care for the ones that are politically like ourselves. Screw the Democrats. Fuck the Republicans. How do I get mine? Build walls between ourselves and others, so that our countries become fortified enclaves, where we are ready to destroy anyone different that dares to seek a better life for the future generations of their families. We’ve got it so good, that we want to insure that we continue to have it so good, while the rest of the world suffers. A world of haves and have-nots.
I wrote before that we have got to change. We have got to get it together, now – in the words of the immortal Tom Petty. We have learned to give lip service to the concepts of diversity, inclusion and belonging. We have learned to speak the talk, but we cannot step the walk. We, mostly whites, talk about how we need to open the doors and treat people equally, until we start to realize that means giving up the “power” of being the ones in charge. When we see that the power is an illusion, and that providing the inclusion and belonging that makes diversity a reality and a strength in our society…we falter. We don’t want to let go of the reigns. Because the statement is true – absolute power corrupts absolutely. No one that is in control wants to give up that control. The only way that I see that happening is to break the concept of race and start living under the concept of being nothing more than human beings. And after all the generational learning that has come forward under the concept of race, and what the pigmentation of your skin absolutely means – that’s going to be a very thick band of steel to break.
Is the End near? Well, I certainly hope so – especially if the End means that we stop basing our perceptions of others on the pigmentation of their skin. We were taught this lesson before by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Apparently, we need to have it taught to us again. And again. And again. Until the band of steel is shattered and forever broken. And I don’t expect to see that within my lifetime – though I will fight to my last breath trying to get us there. Because, once we make it to that point, treating each other better is only a few smaller steps further.
I’m a Druid, and I stand for Peace. I stand for Equality. I stand for Justice. Those concepts are as much a part of my personal Spirituality as are the Gods and Goddesses, Spirits of Ancestor, Spirits of the Elements, and Spirits of Place that I deeply believe in.