"I have to speak up. How can our world be like this? How did things get so complicated and ugly? How has our country, our world, become so divided? I need to help people see how vital it is that we come together now." These thoughts keep racing through my head. But I feel helpless. There is so much misinformation out there and so many people who won't think for themselves. I can't understand why a large part of the population, predominantly those in my age bracket, the middle-aged and older, can't see what is really happening to the world around them. Have they not noticed the inequalities among people, the hotter temperatures, the stronger storms? Are they not paying attention? From those I’ve spoken with, my takeaway is that they think they know, but they put their blinders on and tune it out because they don’t want to be bothered by the “negativity.” Well guess what? It’s time to pay the piper for all that head burying.
I'm mainly an introvert. I'm settled in my life, content. I don't want to have to get involved. It's easier to sit back at home comfortably and tune it all out. To keep my fingers crossed that it will just work itself out or that "God" will make it right. I want to enjoy a beautiful day and time spent with my family. But it's for my family, for my children and any future grandchildren, that I feel compelled to at least try. Try to help people to see what's really at stake here. It's time to pull our collective heads out of our collective arses.
Here we are, facing the most challenging crises of the human race so far. Climate change, terrorism, enormous financial division. Now, more than ever, a sharing of information is needed. A collective trust. Limitations on research lifted. We need to get more people to understand the truth of our situation and to take action.
I never wanted progress. I remember coming into adulthood in the 80's and 90's and always wondering, "why can't we just let things be? Why isn't any company I worked for ever satisfied with the ways things are?" Not even for a moment. It was always a merry-go-round of "progress." I often wondered, "why? What are we so purposefully and aggressively striving for? What's the end game? Why can't we ever just be happy in our comfortable lives as they are?" I hated the "progress" of our growth economy and didn't understand the need for it. Like many others, I too would love to live in nostalgic 1950's America. But I would only want that ideal if it included everyone, and for that, I absolutely do see that need for progress. And of course we needed, and still need, progress in healthcare, environmental science, equality and other such issues but consumerism for the sake of consumerism was wrong. Why were our first world comforts never enough?
We are facing monumental problems today due to that progress. Globally, we have a net population addition of approximately 200,000 people per day. Daily, roughly 350,000 people are born and 150,000 people die. Again, a net of 200 thousand people added to this planet per day. It doesn't take a genius to see that there is no way to sustain this population explosion. Our resources can't handle it. Our planet can't handle it. We need solutions.
We've come to believe that we are invincible. That we've been here forever and that we will continue to be. But that is neither true nor guaranteed.
Like it or not, we will continue to "progress." It's always been our human nature. I don't know if it was the right choice, but we're stuck with it now and we need to work together for our collective continuation. So you can choose to either reject it with fear or hatred or you can embrace it with goodwill and an open mind. But it's coming. How and what we do with it should be up to all of us.
The first step is education. Take real steps to educate yourselves on the complexities of our crises, while keeping an open mind. It hardly takes any effort. No books or trips to the library needed. The internet and cable streaming are virtual universities. Please, just watch modern documentaries. Documentaries on a variety of subjects such as climate change, space exploration, U.S. history (some titles are listed at the end). They're all over, through many sources. See how manipulated we've been and how we continue to be manipulated by those in power. How we've been taught to fear or hate each other and the world around us. How we have been lied to. And then speak up. Encourage others to learn for themselves. If people would devote even just a week's worth of their TV viewing to learning about our current world, I believe it could change our destiny. Verify the learned information, if needed. The information, the truth, is so easily out there. Please, don't just trust the information you get from big-corporation-owned media.
I often fear that it is mainly people who didn't know any better (not fully education about their decisions) that history shows made terrible choices. We can get ahead of this if we all just try. Don't let history ask, "How could they have been so foolish?!"
The louder voice is the one that's heard. It demands it. Currently, it seems, that louder voice is on the other side of reason. Don't be manipulated. Don't let them win. Educate yourselves and be the LOUDER VOICE.
Some titles to watch (if you don't have these services, google the titles, many are free to watch through other sources):