It’s a new year, 2019, a year of promise and opportunity. That was how we all felt on December 31st wasn’t it? Yet, despite that optimism, we find that only less than 4 weeks into the year, the Doomsday Clock, is reading 2 minutes to midnight, the closest it has been to the apocolypse since 1953 (the height of the cold war).
Why? The situation is of, it seems, our making. Political tensions are one thing and seriously what hope do we have with a narcissistic lunatic at the helm in the United States? But then there is is climate change (remember that uncomfortable truth?). According to MIT scientist Susan Solomon, if emissions don’t start reducing over the next decade we will not have a world worth saving. It seems we are running out of time.
Overwhelmed by all of this, let alone the plight of 1.5 million Syrian refugees, conflicts in Africa, South America, the poor at our very doorsteps in our big cities, a staggering lack of investment in our elderly, our sick, education, infrastructure, health care including mental health, the world seems a very depressing place. New Years resolutions about getting our budgets and waistlines balanced seem so very much the sphere of first world problems. For any of us who think, really think about things, is there really that much to be optimistic about?
We have retreated as a result back to our immediate tribes and yes, to a large degree focussed attention on what we can control; our family situation, our health or at least how we take care of ourselves. We have tried to balance our books, socialise and read more. It all seems … well, like a drop in the ocean.
There’s a revolution ‘a coming.
I’m 50 years of age. Is the revolution coming from me and my peers? Probably not. Comfortaby middle class, we have our heads in the sand, hoping this too will all pass. Nothing for us, no political party change in our lifetime in modern Western society in our social class, has made any difference to our lot in life. We are not the revolutionaries.
There is however and thankfully, a wave coming. A wave of 16-19 year olds. Socially conscious and active. Who “are mad as hell” and frankly they are not going to take it any more.
Washington Post journalist Colby Iltowitz reported on the 17th of January, that “Parkland students have quickly become some of the country’s most effective … organised and well-researched” activists of our time. The next generation are different. They should be they grew up in different times. They know nothing except a world with the intenet. They grew up thinking an African American President was nothing out of the ordinary. They are well-educated, hold liberal views, and they actually believe they can make a difference. And for all the next world elections coming in the the next 2-3 years, they are eligible to vote.
We need to join them. We need to get clarity about our values across every life area that matters: yes that means our health but it also means realising that the health system is broken and it needs fixing, yes it means our finances but it means that we need to recognise the income inequalities that need to be addressed. It means how we approach work, our life-balance, our personal growth, our philanthropy and how we engage as communities and as people living in our communities. We might think about our social circle and how to nourish it, but we need to think of our human circle and how it is neglected be that in Manus Island, in a Syrian refugee camp or the centre of our city that we walk down and pass by without looking the displaced in our very midst.
I wrote Live Your Dream Life: Maximising Happiness and Balance to provide individuals with this personal investigation of clarity. There was a higher ambition that we would all in turn lead to individuals who act with clarity of intention in congruence with their values and that in turn would lead to a kinder gentler society. One person can make a difference. Collectively groups of individuals can change the world.
There’s a revolution ‘a coming.
Maybe we should join in.