What kind Of Future Do We Want?

A lovely June morning, filled with dazzling light. The irises and peoples are abloom!

As I have watched events unfurl around the country I have been think about how the failures of several administrations have created the current emergencies. I think sometimes that the last truly caring president was Jimmy Carter. That seems like a long time ago. I imagine historians will be trying to parse the arc from Carter to now for some time to come. Anyway, its all too familiar.

I imagine the conflicting narratives we are now witnessing from FOX and the White House on one side and minority communities, some state governments, and reporters on the other will fuel the rage on both sides and confusion for all. That is this administration’s mode of working. We can expect both an absent president and fierce efforts to restore the present order. It will be a long five months; the tactics used by every administration since Carter will be in clear view, only in a greatly amplified form.

The conflict is increasingly between a system and governance that sees everyone and everything as a resource to be exploited and an increasingly angry populace which experiences the burden of the policies and actions that sustain the current formation of state. We have reached a tipping point (there are more ahead) where changing a party platform will not suffice. David’s anger, our collective fear, and my personal historical rage and cynicism are all valid.  How demoralizing that it seems so unlikely either party can find a moral ground from which to give up its access to the wealth created by an extractive economy.

The entire world, from Australia to Siberia, is burning. My question now is: How can we create the immense shifts that are required to return some semblance of balance? I like Janet’s idea of imagining the ideal outcome we wish.

Perhaps one goal is enough: A government committed to taking immediate, substantive, and ongoing steps to correct the historical injustices wrought on America’s marginalized people and the world environment. We recognize that such a shift in governance requires a swift shift from an extractive economy that benefits a few while harming the many, to a nurturing economy that address the dire environmental and human needs that have for so long been largely ignored.

I guess that is also a form of prayer. The task of the community is to care for, and nurture, the circle of life. Prayer is the acknowledgement that we are always at intersections of interdependence. It is good to be moved by that knowledge and the beauty of moments of connectedness, and to wish, and act so, that all beings will be well.

10 thoughts on “What kind Of Future Do We Want?

  1. Yes, yes! And cultures can change. Look at Scandinavia. Once upon a time the area was home to the vikings, whom we shouldn’t romanticize. They were murderous thugs who reveled in rape, pillage, and burning. They terrorized England, Scotland,and Wales for hundreds of years. Now look at Scandinavia, one of the most progressive group of countries on Earth. I know. It took them a long time, and we don’t have that kind of time. But change can happen. Onward! Also want to give President Obama a teeny-weeny bit of credit. Because of him, I have health insurance. And so do many other people. That’s not nothing.

    1. Laurie,
      Obama did much good but he generally ignored the underlying issues. He did not have much help from congress though. The problem is that he maintained the neoliberal ideology which really hurts a lot of people and the planet. But now is another time. Yes, onward!

  2. The foundation of my faith is right relationships. And I can not have a right relationship with myself and my God if I don’t have a right relationship with everyone in my community. Honestly, Michael, I don’t know how to have a right relationship with the least of them. Maybe the social system doesn’t allow it. And this makes me cry. I know what kind of tomorrow I want. As an old woman, I don’t know what to do except give and vote.

    1. Pat, relationship is always two ways. Sometimes there is just a deep divide between us. We can do what we are able to build bridges but we need help from across the abyss. I hope we can help by supporting and mentoring the young people who will become the decision makers.

  3. I am worried and tired and sad.
    I can’t sleep at night anymore.
    Here it is, after 2 a.m. again–and I am up again, worried.
    Please people, stop and think.
    Nothing is accomplished by riots, burning, looting, and destruction of other people’s property. These days, adults seem to be resorting to the equivalent of childish temper tantrums–instead of engaging in meaningful discourse. Now, after all of the destruction, people are going to have to try and pick up the broken pieces once again, this time in the middle of a pandemic. Round in circles, we go. Why? We need to actually move forward instead of looking backwards. The past can not be changed, the future can.
    What worries me most of all…..is something a university philosophy professor told me a few years ago. Maybe he told me about the plans that ‘they’ have, because he knew no one would believe me?
    He said that they were planning to deliberately cause chaos and confusion.
    He told me that the only way to implement the “New Way” (Marxism) was to totally crash the current system/economy, so people would have nothing left to hold onto but the New Way (He had a large poster of Karl Marx on his office wall). He said that Communism was going to work this time, because they had taken it slowly—the children have already been trained from the time they were young (through the school system) to accept the Change—and now they are old enough to help implement it. The ultimate goal is a ‘One World Government.’ He said that the only thing in the way in this country now, is my generation (65 and older) because we are ‘set in our ways.’
    And so Michael, I am afraid. I see that the citizens of this country are actually being encouraged to turn against each other, to insult and attack. There is something much larger going on–and we are so busy yelling and calling each other names–that we do not see it.
    It was Abraham Lincoln who said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.
    So yes, your question is very important. What kind of future do we want?
    We can not let the news media determine what we should focus on or how we should perceive things. We need to stop fighting with each other immediately and work towards unification, not division. God help us.

    1. Mary, there is no way I can possibly respond in a way that does justice to your long note. I am scared, too. I am also angry which resulted in today’s post. In all the chaos it is so hard to hear or be heard.
      I have watched extremists on both sides cause havoc as good people try to speak to the terrors of our current situation. There is no real difference between extremists as their actions inevitably cause more suffering than they salve.I have been heartened watching everyday people stop them from causing more harm, and disheartened as the extremists target the essential infrastructure of systems impacted communities.
      I too hope that we will all begin to see the similarities between us rather than the differences. That might go a long way towards changing the present moment.

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