Posts Tagged transformation

Facing the Brutal Facts

Pretext: I have been enjoying Good to Great which talks about great companies and how they face the brutal facts (and other qualities of great companies). And it really feels to me like we must be absolutely sure that while thrivability is about thinking positivitly, it is NOT about avoiding the brutal facts of what is. Only by facing those facts can we co-create a future that can really be different from what we have now in ways that work for us.

Today I read a dialogue Published on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 by The Guardian/UK Is There Any Point in Fighting to Stave off Industrial Apocalypse. The collapse of civilisation will bring us a saner world, says Paul Kingsnorth. No, counters George Monbiot – we can’t let billions perish by George Monbiot and Paul Kingsnorth.

I must disagree with both gentleman. For some reason, it all calls to mind some lessons I learned from the Black Swan about extremistan. Yes, many of our charts are going vertical. And yes, that seems to suggest that overlapping crisis will compound into catastrophe. But while it holds our current activities and technologies fairly stable, it assume complete vertiginous rise of problems. However, if you look at charts for our technology, you also see the strong vertical assent of the line on the chart. And let’s also hold all this a little lightly, as we all know statistics can be tricky business, all determined by perspective and rarely able to capture system dynamics (at least not these silly bar and line charts). But I leave it to my friends in visualization to explain the pitfalls better.

So why, when I admit the compounding crisis that we are already in the midst of (not just near the brink of), do I passionately pursue thrivability? Is it a little too optimistic and sunny-dispositioned for the brutal facts we face?

I am not sure if millions or billions will die. But this is not some future to be avoided, it is already the present. Millions already die–from measles, malaria, water borne disease, AIDS, lack of access to healthcare in general. Three years of working on savekids.org taught me that. What is more terrifiying than millions or even billions dying is that is won’t come as a shock to the system…it may ramp up from current rates, but I am skeptical that we, as a whole, will pay much attention. That is horrifically sad. Yet, we can see it happening all the time – millions of Americans hardly noticing, if they notice at all, the death of thousands of farmers in India (by suicide because they honor was crushed by financial crisis). So, millions or billions may die. As humans have died throughout our whole history. Some tragically and by preventable methods. I accept this at a deep spiritual level, even as it makes my heart shudder.

The brutal facts of our current state, I acknowledge – whether it is death from overpopulation (in the form of disease, starvation, and poverty) or the crisis in our oceans and air, our plants and farms, our ecosystems as a whole. A massive downward spiral as many downward spirals converge and amplify each other.

And, there are breakthroughs in this breakdown. Consciousness evolving, collective intelligence emerging, upward spirals seeding, evolving and growing.

I am less concerned with paper vs plastic and whether that has an impact on the environment or how much impact changing your lightbulbs will have. And I am much more interested in how the awareness that we are connected -that your use of everyday items impacts the world and our collective being – how that awareness, the new myth for us to operate within, emerges. The Story of Stuff being told, passed on, and repeated until it permeates our whole culture. And it has been emerging, from what I gather, for my whole life. I was born in the early 70s, and it feels to me like this was seeded then, if not earlier.

Will we come together, as we did during the world wars? Will there be victory gardens again? Will we, as we have before, make willing sacrifice so that humanity may face a brighter day? I believe thrivability is about inspiring that possibility of a brighter day – naming it, taking action toward it, and collectively shifting from downward cycles to breakthroughs and upward cycles. I think those trend charts don’t take into account that our world is more a world of extremistan than ever before. And while we may face extreme crisis, we may also see extreme innovation, connection, cooperation, and transformation.

That does not mean I think we will be saved by technology, be able to remain as we are, or won’t face huge losses (on many fronts). It does mean, I think there can be a positive outcome that makes it a worthwhile transformation to undergo. That this is part of a greater evolutionary flow raising our consciousness and our myths and the actions that come from them. A thrivable world will not fall into our laps with ease, it is something we will commit to with all our heart and being, making something much more amazing than what we have now – possible, plausible, indeed, powerfully and magnificently real.

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Reflections and Predictions

It has been roughly a year since this blog opened. And I feel much more solid in my sense of what thrivability can be. That does not mean there are clear strategies defined or all partners are convened. There remains much work to do. But 2008 has been a wonderful learning journey solidifying my belief in the value of thrivability, and it has resonated well with a variety of amazing allies. Thank you.

I was glancing at an article in Utne Reader today about fear. And I realized a shift I am feeling, and I sense it is a huge piece of thrivability. Thrivability is not driven, at its core, by a deep dark fear of the world ending and all we need to overcome to jetison us off this precipice of history. And while I personally have been strongly driven by fears around climate change and a forecast of the end to humanity, somehow this has shifted. Perhaps it is Obama’s hope spreading “Yes We Can” or perhaps it is the collective voice of human consciousness declaring agency. It could perhaps even be a spiritual shifting that is ongoing internally for me. Whatever the cause or causes, what I sense in thrivability is a powerful resounding passion to evolve beyond our current cultures into a new form of being together, united, whole, diverse, conscious, respectful, judicious, abundant, appreciative, and in flow.

Do you want this too? Are you what EnlightenNext calls an Evolutionary?

We have before us the greatest opportunity life force has yet had–to collect together as respecting and honoring individuals to know and act through our wholeness for the evolution of ourselves and conciousness …and life itself …to experience both our uniqueness and our unity while shifting the forms of the world to support a flourishing earth bursting in harmony. We can become the most spectacular orchestra of living systems reverberating with awareness. What is the sound of this magnificent joy?

Let us put our egos in harness to our purpose, set our minds to tangible tasks, reach into our hearts for whole system empathy, and let our spirits’ wisdom lead us forth into a new age. One where we may thrive in harmony with each other and all forms.

I predict the near future will be frought with tension. Many will weaken from fear and anxiety as old systems convert into new arrangements that better fit our amazing flow. I predict we will often stumble and need to lean into each other in the dark night before the dawn. I predict that some will refuse to relinquish old patterns and this will lead to suffering. People will die bodily deaths. Humans will fight through the night in bloody conflicts of ideological wars to end all wars. And this very darkness, the very fear and negativity that seems pervasive will be the flood upon which a new way is made possible. It will be our very frustration with what is — that will make what can be: possible. Just as the bitter darkness of the Bush years has made a grassroots minority a more possible canditate for president of the US.

I see the light glowing from so many sensing this great opportunity, and I have deep faith in the very process of evolutionary consciousness to guide us together into a brighter day. Everywhere I see the flickering flames of hope, faith, interpersonal trust, and inspired vision gain energy. The tools evolve beneath our fingers, the partners meet and align around common purpose, and collectively we prepare the way forward.

Will you join with me in hope to great this challenging opportunity.

As Tracy Gary often says, “Hold hands, and stay together.”

Dream. Breath with me. Be with us.

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