Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Looking Back...

There was of course one signal event in the year that draws to a close at midnight tonight: the election of Barack Obama to be President of the United States.  A great deal of my own energy, and Ellie's--psychic, emotional, and otherwise--went into the effort to make this possible and, hopefully, to open the door to some radical changes in the way we humans inhabit this planet Earth.  My fear is that we have already taken things too far, that the corporate, economic, military and political worlds are now so deeply and nefariously intermeshed that there is no stopping them in the suicidal path down which they have been leading us for too many years.   

I keep hoping that my sister is right, along with others of like mind who believe that we are on the cusp of a planetary shift.  The upheavals of the past year--from the massive earthquake in China to the aborted revolution in Burma, from the events in the Middle East to the unending crises on the troubled African continent and the world-wide financial meltdown--might well be seen as signs that we are out of balance, as a species, with our natural environment.  Would it not be wonderful if 2008 proved in historical retrospect to be the tipping point, the moment at which we finally hit bottom in our drunken need to exploit our planet and wreak havoc on our fellow human beings?  Looking back on the year, I'm tempted to paraphrase Charles Dickens, who refused to be blinded to the dark side of that Victorian era of splendid "growth" for the British Empire: it was the best of years, it was the worst of years... 

It's a misty morning in Laguna Beach.  I sit and look out over our beautiful back patio and the neighbor's eucalyptus trees and am grateful for the great good fortune I have to be here at this place and time.  I am driven to "think globally" because I care very much about the greater issues that affect us all.  I can't help but wonder why it is that I have been granted the privileges I enjoy and by which I frequently feel humbled.  "Karma" seems to me an awfully convenient and self-congratulatory explanation for the mystery of the lives we are each, individually, given to lead.  We have witnessed, this past year, the inordinate suffering of many millions of beings all around the globe.  I feel the obligation to do those things that are within my power to help relieve that suffering in the year to come.  
  

1 comment:

mandt said...

Not long before his death my dad asked that same question of me. He has been forced marched through France and Germany to a concentration camp and saw suffering beyond imagining. He asked, "Why me?" "Why did I survive.?" My response was immediate and it was, "So that your sons, would grow in wisdom under your teaching and example and give forward the incredible value of your life.