Last week a good friend sent me an email with a link to a handsome, upbeat web site that joyously proclaims a remarkable message: Humanity has already won the momentous battle against the forces threatening to wipe consciousness from the face of the planet. All of our prayers and meditations, all of our candlelight vigils and beautiful thoughts, have tipped the balance, and the negativity that has held our planet in thrall for several millennia is being inexorably swept away. So powerful is this new force of change that the light has already declared victory.
This must be heartening news to the masses of body, mind, spirit folks who have been desperately holding the fort while awaiting the eleventh-hour arrival of the cavalry. However, I wonder if the good souls behind that web site live in a parallel universe that shares only snippets of reality with mine. Possibly they are a tad delusional – or is it I? I am delighted that their bitterly besieged world was snatched from the jaws of defeat by the heavenly host just in time. Mine wasn’t.
The world I live in is still caught in a bit of a bother (as the Brits might say), and the trumpets announcing the arrival of armed reinforcements have yet to be heard. Despite the fact that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth just won an Oscar for best documentary film, humanity remains largely oblivious to the threat of global warming. And while global warming seems serious enough – life as we know it might be forever altered within a few decades unless some massive remedial action is taken – several other issues also demanding our attention are in fact burning with even shorter fuses.
For example, in olden days, a single demented, disenfranchised being armed with a crossbow (said to be invented by the Chinese in 400 BCE) could inflict modest damage upon his fellow citizens. Compare this with the potential carnage one depraved character could inflict with today’s nuclear and biological weaponry. What, just a few generations ago, was cached in the armament of a few superpowers is now readily available on the global black market. Fissionable materials, hardcore weaponry, and related information are freely traded along the sub-rosa networks that interpenetrate virtually every nation on Earth. When Iran unwittingly released several pages of documentation to the International Atomic Energy Agency on how to build and deploy nuclear warheads, the country’s leaders protested that these papers had nothing to do with them – they must have come from Pakistan, a country that has learned to sway with every political wind and made catering to expediency a national art form.
Just how we got ourselves to this point can be discussed until we are all blue in the face. The bottom line is that we, the billions of us making up the human race, teeter at the brink of disaster because we have refused to own our personal power and responsibility. Despite the pressing urgencies surrounding us, we have become immobilized, like deer transfixed by the headlights of looming disaster. And there we will remain until we address the stagnation residing in the sludgy synapses between our own rhetoric and our own action.
I suggest we clean up the internal dross as quickly as we can. I have no doubt that the heavenly host will back our play, just as I am confident they will not violate our free will by playing our hand for us. The time has come for us to act with uncommon focus, purpose, and intention. It is all well and good to pray fervently for the arrival of the cavalry, but what if the Mounties of yesteryear have disbanded and are no longer a viable option? What if our fate actually depends solely on us?
Once, not that long ago, in an auditorium filled with over one hundred people, one man, unannounced, slowly walked up to the stage, took the microphone from the stand, and asked for everyone’s attention. “I’ve just realized that the entire fate of the planet depends on me. I don’t need your permission to get started, nor do I need your agreement. I would love to have your support, just as I pledge to support any of you who feel the same way.” Without saying another word, the man replaced the mike and returned to his seat.
I was that man, and that public declaration of intent was a major turning point in my life. There is no doubt in my mind that the challenges we face, no matter how grave they appear, are manageable. If we choose to join together purposefully and lead ourselves out of the morass, the outcome will indeed be glorious. I invite you to act as if the entire fate of our planet depended on the choices you make in the coming weeks and months and to remember well the famous words of anthropologist Margaret Mead. They are indelibly etched in my psyche. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. He was a featured weekly columnist for the UPI (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum and is the author of Going Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense, recipient of both the Allbooks Reviews Editor’s Choice Award and the USABookNews.com Award for the Best Metaphysical Book of the Year.
©2004 – 2021. Jean-Claude Gerard Koven / All Rights Reserved.