We are all fucked! Forget the climate, the pandemic, the economy, and political turmoil. These are symptoms of what has us really screwed.
The issue is that nature has been hijacked. I’m not referring to overfishing the oceans or clearcutting the forests. I’m talking about the part of nature that has the power to fix the situation we find ourselves in—people. Yes, you, me, and every other human are a part of nature. And we have the power to fix the situation.
We all sense it. Daily, we feel afraid, angry, anxious, and sad about our personal situation and the state of the world. Every day we feel the desire to do something about it. And yet, nearly all of us keep going about living our lives. We blame others and ourselves even though no one is really to blame.
We’ve all been hijacked by a force that is more powerful than any of us can imagine. This force has overtaken our thinking and enslaved us all. It took centuries, but we slowly programmed ourselves to accept a system of force. We learned to force children to learn how to be valuable to employers. We learned to force adults to work for short-term value rather than improve our future. We learned to force the false idea of constant growth upon each successive generation. And in so doing, we have forced ourselves into an ideological box of our own doing.
We believe that what is essential is ideology, the rules that guide our lives, and our roles as citizens, owners, and employees. We no longer see ourselves as people with innate human needs, but as pieces of this grand ideological puzzle we call society.
We have lost touch with our very own humanity—our hijacking is near total. A few people point to solutions. Some say we need to change our consciousness, and others say we need to change our systems as if either could be done independently. How we behave is tied to how we think and vice-versa. We can will ourselves to change our consciousness as easily as we can will society to change.
Unfortunately, there is only one way to break free of the paradigm of force. We need to connect with one another again—not from our social roles but as people. It requires rebuilding the fabric of our humanity. To act from a place of personal power instead of constantly reacting to imposed force.
We need to start small by building new social environments that help us co-create new systems while meeting our innate human needs. It will take time, but once we have a community of people around for support, we will overcome.
We can do this by building new radical companies that support collaboration rather than impose force on people. We can co-own and co-manage these companies to direct their impact towards good in the world. We can build a fabric of interdependence that permits trust, compassion, and true community to emerge. These kinds of actions will help us break free and serve humanity and the rest of nature.
It’s up to us, not the ideologies or the systems, but us. It’s time we step up and co-create the lives we want to live and in so doing defend ourselves and the rest of nature from the forces that keep us believing we have no options.
Photo credit: Jeff Head