Another year begins this week. A year that will mark another breath in and out in the many thousands of cycles of humanity’s life on this planet.
It has been a curious path our species has taken. For the past few thousand years, we in the “developed world” have aimed ourselves squarely at perfecting the art of being an individual. We have aimed at individual salvation, individual wealth, individual power. And as we have influenced those in other parts of the world, we have aimed those individuals and nations squarely at those goalposts as well.
That societal focus has led to considerable individual wealth and power (I cannot make any claims about individual salvation).
And while the quality of both our material and social lives improved for many people during those millennia, the quality of the material and social life for many stayed the same. There is still immense poverty, immense violence, immense harm.
And across the world, there is still immense longing for living better with each other – something that has nothing to do with being an individual and everything to do with being a collective “us.”
The Time is Now, The Future is Here (insert your own cliche…)
We live at a time when we have everything we need to move forward as a people – not as a nation or a community, but as a planet-full of people. We have the material means and the scientific knowledge to best use those material means. We have political systems that allow for freedoms and control in our own lives that was unheard of even a few hundred years ago in the “civilized” world.
There is no longer any reason for anyone in this world to want materially or to live in fear politically. And that means there is also no reason that this planet-full of people cannot live together peacefully, joyfully and compassionately with each other. All of us.
There is no reason we cannot live from a place of kindness. And there is every reason and then some that we can. There is a path to that place – a path that will require one huge first step, and then many small steps to follow.
The first step is to realize that such a reality is not only possible, not only likely – but that it is already here.
For most people on this planet, the majority of daily life is already filled with good things. Joyful things.
Our lives are already filled with kindness most of the time.
Current societal systems, however – from our political and economic systems to the systems businesses and community benefit organizations use to do their own work – are rooted in our fears. Our fears that people will be greedy, power-hungry, or simply unkind.
Those systems focus all their energies on the small percentage of time where things are going wrong.
What it will therefore take to create a world that lives joyfully together from a place of kindness is to deeply understand the reality that the percentage of life on earth where things are bad, sad, evil, horrible is small – and to emphasize and amplify the patterns that already make life overwhelmingly livable, joyful.
Creating visionary improvement to the quality of life in our communities is therefore the most practical objective there is. The small steps, then, are to change the systems that assume reality is other than that. Change systems that focus on problem-solving to systems that focus on creating something positive. Change systems that assume we will treat others badly to systems that assume we will choose kindness and compassion.
This year, Creating the Future is taking wing. The focus of this new entity will be precisely that – to make clear that the reality we want is a big part of the reality we already have. We already know how to do everything we need to do to create the world we want. Our job at Creating the Future, then, will be to work alongside others to transform the systems our society uses, to ensure they reflect that reality.
It is clear that creating healthy, vibrant, resilient, humane, joyful communities will not take working harder or smarter. It will simply take changing how we see things.
Because when we change the way we see things, things change.
We look forward to working side by side with you in this year ahead, to create that future for our world. Together.