A week ago, one of my best blogger friends shot up a distress flare, asking for light in a sea of darkness.
I couldn't respond with much in the way of hope as others did. The news, whichever way I looked at it, was bad. Climate change is here to stay. One in four mammals face extinction. My state is knee deep in a drought and flooded in debt. My son's school district borders on bankruptcy and daily discusses cutting PE, closing libraries, and gutting teachers' salaries. Thousands of jobs are lost daily and many families I know struggle to keep their homes.
I believe we are in for a hard landing. We've lived beyond our means - economically, ecologically, even spiritually. We've traded our planet for profits, our beliefs for baubles, and our inherent sense of what is right for dollars and cents. We are past due.
I believe, though, that we have also been presented with a tremendous opportunity. One that will allow us to reinvent ourselves as a people. To realign our values. To treasure our families, to look within and know ourselves, to look into the future and know what our children need. To reach out to neighbors and across borders, to save beautiful places and even more beautiful creatures. To find, again, that which we most admire and to find it within ourselves.
I believe we are better than we have become. That we are stronger than we realize. More resilient. More diligent. More generous and more mindful.
I believe that this crises offers us the enlightenment we've lacked. The education we've craved. The cause we need. Over the next decade, the world as we know it will shift. We will embrace volunteerism, instead of shoe shopping, as therapy. We will realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch and we will get our hands dirty growing one. We will turn our backs on the big box stores that have plundered our planet and pocketbooks and return to our downtowns, our independent shopkeepers, and our neighbors. We will fix this system from the bottom down, not the top up as our politicians and corporations would have us do. We will rebuild in our schools, our energy system, and ourselves.
I believe that our children will one day call us "the greatest generation".
Because, as bad as the news is, I believe that we are better.