Twenty years ago my husband and I celebrated New Year’s Eve with family on the cusp of the new millennium. It was a momentous turn of time’s great wheel. We brought out the china and crystal; I made a special dinner with beef tenderloin; our aunt suddenly manifested signs of a winter virus just after dinner when she vomited in the bathroom, and she had to go home before we cracked open the expensive champagne at midnight. So, a fairly standard wacky holiday meal.
We all wondered what the approaching century and millennium would bring as half the world seemed convinced that our own technology would doom us as soon as the computer clocks ticked over to a year with a new configuration. We even had acquaintances who sold a profitable business to live completely off the grid.
Hubby and I weren’t as convinced of impending disaster, although we did prudently stash a small stock of supplies in case the electricity system failed for a few days – all things that we could use anyway if nothing happened, which is exactly what happened. Arguably the greatest non-event in history.
It didn’t take long for the 2000s to become tumultuous, and we’re now in a time of great uncertainty about the planet’s future.
Having grown up on Star Trek, I prefer to keep that positive vision of the future, but here are trends I’ve noticed that aren’t helping anything:
- Overpopulation – our planetary ecosystem can’t support our current level of population growth
- Rampant profiteering – we can’t continue stripping our planet of critical natural resources, so (among other things) someone has to put a stop to big corporations who don’t seem to care that that they’re destroying the future of their own families along with all of the rest of us
- Divisiveness – we all need to become truly global citizens, tolerant and accepting of everyone, every life form on this planet, and the planet itself as our magnificent and precious home
- The “it’s all about me” attitude that seems to prevail now – we need to return to values of kindness and consideration for others, and to understanding that all of our actions have consequences and that we’re responsible for those consequences
- Unbridled materialism, which I believe is a symptom of deep cracks in our society that no one’s addressing, along with things like increasing rates of depression, anxiety, irritability and stress-related illnesses
I think people around the world are frightened, but letting our fears govern our actions isn’t the answer.
If more and more people resolve to put the welfare of each other and the entire planet on a par with themselves, to become the light-filled beings we have the capacity to be, I think we can turn the tide. If you feel the same way, let’s start something!