By Dr. Rose A. Dyson

Toronto – Canada

 

 

 

 

A New Awakening

 

 

 

In these troubled times, there is a growing hunger for meaning in life and a new interest in spirituality.  For some, the threats to truth, civility and rational thought coming from the American White House are the catalysts.  Whatever the reasons, these sudden changes in public behavior in the world’s most dominant political power are welcome signs.

 

Mainstream newspaper subscriptions are up.  There is a new-found respect for an independent judiciary and high school students are showing unprecedented interest in civics.  These trends are augmented by new levels of grassroots political activity.  Black Lives Matter is collaborating with marches for women’s rights.  We are seeing a badly needed increase in political literacy.

 

It all augers well for urgently needed attention to climate change.  Apart from obvious and immediate threats to human health and welfare such as jobs, safety, basic civility and brotherly love, we have accumulating disasters wrought by Mother Nature.  Weather patterns are changing everywhere.  Droughts followed by heavy rainfalls are multiplying. In parts of Africa, where increases in temperature have long since surpassed the two degrees Celsius earth warming temperature, overpopulation, civil wars and looming famine are accelerating migration flows, resulting in what the United Nations has described as the worst human disaster since World War II.  Scientists tell us time is running out; that we only have years left to turn things around.

 

What is still poorly understood is that a massive reordering of our current way of life is essential, and by corollary, our entire global economy.  Business as usual is no longer an option.  The rallying cry for fairer free trade isn’t going to be enough.  We are all going to have to make do with less.  Sharing will be the new normal.  In parts of the developed world, where ecological footprints far outstrip those in poorer nations, current initiatives for community sharing of goods and services such as lawn mowers and tool kits in addition to library books must be accelerated.

 

And, in our new digital age, addiction to every new invention that gives us endless variations of selfies, photo sharing opportunities, racy and otherwise, and continuous texting, is going to have to stop.  Let’s face it, not only would such changes be good for both our mental and physical health, to say nothing of our pocketbooks, it is a must for planetary survival.  We simply cannot continue to allow the market and digital innovation regardless of the consequences to dominate our lifestyles, sources of livelihood, and how we relate to one another.  More bold and courageous examination of our body politic and the changes needed are a must.

 

 





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