Are you rebelling? Find out why you need to...
In recent musings, we spoke to the power of unreasonable people. Well friends, unless you hadn't noticed, things just got supercharged, and now it seems, unreasonable is not going to cut it. At the risk of ringing the doomsday alarm bells, our future story can be told quite simply:
If we don't radically alter our way of being and doing in this world, our species will become extinct.
You did read that correctly.
Scientists worldwide agree that we are in the midst of an earth emergency. We have entered unprecedented abrupt climate breakdown posing an imminent threat to our own species.
Unlike any other species on this earth, humans have the extraordinary privilege of fighting their own demise. How will we use that privilege? Never mind the myriad worthy issues we can put our privilege to work on - without igniting the rebellion within each of us, none of those issues will continue to be relevant. How can we integrate our work on other pressing, entrenched issues with the urgent need to restore our planet? After all, none of them are mutually exclusive.
Have you noticed the magnitude of the narrative shift? Where we once talked about the fact we were killing the planet, we now unabashedly discuss our species' own extinction. Excuse me but what the $&^*!
I have long held the belief that part our former narrative around climate change was directly related to our society's complete death avoidance, denial, and ignorance. We didn't care that the planet was dying, because that was some abstract concept far off in the distance, just as we see our own deaths. And it's my strong belief that the same death denying and ignoring culture in the West is what led us to the the mess we find our planet in, and ourselves in.
Has our growing yearning in contemporary Western culture, the yearning to go back, to re-wind, re-create, re-imagine the intimacy of the interconnection of the self and other, the material and immaterial world around us and in us, our yearning for an ecology of belonging - has it all come too late?
Scott Ludlam’s stunning article in July’s The Monthly speaks straight to the heart of the emergency and hits the mark as he hones in on the younger generations, their renewed vigour when it comes to activism and how extinction rebels around the globe are gaining traction.
Stanford epidemiologist Stephen Luby sees three potential outcomes for humanity by 2100: extinction, the collapse of civilization with limited survival, or a thriving society. This article is another great read if you’re not convinced how dire the situation is, and as dire as it is, Luby, as per the film 2040, remains hopeful and optimistic that we can arrive at a different place, with earth in tact and us, alive.
The great irony born of humanism, the end point of the trajectory of a belief system that puts humans above all else - is the foregone conclusion that not being able to find that solid place to stand whereby a human can “move the earth” is such that we finds ourselves in a place where we cannot so much as move even ourselves. Humanism had to meet the challenge of averting the fear of death, “it had to give humans enough gravity in themselves, enough I, to be able to withstand the gale of mortality” as John Carroll puts it in his brilliant book, The Wreck of Western Culture.
It’s time to move from “me” to “we”, in a profound way.
It’s time for the transformation in our communities and in our workplaces. To humanise deeply, so that we might all find ourselves in the context of ‘other’, move ourselves, and harness a collective cry for true survival.
It’s time to rebel.
PS. If you want to join us in rebelling, partner with us on our program of public events, including Opportunity 2040 - a courageous gathering of the ready and willing, bringing together the systems stakeholders, investors, entrepreneurs, thinkers and doers to bring the solutions in 2040 to life - early in 2020, this three-day immersion will connect you to purposeful action, enliven your activism, inspire your brand strategy and engage your people. Reach out to me, let’s talk about rebelling together!
PS encore. you know I love a poem, so I’ll leave you with David Wagoner’s Lost, seems perfectly fitting…
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
 As above