Climate Inaction: Denial or Design?
To others, I leave the task of the clarion call. The task of identifying all that is not right in the world. The task of naming the forces that will move us closer and closer to the edge. The task of tracking the inventory of the seemingly insurmountable. I recognize the need for it and I also recognize that none of these are representative of why I exist at this time, in this place, in our shared collective reality.
We want it to be simple – to have a quick and easy answer for 2 plus 2 to equal 4. Yet in our world, complexity through interconnectivity is the nature of our existence. Are we willing to evolve into finding possibility and joy in complexity; into trusting in what we have been taught to view as chaos? Can we learn to recognize the genius in all things that present and seek to claim the intelligence for the unfolding of our own lives?
Many seem puzzled… even startled!… at the degree of denial from the vast majority, around the increasingly-evident slippage of our stable, reliable and predictable biosphere expression. I am not in the least either of those, as I see what is occurring as the natural outcome of generations of cultural formation of human beings as response-averse. We have long been trained into and designed for just the immobility that we are expressing. The plan is unfolding exactly as it is intended.
We are the byproduct of decades of cultivated passivity. In our family systems, most of us are taught that when faced with any situation that produces discomfort, first, we look away; and then, we stand back and look to the authority figures around us (i.e. parents, teachers, religious leaders, bosses, medical practitioners, political leaders, government officials, etc. etc. etc.) to take the ‘right’ action on our behalf. We refrain from moving into the problem, as we long ago learned that to do so is to invite pain in some form: physical assault, verbal reprimand, ridicule of our perspectives, humiliation for having dared, shame for thinking that we could ever do anything that matters, etc. At a very early age, we learn that to venture into an uncertainty is to invite the heavy hand – literally or figuratively – of ‘ correction’ that we might better know our place, the next time. We come to understand that problems are not ours to solve – they are ours only to bear and, preferably, in silence and without resistance. We are better served to pretend that we don’t see what we see, know what we know or hear what we hear… and simply go about our business in the hope that by not further disturbing the moment, the problem will resolve itself and we will stay safe.
My observation: collectively, we are doing that with climate.
In our family systems, we learn how to have the same conversation over and over again as a way of avoiding the next layer of exploration that will naturally emerge if we continue to move forward. We know that if we insist… and persist… life will never be the same again and there will be no going back. We keep talking about someone else’s behaviour so that we don’t have to come to terms with our own. Or we lament and rail against a particular outcome while continuing to make the choices and engage the behaviours that inevitably will produce that outcome. Like the conversation about drinking too much while we continue to buy booze and participate in the drinking. As long as we don’t go any further, we don’t actually have to have the conversation about what’s motivating the drinking and, worse, where the intelligence lies in doing so.
We’re doing that with climate. We keep taking inventory of climate disruptions and talking about this seemingly endless and expanding inventory to avoid the next layer of the conversation which is: we’re in deep trouble. And the next layer beyond that: we have to face out own mortality. And the next one beyond that: how do you want to live? You can’t figure that out until you know how you want to die
Our existing beliefs, values and attitudes will only allow for certain strategies to be considered. The truth of it is: if we don’t change our beliefs, values and attitudes about ourselves , about our world and about how we connect to that world, the actual strategies that can make a difference aren’t available to us because we don’t recognize them or, in truth, may not even be able to imagine them.
Consider that our current challenges are the call to the best in us! Allow the intuitive to be your guide to discovery, at a very different level of your Being:
* Think for yourself. Doing so demands that you take that deep, deep dive into yourSelf; that you come to terms with how you got to be who you are; that you decide if that’s who you choose to continue to be. To be otherwise will require that dare to fully embrace what it will take in order for you to make a change. Don’t look for a point of view with which to align yourself – BE the point of view that reveals your deeper inner truth and allows you to be found. Be willing to be irritating and annoying, not because it’s a strategy but because by being so fully authentic in your Self, you become the ‘blessed irritant’ that propels the inevitable awakening.
* Don’t waste your time fighting against what ‘is’. Invest your time and your effort in reclaiming that which is profoundly authentic to the very expression of your Being and act accordingly. Don’t press again and push against and fight against and seek to move away from everything that you perceive is not working. Instead, consider that in all things there is genius and use the force of that recognition to propel you toward that which is authentic to you. Engage and invest yourself in becoming the living expression of THAT in your reality. Turn your back on what ‘is’ that you might move toward who you might become. At this point in place and time, the where, the when, the what, the how and the why no longer matter. It really is about the who: investing in and exploring who you have become; and exploring who else you might be, beyond this moment?
* Don’t wait for collective action that you might follow. Decide who you are and act accordingly. As we each make those choices for ourselves, the collective, cohesive evidence of doing so will change our reality. Radical times demand radical thinking… and that radical thinking leads to radical action. There is no more radical action that choosing to do something that is perceived by others to be profoundly ‘out of character’ to the habit of who you have been in the world.
There is great power in our unpredictability. Perhaps we might explore its expression in our own lives.