Didn’t get that much done today on the upcoming company or applying for jobs. Christmas took over, at least for some hours while I went shopping.
On my way to the train I felt ‘grey’ inside; like I’ve done from time to time in recent years. Like life has just become bland, stuck, lost its magic.
I feel it’s because I’m still not disciplined enough to keep out a lot of the unnecessary noise from grown-up life.
A major drawback of said life is that once you are in it you begin to believe that it is important to surf the Internet a lot and look busy, take in all the news even if it’s the same old crap and talk a lot with other people about Things and how to afford them.
Life becomes more material, repetitive and unfortunately (if you watch the news too much) more and more depressing. It seems there’s no hope for the future so you don’t even dare think about it too much. You just go on from day to day, month to month.
Another reason is that at this point in life my idealism is like a dying fire, close to ashes.
Sure, it’s there – I still believe in something called God which is Good, in people’s potential, in Big Values – such as a more social and humanitarian society. I just don’t believe it will come to pass in my lifetime anymore in any significant way.
I can’t put a number on it for comparison, but when I was a student and had just met Char, we used to do all kinds of volunteer-work for humanitarian organisations even if it made a very small difference overall.
But we felt we were part of a great movement, and felt that soon some kind of visible difference would come about. People would understand why we were right about the way the world needed to be put right. In the very near future or at least near enough.
It didn’t really happen, not big enough, deep enough.
You can point to some victories, some people saved, but by and large the world of 1997 and soon-to-be 2017 is not changed that much. In some ways it’s worse off – esp. as regards our path to a major climate depression.
We’ve made some progress towards some Millennium Goals, depending on the way you calculate it, but we still allow people to die in Africa and Aleppo, elect Trumps for presidents and live as if we could use up almost 2 Earths a year in resources without any consequence.
I suppose if I once again was in a social setting in which we actively worked towards achieving something like the Millennium Goals, they would also feel more real – more achievable. But it had to be a place with activists, not academics.
At university I learned, more than anywhere else, to doubt the potential for the world to change, significantly, to become more oneness-consciouss in the short term.
Those were good years, filled with much learning …but not much hope.
And it only became worse, once I got out and got into other occupations for various reasons, none of them much to do with my original field, which was international development – at least one half of my master’s.
So as I boarded the metropolitan train, I wondered would it would take to feel that particular magic that is associated with having a vision – a hope – for a better future for the world: less war, less poverty, less greed.
Something tangible, significant, nearby – at least in my mind.
And in my heart.
Those hopes are often the definition of intangible, but even so …
What would it take?
What will it take?
I found no answers today.
But I knew that hope for the future of this world is perhaps the single most important thing in my life – even more important than Char, than my unborn son, than art, than my friends, than regular money-making, than … anything …
It sound’s so hokey, but it is a deep truth:
Something incredibly vital in my life needs rejuvenation. And it’s not just the wonder of looking at the world with fresh eyes. I’m sure my son will help me with that!
It’s the wonder that is the feeling of hope – that some major change can and will happen, if not in my life-time then soon after, that will put this planet on a new course.
Towards more one-ness thinking. More empathy. More peace.
The challenge is of course that you can’t measure it.
So you could conceivably argue that progress has already been made and will have been made when I die – much to appreciate. Even if we have had a climate meltdown or two.
You could also argue that ideals tend to move the goal posts.
When I was 15 it was fantastic and wondrous that the Berlin Wall fell. It truly felt like the Winds of Change had blown right in and torn down that wall, Mister Gorbachev – thank you!
Now … 27 years afterwards … it doesn’t feel like such a big deal, because my focus is more on the things that dit NOT change, when Soviet Communism fell.
There is still much greed, autocracy and ,more than a few nukes to go around.
I think there is a key to rekindle that vital flame of hope and vision inside me again that I had as a young student (before I had read too many books). I feel it is there.
But it isn’t equal to any concrete version of more than 90 nations with less than 10 per cent poor in 2050.
Nor can it be something vague and utopian like ‘world peace’ in 2100.
So what should it then be?
Can it even be, just like that, without the help and inspiration of some higher power?
Can I pluck this vision purely from my own heart? Can it arise only from looking at the world as it is and having faith in its potential to be more?
No matter what ‘God’ is or is not, this vision I feel I need to have again, most certainly needs to resonate with my heart.
And perhaps more importantly with the hearts of others.
Perhaps that is the first step:
To go and find these others again.
Then it can be more than just me and Char who share this. We need to find others again, because even in spite of Char’s job (at a charity) we are both deep in our day-to-day-stuff that we rarely talk about this kind of Big Hope.
What it looks like, what it feels like.
You know, I used to think they did this a lot a charities. But Char’s work has taught me differently. There’s a lot of (necessary) day-to-day to keep the machine running. A lot of grunt, unpleasant routine work with databases and numbers and press-greasing.
Not that much heart and vision, except when somebody gets a drink after hours and begins talking about what they hope for. What they really hope for.
For this Earth.
In 2017, despite everything else that’s going to happen, I need to find more people to talk to. About The Hope.
Only then can I find out what it looks like again.