Friday, 1 July 2016

These are NOT rhetorical questions

I have feared and believed all my life in an upcoming chaos, whether climate change, nuclear winter or some form of armageddon. Fuelled by the media and the obvious disregard of the populace for each other. Too many examples of racism and sexism, perpetrations of violence, abuse of privilege and manipulation of circumstance to fleece the unwary; much of humanity really doesn’t care about individuals. They are expendable, “collateral damage”, the consequence of generalized disregard. I’m aware there are individuals, groups, communities of people practicing empathy, charity and support for the oppressed. But why are people oppressed in the first place? Why do some segments of society choose to place themselves above? What is it about destruction that is so seductive? Why is it that individuals will abuse their power in order to control, manipulate and profit off of the death of others?
     This is not a new story, it’s not even news.  It is assumed and expected that some will profit while others suffer and ultimately die in the service of those profits. Slavery in all forms is abhorrent  (to me) yet flourishes across the globe in many manifestations. Every situation of it demands a disregard for the basic human rights of the enslaved individual. Who are these people? What drives them to treat members of their own community as subservient or beneath contempt? What expectations do they have about where this will eventually lead? 
     I’ve read enough dystopian scenarios to imagine just about anything is possible. The utopian scenarios are generally structured around naive assumptions about co-operation, a lack of of need or desire for personal profit, a collapse of caste and political hierarchy. I don’t see much movement in those directions.
     Where is this all going? What happens if this massive climate scenario levels the field? 
     What do we need to  survive? My own concerns have me focussed on developing skills I feel best further and support actual community involvement: Open lines of communication, awareness of dangerous or threatening situations, observation of the immediate environment, individual responses and my own response/reaction to stimuli. Low level technology; growing and processing food and fibre, building from natural material, developing personal networks and creating resilient community.
    As I am living a nomadic existence my ability to be grounded is conditional on, firstly, my own self consciousness, then, who I connect with locally. My sense of safety or security is always dependent on, again, my own self awareness, my ability to be resilient and adaptable to circumstance. These are positive actions in the face of possible disruption.
     Whether the political structures around me are friendly or not, it is with the local people that my possibilities exist. Maintaining, sustaining and encouraging relationship based on sharing empathy and mutual success go furthest. No one has a monopoly on knowledge much less wisdom. Losing my arrogance and rescue mentality creates trust faster than a belief in any expertise I might have. As a visitor /stranger I seldom have  much understanding of local issues, environmental anomalies or specific concerns. I bring my own and they often need to be put aside in order for me to become part of the community.
      In the beginning I thrust myself as fully as possible into the challenges I see. I make efforts to engage where I’m encouraged, tentatively investigating where I’m not and doing all the research I can in order to support the creation, movement and expansion of consciousness within the organization, community and society. 
     My reality though is to not engage fully,  not to be absorbed. I will always be an outsider, different, and this brings up a number of conflicts or dilemmas.
     Eventually the fear of, or resistance to, change  begins to provide friction. What do I have actually that is of value? What can I learn here? Why should I expect anyone to embrace whatever I have to offer when everything they know has been working for them so far? And my culture, my  heritage, is essentially responsible for the continued destruction of the environment, abuse and exploitation of people across the globe. What credibility do I have ultimately?
     I’m transient, offering what knowledge I have, sharing my stories, relating human to human, getting to know the people I meet, learning what they are willing to share. I gain from this, I believe they do too and the world is a little brighter for it.

1 comment:

  1. Knowing you from age 12 -65 has been a long long trail of magical experience, and now this blog, only just discovered on your Facebook page - all-encompassing and all-rewarding - is the nut on top of the chamber, whatever that means!!, though it gets the drift of what I want to say! Such writing..such imagination..such in- the-core-of-it! I look forward to seeing you in August from a friend who's a tiny reed in your big wealth of them. I cannot feel more enlivened by your writing than I already am!