How do you define ‘thriving’ for yourself and for humanity? First picture in your mind what is thriving for yourself. That picture probably includes different levels of desired money, health, as well as shelter, food, education for your children, relationships that support you. Maybe it includes service to others, maybe not. Take a moment now. Write it out. I am serious. Take a moment and write it down. Now put it to the side.
Now ask yourself what, in your mind, would thriving be like for humanity? All of humanity, not just the western world. Maybe that picture includes the same elements or does it? Put aside thoughts about whether you think it’s possible that ‘all’ of humanity could ‘thrive’ by your definition. Take a moment down to write it down. Again, I am serious. Take a moment and write down what you think/feel a thriving humanity would be like. It’s important to visualize this, to put it down on paper. Now put that list aside.
Last week I watched the videos created by the Human Longevity Project (humanlongetivityproject.com) and all my ideas about thriving shifted quite a bit. Let’s look at health. Health is eating, moving, breathing and drinking in alignment with the originally designed complexities of our physical bodies. All the shifts in our western food supply towards genetically modified food, contaminated water and air have abrogated most of our individual capability to create, sustain and maintain good physical health. In the west, we are growing a generation of children who will not live as long as my generation (I am a Baby Boomer). I even see that my parents fed my siblings and I on the what they were told were the improvements in the food and water. Yet the children living in indigenous areas lived healthier lives in their rural homes than our 1950s white bread, canned food diets, and fluoridated water supplies. What is the chance for our grandchildren who live in air more contaminated and drink water more laced with chemicals? How can they thrive?
We can change our diets and advocate for clean air and water for everyone! Will we? If we don’t, the children of the future won’t have the chance to breathe clean air or drink sweet clean water. Look at your list, were those elements on your ‘thriving’ list for yourself or humanity? Bet not! We are like the frog in a pot of water slowly being boiled to death.
What about your relationships with family, with friends, within a community? What did you write down for your own ‘thriving’? What did you think humanity needs in those categories? Seriously, look at your lists and see what you wrote down. Humans thrive when they have relationships with the people who live near them. Humans need relationships to thrive. Face to face is best. Next best is virtual. Despite the western world’s sometimes fierce desire to survive on one’s own, it’s not the best way to stay healthy either physically or mentally. How do we build those relationships? I spent most of my adult life in Northern Virginia where it was common for large groups of people to move in and out of the area every year. I sometimes never saw my neighbors unless it was winter, and we all were digging ourselves out of snow. I learned to join a church community to create community for myself and my children. I also joined professional groups where I was active. These memberships gave me friendships, a sense of connection as well as an opportunity to be of service. All of these activities feed us. What do you do to create, sustain and maintain relationships with others either in your neighborhood or larger communities? How would you change your lists for yourself or humanity now that you reflect on these elements?
What about the area that you live in? How is it doing? Are the marshes healthy and vital? Are the forests still there? What about the air? Last fall I had the opportunity to visit the Barrons, an area outside of the city of Ennis in Ireland. Our guide was a native of the area, and I got a visceral sense of what it to be ‘of the land for generations’. It was like being protected and cared for by the environment, an experience of which most of us mobile western folks don’t even have an inkling. How does this disconnection from the land of our birth impact our sense of being safe in the world…of our willingness to fight for the health of the environment we live in? Enough of the world’s waters and land has been decimated by people who don’t care to invest in the land and water with the view of the ‘seven generations coming’. Will we fight for that right or let it go because it isn’t in our face right now? Were these ideas in your individual list of thriving? In what your list for what humanity needs to thrive?
There were many elements that they identified for increasing human longevity and I highly recommend the series. The last one that I will mention today is one that rocked me to the core when it came up. All the speakers in the videos, be they scientists, healers and indigenous people all talked about the need for each of us to be connected to our Source, that higher intelligence/power that created humanity and this earth. I was brought to tears. It has taken me a long time to get past defining that source as the old man on the cloud, as my church pictured it in my childhood. That god seemed to me to be a false god. ‘He’ didn’t seem very nice. As an adult I deliberately connected to Goddesses and energies that supported humanity to be more of the best of what we could be. In the work that I have been involved in over the past five years, I find that I am now in direct connection with my sense of Creation, which always has humanity’s back. You may call your Source, Creation/God/Goddess/Great Spirit. It doesn’t matter what you name it, and it matters that you are in connection with it. That relationship feeds me and I sensed that this was true for these scientists and indigenous people as well. Is this relationship on your list? How do you feel about this element?
My sense is that humanity was created to be so much more than we experience today. We can now take all that science has discovered and all that our indigenous ancestors knew instinctively and crave a future that holds these possiblities to be actualities. We can create a future for ourselves and for the coming generations of children that is beyond any ideas that we presently have about what being human can be. I believe that we must fight for this both in our own lives and in the lives of our own children. Then we must fight for the land, the air, the water, the children of our own area that we live in, then we can ensure our thriving and that of our local humanity! If local action is taken all over the world, we can create ecosystems that support every part of the world for animals, plants, humans and all other Beings on this planet.
Now go back to your lists. What are you adding to each list? What are you subtracting? I have learned to use the Creation Exercises from the Language of Creation to help me define my cravings for a larger life for myself, my family and humanity. The regular writing of the creation exercises has given me a release from the past ideas and habitual responses of this lifetime, and an opening to different ways of being that I had not dreamed of before
Write your list. Visualize your choices. Choose for health of future generations arising. Choose to act now and in the future. We are held by the larger forces and we can hold others. Let’s act together for own craved future and for the future of humanity.