Dig This: The Future Will Be (Is) Exciting

With all of the current problems and future possibilities we face, these are exciting times.

Ironically, it’s also a time to be concerned with our survival. It’s more than just preserving our comfortable lifestyle; it’s human survival that’s at stake.  Actually, the survival age started years ago, more than 20.  Few listened; most of us didn’t. At first we were in denial; now the weather has slapped us awake. OK, we should have listened more to poets and scientists, less to politicians and TV news, but it’s now.

What makes our future exciting is that we’re in the middle of two societal forces pulling both ways.  One force is the “Great Unraveling” and the other is the “Great Turning.”

The “Great Unraveling” is made worse by climate change that gives us a frightening urgency to correct things now.   We can’t wait for the “deniers” to die off. If we do, it will be too late to mitigate or reverse climate change.  On a global level we have treated our “Pale Blue Dot” as an unlimited supply house and a sewer.  This is most true in the USA and Europe. Sadly, many of the emerging economies, such as China, Brazil and India, have copied US ways.

I’ve started two lists. They’re helping me understand what’s happening to us and what needs to be done for the survival of the human race.  I can’t speak for you, so make them into meaningful tools of understanding for yourselves.

The Great-UNRAVELING is characterized by:

  • Failing schools, both students and crumbling school buildings
  • Declining health of people and hospitals
  • Degradation of the environment leading to uncontrollable climate change
  • Being in a “throw-away” society
  • Crumbling infrastructures, including bridges, levees, roads
  • Unjust and unequal tax systems
  • Unsustainable agriculture and an unhealthy food system
  • Unequal incomes demonstrated by 1% vs. 99%
  • Dysfunctional political system
  • The “Me” era overriding community belonging
  • A Man’s World dominated by left-brain competition and control
  • Add your concerns to this list ——–

The “Great Turning” force is gradually gaining attention like a bubbling consciousness that we have to restore society or “we’re toast.”  It’s realizing that our Pale Blue Dot is the nurturer of all life and beauty that must be sustained or we all suffer. It’s a force moving toward improving the quality of life for all.  This list is the most important to me because it lists what needs to be done.  Add to it your ideas and the activities that you think are most important.

The Great TURNING will be characterized by:

  • Sustainable, local agriculture and improving food systems
  • Establishing true equal rights for women
  • Universal health care
  • Protecting plant and animal diversity
  • Building community so everyone gains a sense of belonging
  • Stopping the enabling activities that degrade your quality of life
  • Mitigating climate change
  • Re-purposing education to help everyone become more socially interactive
  • Ending corporate personhood
  • Engaging our right-brain functions of compassion, creativity and cooperation
  • Balancing wages and cost of living so families can save and enjoy living
  • Add your ideas to this list —–

These lists are the beginning. Add and expand them.   Then, paying more attention to powerful ideas and practical actions found in the new media of books, magazines, radio programs and films would help us move toward realizing the Great Turning.

Actually it’s all up to each one of us.  You could sit back and say, “Tsk, Tsk” and hope the Government takes care of things.  Or you join others and participate in shaping the future of your grandchildren and their children.  But ultimately, it will be up for the youth to correct the excesses of their elders.  Perhaps, you could tell them this.

Pass these lists onto your children and their friends.  Wonder what they’ll do?

Wayne Kessler is the former owner of Shambani Organics, former Peace Corps volunteer, and founding member of Growing Local.

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Following his grandfather's advice, "Grow food. People always need food," has led Wayne to a lifetime of cultivating and processing food. He spends much of his time encouraging people to become more food independent by growing their own.
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8 Responses

  1. James Montgomery James Montgomery says:

    Nice.

    However, like most well-intentioned reformers, you overlooked the elephant in the living room: overpopulation. Without addressing this issue, all solutions are unworkable.

    • Avatar Doug Bennett says:

      Over population is indeed a large part of the problem. Perhaps a telegram to the Pope would help (I kid). The answer to that is universal contraceptives free to all women around the world. Also, a high school education for all women is known to help cut birth rates.

      • James Montgomery James Montgomery says:

        Yes, those are good places to start. Reforming our tax structure to eliminate tax deductions after two children might do just as much.

  2. Avatar Pamela says:

    There are so many elephants in the room. Each one claiming to be more important than the next. We have to start somewhere–hopefully.

    • James Montgomery James Montgomery says:

      Well, no. Overpopulation is by far the greatest solution-killer. It is the largest root cause of war, poverty, famine and environmental degradation.

      I truly like Mr. Kessler's positive approach to human progress, by the way. We have the means at our disposal to create paradise on earth, but we are breeding our way out of the opportunity.

      • Avatar Pamela says:

        Well, corporate media is a pretty big elephant in the room. We don't hear so much about over-population on main stream media. Even if over-population is the biggest solution-killer, most people won't know that because they don't get that information. We do need an informed citizenry if we are going to make positive changes for the environment, peace, poverty, etc. No?

  3. Avatar Doug Bennett says:

    Wayne-

    Good article. It reminded me of David Korten's book, The Great Turning. Did you borrow some of lists contents from the book?

  4. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    I remember reading in Reader's Digest, no less, many, many years ago (I was in high school) that no woman who gave birth to more than two children should complain when her children were sent to war. Of course, sixty years hence, we all realize that it isn't just a woman's responsibility, but the message is the same!