We are now reaping exactly what we’ve sown. Make no mistake: our current embarrassing political/social crisis is no accident or anomaly.
The time for personal responsibility, for reconnection and for revolution is here and now.
But we have to shake ourselves out of our stupor and wake up.
Why have we collectively become a country of sick, overfed, undernourished, money-hungry-soul-bankrupt, undereducated, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram self-obsessed, depressed, pill-popping, TV watching, screen-dependent sleep-walkers whose highest ranking political representatives too often more resemble cartoonish buffoons than actual human beings?
Because we’re not paying attention.
Because we’ve collectively relinquished responsibility for our health, our well-being, our lives and the running of our country to corporations, to politicians who represent those corporate interests, to the pharmaceutical industry, to greed, to fear, to entertainment tycoons, to OTHERS WHO DO NOT HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS IN MIND.
But why should they care if what we clamor for and willingly invest in is counterfeit “health” and “wellness” in the form of nutrition-free food products, pills and poisonous “cleaning” supplies? Counterfeit “beauty” in the form of toxic makeup, surgery and Instagram filters? Counterfeit “peace” in the form of unconsciousness via endless distraction and “entertainment”? Who’s really doing the dumbing down here? Aren’t “they” just giving us what we’re asking for? Isn’t the outside merely a mirror of what we’ve become inside? How can we expect our institutions to care about us if we don’t care about ourselves??
THIS IS NOT A GRAMMATICAL ERROR: “THEY” IS US.
As Americans, we’ve collectively allowed ourselves to be placated, overfed, distracted, redirected, coerced, wheedled, and rocked to sleep like little children while other interests have taken over. But we have been complicit with our passivity and sleepiness, allowing “others” to determine our destiny. We have forgotten we must exercise responsibility and stewardship for ourselves and each other. A responsibility for honesty, kindness, care, and love. A responsibility for awareness.
It is time to put away childish things. To wake up and grow up. What kind of a world do we want to live in? It’s time to remember what we came for.
The current schism in political alliances should make it more than clear to anyone paying attention that there are obviously some enormous issues here, and many, many people are saying, “We deserve better than this, what the hell is going on here, let’s change things.” And that sentiment will not disappear with any one candidate—we ARE waking up.
It’s all well and good to rail on about politics. But government is just a symptom, it’s not the problem. Change will not come from the top town. It will come from grassroots efforts. It will come from you. It will come from me. So what can you and I do? What does waking up, paying attention and taking responsibility look like for any one person in their daily life?
It looks like this: TAKING BACK our lives. And what does that look like? It looks like LOVE:
- Take back responsibility for a healthy body. Eat real food. Exercise. Get enough sleep. Don’t over-think this, everyone knows what “healthy” really means: listen to your body. Don’t look to someone else to tell you what that means—you already know. Don’t push the responsibility for your personal health off on companies who are more than ready to sell you packaged food, exercise videos, diet programs or pills which you can then blame for “not working”. Walk, run, skip, get to the gym, take a hike, play a sport. Eat whole foods. Stop poisoning yourself with toxic chemicals. Go to bed when you’re tired. Take care of the gift that is your body. Prioritize your health. No one will do it for you.
- Take back responsibility for how you spend your attention and energy. Get off social media and away from screens and connect with actual humans, animals and nature. Remember that you are Place your attention on what you’re grateful for, not just in terms of what you HAVE, but in terms of the amazing opportunity to be alive on this planet. Life is short. Feel the wind, swim in the ocean, read a book, play with your dog. Do what you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t look to someone else to tell you what that means—you already know. Who are you trying to prove what to? Impress yourself. Be authentic. No one will do it for you.
- Take back responsibility for your state of being. Get honest with yourself. In addition to getting physically healthy (which is inextricably connected with psychological wellness), start prioritizing what you know is important personally and collectively: family, friends, community, stewardship and caring for the environment and ourselves. Don’t look to someone else to tell you what that means—you already know. Question your beliefs. Stop doing things you don’t like. Stop believing that money is everything. Stop looking for approval, affirmation and recognition. No one owes you anything. Start following your intuition to be of service to others, to clean up, to play. Stop complaining. Get out there and pick up trash if you feel despair about the environment. Volunteer with hospice if you feel disconnected. Help out an animal rescue, write an article, really listen to someone… whatever you feel inspired to do with your gifts and talents. Follow your interests and curiosities. You’re not too anything to start now, in this moment, with something, even if it’s the smallest thing, and to begin to live the life want to live. No one will do it for you.
I’m speaking here as much to myself as to anyone else. I’ve spent way too much time complaining. Too much time selling out. Too much time disconnected and asleep. Too much time hoping someone was going to come rescue me. Too much time waiting for someone else to do it for me.
THE TIME IS NOW. WE, AS THEY SAY, ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR.
Reconnect. Represent your true self. Be brave. Love. Speak out. Start anew. Take action. Show up. Ban together. Be who you know you are. This is your chance. Today is your day. This country is your country. This is your life. Let’s create something beautiful.
Image credit huffingtonpost.com