I remember clearly part of the first conversation I had with my (now) husband, over a decade ago. He said that humanity was more peaceful, and more supported now than it had been in previous history. This assertion blew my mind. I had bought into the notion of “the good old days,” which we seem to fall into, even in the absence of evidence to the affirmative. My husband pointed out that the world historically had been more savage, and life more difficult with less ammenities. Therefore, he concluded, humanity was actually better off now than we ever had been and things were getting better all the time. (I might add that I call my husband a “pathalogical optimist!”).
I had to really stretch to wrap my mind around this idea of human progress. After all, there were still wars, still racism, still poverty, still uncurable illnesses. To accept that his opinion could be valid meant I had to change the way I thought about things — change my perspective. I can still remember the feeling in my head when I tried to do that. It felt as if my brain had to change to accommodate this alternatiave perspective.
Tonight I was talking about some of the teachings around 2012. Rather than a portent of doom or gloom, it is seen by some as an opportunity for humanity to make some wonderful choices and to take an evolutionary leap. As such, humanity is evolving toward a higher state of consciousness. As I look around I see what seem to me to be signs of this progress. Yoga is everwhere; you can buy “chakra” aromatherapy items in the supermarket; I can talk about ‘energy’ and nobody thinks I’m crazy; my conservative Catholic mom is telling me about the Law of Attraction; we have a Black president with a powerful wife; crowds gathered in support of Obama’s anticipated victory in Chicago last November and people were nice to each other; the Internet has connected us to friends, relatives and strangers all over the planet.
There have been so many changes recently – structures breaking down, and hopefully new and more positive structures will take their place (as the 2012 pundits have anticipated). I meet so many people are working toward becoming better versions of themselves: more peaceful, more aware, less reactive. I know these people exist – I see them everyday. They are my friends, my clients, my students, my co-workers. They are courageous and commited human beings doing the deep soul-searching work to overcome their own limitations and limiting beliefs, and supporting others to do the same.
Sure, we can always find the dark clouds that obscure our silver lining view of the positive progression. But if the clouds and the silver lining both exist, isn’t it just a matter of figuring out what you want to focus on? I’ve found that recognizing the positives gives me the energy to go to work on the challenges that we still need to overcome. In no way am I ignoring that these negatives exist, but when that’s all you see on the news, it’s hard to accept or know that there is something else. But there is.
I believe that we are going to save our planet (and therefore ourselves). I believe that we have the capacity as a human race to do what we need to do so that the future is brighter for our children and for generations to come. I believe that we have so much more potential than we currently allow ourselves to experience. And I continue to believe that despite the news which tells us otherwise, we are living in a magical time.