a prayer for the new year
As the decade turns over, what can we ask for, what can we work on? Can the World heal?
As I look around today I see people stuck, unable to imagine how to deal with a changing world, full of fear and resentment.
Our media, especially news media, always emphasize the negative, shock and hate and violence. The regular daily grind of life is too dull to cover, tho it’s where most of us spend our time.
To balance out all the brutal images of the daily news, Media gives us scenes of phony luxury, hot people and cool people. It’s a good way to sell a lot of crap. Today Social Media replicates aspirational advertising, and influencers do the work a corporate team used to do.
Today’s world is highly partisan, and all partisanship is largely negative, about who you stand against. Our Ideology, as well as our Media, keeps the focus on exclusion, on building walls and pulling up ladders behind us.
We mostly seem to pay attention to what is bad, what we don’t want. We talk much less about our positive values, what we really do want, what we value most.
Left and Right play different versions of the same game. Left loves blaming and shaming and shunning. Right loves bullying and threatening and trolling. It’s all the same sad waste. It produces trauma and acrimony over generations. It is another form of manmade hell, a low-grade forever war.
The true wielders of power, the billionaires and warlords, are happy most of the people are kept busy hating on each other. Meanwhile they play a brutal game of thrones that’s been going on since at least the bronze age.
Today we are all stuck in past resentments and enmities, and long to go back to some idealized past when the world just worked and everything was free. Meanwhile the future looms ominously, and we can hardly bear to look at it. And deep down we know you can’t go back.
What if, I ask myself, what if we tried to think more positively? What if we took a hefty chunk of all that energy we use hating on stuff and start instead talking about what we want for the future, for ourselves, our children, our communities?
I know many values are broadly shared across all the tribes and nations and identities, and that people will be more open to listening to each other’s concerns when they are presented in a positive frame.
So for 2020, I hope we will learn to speak and think in more positive terms. I hope we will see clearly, vision 20/20, and act with care.
In Twenty Twenty, may it be!