As my body and soul adjust to the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, also known as the assault of Hyper Commercialization on One’s Sense and Sensibility, a.k.a. Capitalism on Steroids, Buy Now or You Aren’t a Patriot, a.k.a. Support Christmas or Be Damned—which some might consider irrelevant to the here and now but let’s not get distracted—I glance at the headlines and consider what my goals will be to survive this holly, jolly season and beyond.
1. Face the heartbreak. I just read—but opted not to look at all the pictures—that 1,000 koalas have died in the fires in Australia. They are, as the below link states, functionally extinct.
As you may know, koalas are adorable. I look at them in their hospital situation—oxygen masks, burns, soft and harmless—and wonder at the world and what we, humans, have wrought. I am complicit. Now what?
2. Refuse to feel helpless or powerless. I just finished Deepak Chopra’s 21-day meditation. The meditations express a lot of the thinking I’ve been doing in the past months and years. As I have written before, it comes down to this: each of us have the power and capacity to live our authentic lives, and spread the good juju. We are all made of energy. We are all connected. How we act matters. Each and every one of our choices matter. There is no room for helplessness or powerlessness.
3. A.C.T.. It is Attitude Change Time. Attitude matters. Keep it positive, or we feed the negative. For example, chickens. Apparently, there is a nursing home that adopted some chicks for their residents who are tending to them, and caring for them, and thereby healing the loneliness of old age.1 How wonderful is that? Because, believe me, chickens are personalities. They can anticipate the future and delay gratification if they think they’ll get more of what they want later.2 Along with fish, they are statistically the worst treated animals in our food system. And they poop a lot of stinky poop. I have written the care organization to find out how that experiment worked. And anticipate getting home to hear all the girls’ news.
4. In six months—assuming the world hasn’t blown up by then—my book At Crossroads with Chickens comes out. Things to be done before that: Book cover. Photos. Publicist. Road trip. If it’s going to be through my writing that I make a difference, I had better start lining up my ducks, chicks and maybe a koala or two . . . . In which case, Carl and I will also need to find some eucalyptus trees to grow given so many of them have been burnt up in the fires of Australia but let’s stay focussed.
5. Get involved. It’s not a choice anymore. Rather every choice we make—what we eat, how we travel, what we wear, who we vote for when, not if, we vote—is political. We can do the things within our strengths and comfort zone but we have also to stretch a bit. It isn’t enough to tsk tsk anymore. This is the last chance we have to save this one and only world. On a local, state or national level, we have got to volunteer now to make the change we need to make. We can’t sit back and say, Oh, well, I guess the younger generation will have to take care of the mess we made. (See point 2 above.)
A lot of people I talk to don’t see who is going to be able to defeat the nightmare in the White House. They seem to think it is time to play it safe, be careful, don’t rock the boat, go with someone who doesn’t scare people. My response? Think bigger. We cannot go back to the good, old days. That’s what created this cess pool we are in. Massive change is coming, it is here, and we have to prepare with massive change.
Easy for me to say? Actually, I don’t know what I’m talking about but I do know that our culture has taken us far from what in life actually matters. And that we face an opportunity to create and heal. And that is something to be grateful for.
Who is going to defeat the nightmare in the White House? We are. Each and every one of us if we choose to.
Don’t look back. We have to go forward.
What’s that mean to you?
2 https://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/the-someone-project/chickens/Kohalas, Chickens and Thanksgiving