February 22, 2011

May You Live in Interesting Times

This is an old Chinese blessing and curse and you could certainly say that it applies to the World today. I don't think anyone could deny that we live in "interesting times". We have reached the stage of diminishing resource reserves, pressing environmental issues, shortages of available fresh water, increasing population, increasing food shortages and an increasing gap between rich and poor. This has led to social upheaval in some parts of the world and growing unrest in many others. Many people feel totally disillusioned and disenfranchised by the political system and the responses (or lack of) from world leaders to these and other issues of great concern that must be dealt with in some way if we are to find a way forward in the future.

So is it a blessing or is it indeed a curse when we look at the way it applies to us today?
I personally think it is a little of both and how we respond to these issues will determine which will be greater, the blessing or the curse. I believe that as individuals we need to take action to reclaim responsibility for how we live our lives and how we shape our societies if we wish to find the blessing inherent in that ancient saying. If we fail to take action on an individual level, how can we expect our governments to deal with these major concerns when we seem to be content to allow things to continue as they are?

I also believe that it is not enough to say things must change. We must work to create a better future by implementing change on a personal level so that others can follow our lead. If we can bring about sustainable changes in the way that we live we can perhaps protect ourselves to some degree from the unpleasant changes that may be forced upon us anyway.

That is the real purpose of this blog. It is my small action to help create a better future for all of us by offering what I call the three I's; Information, Ideas and Inspiration.

I believe that we can overcome the issues that confront us and move forward without having to suffer too great a social upheaval, if we can learn to become creators of abundance in our own lives and share those skills with others so that they can become creators of abundance in theirs. A sustainable future must find ways to minimise our impact on the environment and provide more equality in the distribution of wealth for all people. By wealth, I do not mean money. Money is only a trading tool and has no intrinsic value, beyond it's power to trade for the things that we need. All of us have basic needs. We need clean air to breathe, we need fresh water to drink, we need healthy food to eat, we need shelter in the form of housing and we need to feel safe and secure from danger.

If we can find ways to provide for some or most of these needs for ourself, we release resources to help other's who cannot. If we can create an abundance in our lives, then we can share our abundance with others and help them to create an abundance for themselves. Knowledge is power and education is the key to knowledge. If we can equip ourselves with knowledge and skills then we can educate other people and  help them to empower their lives as well.

I don't wish to be alarmist but I really do think that if we fail to act to create change now, change will be forced upon us anyway and those changes might be very unpleasant for many. If we allow that to happen, then the saying will indeed become a curse upon us and our children. I would rather try to make that saying a blessing by making positive changes now, rather than waiting to see what the future will do to me instead.