Every day, I take myself and the dog along the same 20-minute route, and every day I see something different because it is the nature of our world to continuously change, adapt and transform.
And yet, human beings doggedly hold on to the illusion that we are in control. Modern civilisation has been built on our desire to control and our belief that we, as the most highly evolved sophisticated, educated, creative and intelligent beings, can make the world dance to our tune.
What is untamed frightened us.
We kill, cage, or domesticate wild animals.
We persecute, ridicule or institutionalise wild people – the witches and thinkers and healers or anyone in any way ‘different’.
We even try to eliminate or cultivate wildflowers, spaces, and plants.
But the fear of wildness is not inherent in human nature. We learn it as we grow from the adults in our lives. Adults have been teaching children to be fearful for generations – ever since we began to lose our connection with nature and with our amazing ever-changing world.
If this global pandemic has taught us anything, it is that what we presumed we could control, and what we can actually control, are very different.
A year ago, most of believed that we were in charge of how we lived, worked, travelled, spent our leisure time, educated our children and used our money. Now, as many struggle to hang on to the old ways of doing things, there is a new way of living being born. This is not the first time in our history that the human race has gone through an uncomfortable transformation, but it is the first time we are all aware of it at the same time.
This simultaneous awareness is enabled because how we communicate has changed radically in recent years. We can now, quite literally, watch history in the making.
It’s been clear for some time that our education and health systems, how we work, our environment, the economy and our social values all needed a radical overhaul – and now it’s happening.
It seems frightening because it’s all happening at once, and because we naturally resist change and shy away from the unknown.
What if you could release that fear?
What if you could begin to see these global changes in a positive light?
Even when it appears to be at its most chaotic, there is structure in the natural world. As the externals shift and society as we once knew it is taking on a new shape, the seasons are coming the going, the moon is steady in its cycle, the birds are signing, the tide continues to ebb and flow.
Victor Frankl published Mans Search for Meaning in 1946 after he experienced life as a prisoner in concentration camps. He observed that human beings can be deprived of all dignity and freedom, but the decision to give up and accept one’s fate is a personal one. Our response to the circumstances, events, situations, and people we encounter will always be ours to choose.
How will you choose to respond to what’s happening on a personal or global level now?
There are only two options.
You can buy into the fear that is being live-streamed 24/7 through all media channels. You can participate in the tension caused by trying to hold on to what we once called ‘normal’.
Or you can decide to take control of the only aspect of your life you can truly control – your own attitude and response – and look instead through the eyes of wonder at a world that is transforming from the inside-out, preparing to emerge as a kinder, more connected and equitable place to be.