/ log / Dec, 2007 /

Thinking my way in to 2008

On the 15th of November, 2005 in Washington DC, the Dalai Lama said:

“I believe the twenty-first century can become the most important century of human history. I think a new reality is emerging. Whether this view is realistic or not, there is no harm in making an effort.”

Thanks to Kim Stanley Robinson for introducing me to those words in his book, Sixty Days and Counting.

As we move into the eighth year of the new century, that’s what I’ll be trying to do in my own way with some small projects that I’d like to think can contribute. They are not the paradigm shift the Dalai Lama refers to, but you’re welcome to join me anyway.

Earlier today I took a break from the consumer carnage of the sales with Starbuck (unfortunately not the one from Battlestar Galatica). I sipped my chai tea latte, smoked a coconut ciggi and wondered what 2008 might bring. Eight is a lucky number for Chinese folks. When my father first heard I’d moved to house number 88, he told me to get a lottery ticket straight away. I didn’t win but it was fun to engage with the superstition for a moment. Maybe 2008 will be a lucky year for humanity but my first thought wasn’t that, it was wondering if it will be a good year, period.

I was hoping I might be able to do everything I want to in the coming months, and not kill the planet while I’m about it. A thought struck me though: The tension between “us” and “I” is always there; between what we’d like to do for each other and what we feel we have to do for ourselves and our loved ones. As the earth moves towards rapid climate change with 100 million new humans are added to the tribe every year and the whisper of science is still drowned by the cacophony of war the pressures of our own lives loom larger still. The need to buy the right home, to educate our children, to secure our personal futures all make us compete. Having said that, with a little perspective I try and hold on to the common, human aspirations we all share, whether they are realistic or not. After all, there’s no harm making an effort, is there?

If I was an overly-cool, cynical man perhaps I’d sarcastically say “utopia for the win!” Perhaps that persona and the altruist that I’d like to think I’d be without the other pressures can compromise though. So, instead I’ll just say: Thanks for taking the journey with me, and all the best to you and yours for 2008, no matter how or where your efforts lie!

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