Maybe The Mayans Were Right…

30 Oct

It’s quiet in my office this morning, and my inbox is full of emails titled ‘Today,’ as many of our New Jersey and New York colleagues write to let us San Franciscans know they are ok.  I am grateful for these messages and for texts from friends, reassuring me the same, but I can’t help but have a heavy heart today.

It’s not just the underwater photos of FDR, or the broken carousels of Cony Island, but the larger issues that our country and world face.

Too long we have denied climate change and what that means; too long we have been divided over many things, and with the approaching election I fear that these divisions will just get deeper, as our economy continues to stutter, I worry that our scars will just get uglier.

When I look backwards into our history what has come before is not reassuring.  In many ways today mirrors both the 1850s and the 1930s, a lethal combination; however, we have the added weight of a changing ecological system, and one might say that mirrors the beginning of the ice age – ours just has more heat.

It is a frightening trifecta, and even more so because natural disasters remind us how little control and power we have in our lives.

We do so much to distract ourselves from this innate truth, nature is the ultimate ruler.  We create ideologies and political systems trying to control each other, trying to bring order into an inherently chaotic and random universe, so what is more shocking than the symbol of money and power on it’s knees and under water?

What I hope for is that yesterday’s damage will remind people of how all divisions melt away when we are faced with challenges that are greater than us; that we need to reach out toward one another, not vote against each other, or condemn one another for our viewpoints.

We all begin and end the same way, so way we are so cruel to each other in the middle, why do we point fingers at one another’s stories?  These superficial divides are created by us, and we, as a person, and as a society, grant and take away power.

I’ll always remember thinking, back in the seventh grade, that the most popular girl in school was only that because we believed, we, my classmates created this myth, so why envy her?  If we didn’t like it then we didn’t have to believe.

Let’s stop being thirteen year old girls, and start by cultivating a more forgiving, loving and realistic view of the environment that we live in today.  Let’s join together and accept these fleeting, often meaningless journeys that we call life reach out and find more joyous and healthy ways to live.

Let’s not wait for natural disasters to remind us how much we need each other, how shallow our divides really are, and how we need to be one another’s friend because nature never will be.

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