As we come up to the year 2012 many prognosticators are predicting the end of the world. I suspect that this will not come to pass.
But I do think that we are seeing the end of the world as we’ve come to know it during the latter years of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first century. Many of the verities upon which we’ve relied will be falter or disappear.
Doomsayers talk about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012. However, The Guardian kindly reassures us that an “expert” says: Mayan tablet does not predict end of the world in 2012.
No matter what one thinks of these predictions of doom it is clear that we are moving into a new world next year on several fronts, mainly due to the global economic situation.
The global economy is not looking well – the British, European and US economies are mired in problems that seem insurmountable. Austerity measures are starting to bite in the UK and Eurozone. We are starting to see the breakdown of normal social bonds. For example, in Greece, there are even stories of parents giving up their children to the state because they can’t feed them: Greek economic crisis turns tragic for children abandoned by their families.
The US is coming up to a Presidential election and the deadlocks between Republicans and Democrats are likely to continue thus blocking any possibility for change. The economic situation in the US does not seem to be improving, in spite of the ‘green shoots’ some speak of. Instead the charts tell a sobering story (source: Financial Armageddon) for the US:
Australia has been sheltered from all of this by the strength of China, and it remains to be seen if this continues into the coming year.
What can we do?
It seems that there is not a lot we can do as individuals to address these larger global problems. However, what we can do is adjust our own lifestyle and mindset to better suit these challenging times. Since we are moving into a different kind of world it seems prudent to prepare proactively rather than sit and wait.
We are moving into a world where the rule of law is shifting, where the rights we’ve assumed were ours are being stripped away, where the social contract between the government and the governed is dissolving.
In this kind of environment the only source of solace is individuals who join together to create positive change in the world. We must join together to create a new kind of polity that rejects control and inequity. We must join together to create tribes and communities that embrace peace and reject anger.
Here are some of my thoughts about how we can approach this challenge:
Kindness. Compassion. Love. Community. Dignity. Composure. Peace. Grace. Flow.
Find our tribes. Build communities.
Sustainability. Grow a garden. Simplicity.
Walk with a friend. Slow down. Eat fresh food. Share a meal. Breathe.
New models. Innovation. Doing good. Creativity. Collaboration. Consensus.
Profit with honour. Nurture people and the environment.
It is good to remember that there is strength in the people when they join together for the common good…