Waking from Slumber. The question is, will we wake in time?

Interesting that the myth of Snow White has been brought back to the big screen in various iterations in the past few months. The great beauty Snow White, kind and caring of all of life, succumbing to a poisoned sleep by the jealous wicked Queen, a women consumed with a rapacious hunger for beauty, youth, and the sweet life with little regard to anyone or anything standing in her way.

We are in slumber. We have succumbed to a greed, hunger, entitlement and laziness that consumes our soul. And it is shameful. The metaphorical Prince is not coming to kiss us awake. Or if he is, he will come wearing the cloak of a wrathful spirit.

Last week the local paper reported that a women, in her 30’s, was suing our local water park because she got stuck in a water slide. She was completely unharmed physically, but apparently traumatised, and believes she deserves $400,000. Exits were everywhere, had she had the nous to look.

How does a 30 year old women become so incapable of asking a series of questions to herself about how to get out of an enclosed tube in a water park?

How does a 30 year old women arrive at the place where she thinks its acceptable for her to sue the Park for $400,000? (Yep I know in the USA the sue society is worse…but really people, why do we tolerate it? Worse, why do we do this?)

Has she no clue that her little greedy tantrum will cost everyone. EVERYONE. Our insurance bills go up, the entry fee’s for the water park will go up. (Please read my article…Eventually we all pay….) And if she truly is traumatised, then she needs to toughen up and get over it. How have we raised several generations of people without any physical and emotional resilience or back bone?

How did we as a society get to this place? It sickens me.

We have kids who are so molly coddled they are incapable of taking care of themselves. They need to be driven to and fro, seemingly incapable of walking or riding a bike, parents terrified their precious little bundles will be one of the very few to be abducted. What is wrong with self defense classes? And yes, before you get righteous with indignation, I too am a parent. It would kill me if anything happened to my daughter. But over protection is simply not the answer. My job is to support her to be able to function resourcefully and well in society. The mother bird pushes the baby out of the nest, and the baby bird either flies or falls. There is no lack of love from the mother bird. Indeed, it is the opposite.

Our job as parents is to prepare our children to live in a hostile environment, to be resourceful, resilient, to think for themselves, to survive and thrive. Wrapping them in cotton wool and showering them with gifts will not do that.

Kids of today expect the world to pay, just as their parents did pay for everything. The “give me more society”. They have little ability to fix a light, clean a toilet, sew a piece of cloth, hammer a nail, change a tyre, iron a shirt. They may be able to cook, but only because of reality TV cooking programs. And if the parent is not able to provide the latest and greatest, the parents are beset with guilt while the kids whine about missing out.

This is the world we have created. It is obese, indulgent, incompetent, blaming, lazy and demanding.

Oh…and unforgiving. A young man who makes an idiot mistake as every young man has done is not allowed to be forgiven..because he has a public face. He becomes the magnet for our finger pointing, a certain way to keep the finger from turning back upon its source.

Heaven forbid we look at ourselves, at all the times we have gotten angry and hit out at another, and got away with it. Those few who had the bad luck to do damage, or worse, get killed or kill, while they certainly need to be punished, cannot shoulder the blame of our own anger for eternity. We were just lucky to get away with our little tantrums. I am not talking about the serial offender here, but the regular person who does a few silly things, and hopefully learns from his mistakes. As we have all done.

A few nights ago I had a dream that took me to a place of rage. It was the rage that woke me. It was most curious to observe. The fire inside that I long to connect to. The fire that gets me from the couch, gets me to speak, act, do. Not in blind, ill considered reaction. But in thoughtful, purposeful activism. Fire in the belly. A potent and needed elixir.

I have to start with myself. I am the one who has written for years to wake up, speak up, take action, do something. But where is my voice in this? Sure I write about it. But most of my mutterings are under my breath, or worse, a part of the larger blame based conversation that society loves, because it gives us a place to feel like we are doing something, when in fact we are doing nothing. Talk is cheap, and easy.

Not only in my writing, but speaking up. Writing to my local paper, my local government, speaking out, jumping in. This is what has been calling to me. I can’t sit on the couch and spectate. The arena is calling me.

Back to the larger story of our society…how do we as a society wake up? This is the question I have been stewing in for the last few weeks. How do we become more resilient, more compassionate, more grateful, more supportive of our community, more humane?

My answer is bound to be controversial. But in all my years of working with people, as a healer of sorts, I have observed through my own experience that almost all humans do not do the hard yards if they can avoid it. They would frankly rather eat crap knowing it will kill them, literally and metaphorically.

Nature though, the brilliant and very capable teacher, has a way. And she will deliver. There will be no God that inflicts petulance and famine upon the human race. We will do it with great skill, all on our own. Indeed, we are almost at the precipice, if we have not already crossed it.

In what costume the disaster will appear, I know not. Natural disaster, pandemic, the effects of climate change (fire, flood, famine, raising tides), global economic collapse, or the normal human preference, war…. Even more possible and tragic, a confluence of all of these events, the perfect storm. She will breath her fire, burn, maim, destroy, reduce, break down, a Kali of impeccable wrath.

And while at the personal and human level, the effects in the short term will be tragic, long term, we may actually wake up from our indulgent slumber.

People will bow in gratitude for the warmth of the sun, the simple ability to eat good food grown by their hand or the hand of their neighbour. They will share, build, hold the hand of, care for. Nature will not be some utility for our exclusive and careless use. She will again be revered.

Only tragedy appears to restore humanity to humanity. I wished it were not so.

For a miracle to happen and to prevent the kind of breakdown that is being created at our own hand, not only do I need to get off the couch, you do too. Millions of us. I pray it is so. But I suspect that it will not be. That only through horror and suffering will we stop our whining, blaming indulgent behaviour.

 

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