My writing of late has been pretty intense, sometimes angry, and, in the words of one reader, ‘exhausting’. I keep making the point that if we’re going to save the world, we’re going to have to pace ourselves, be good to ourselves, avoid pointless guilt and discouragement, eat well, stay fit, indulge ourselves from time to time, give and receive compliments generously, love without restraint, and infect others with our spirit and passion.
Despite the fact that the more I learn, the more reason I see for concern, even alarm, and the more I’m convinced that radical action is needed soon to save us from catastrophe, I remain a hopeless idealist and optimist. There is much to be done, and urgently, but we can do it. Some reasons to be optimistic:
- There are more people writing, articulately and eloquently and with the weight of excellent information and argument behind them, about the need for radical change to our culture than ever before. This is a groundswell of awareness and deep caring, possibly unprecedented in the history of man. Something important is happening here.
- The Internet has given us two powerful weapons for change: knowledge exchange and organizing capacity. We’re learning to use them well.
- Women are slowly gaining power and influence in our society. Young women are better educated and better informed than any generation in our history.
- Not having children is no longer, for the first time in our culture, considered selfish or anti-social.
- The Wisdom of Crowds.
- In the next decade much of the baby boom generation will be retiring. That means a huge number of people, a generation with a penchant for change, will suddenly have an enormous amount of time to think, to learn, to do things for reasons other than financial gain.
- Stories have immense power to change minds. We are learning the process of crafting astonishing stories.
- The Power of Community.
- In our search for models and leaders and inspirations, we are becoming skeptical of arrogance and glibness and the cult of personality, and looking instead for humility, honesty, flexibility, collaboration.
- A World of Ends. There is a large and growing appreciation that small and decentralized just works better. And is smarter and more agile.
So there is great reason to be hopeful. But not complacent.