Robert Jensen urges “sensible” people to become apocalyptic. Sensible and apocalyptic are not typically joined together – though one of the definitions of apocalypse is a revelation or a disclosure, which is described by Jensen as a “lifting of the veil” or a “coming to clarity.” Given that many of us have doubts about the state of the world, it makes sense to me that now is the time for us all to “lift the veils” that prevent us from seeing the truth and acting upon our deepest values.
Many of us are just too busy to really pay attention to what is happening in our world. Along with being busy we are also subject to enormous propaganda – in the form of advertisements, political lobbying, media & marketing.
If we did as Jensen urged what might we encounter as we “lifted the veil?” What might be revealed? We might notice that our democratic system is floundering. That our economic system is not stable – our country is deep in debt. That our education system is not working. That the disparity between the rich and the poor continues to grow causing many to face food insecurity, unemployment or paycheck to paycheck existence.
Conversations are the way in which we build stronger communities and informed citizens. We might find ourselves building the “beloved community” proposed by Martin Luther King.
There are many ways to begin conversations. You might just invite some friends to join you for an "intentional conversation" about a subject that is important to you. You might look into beginning a study/action circle -- and I have listed several resources at the end of this blog. Or, use these resources to offer a conversation at your church, synagogue, community center, with your family -- the possibilities are only limited by our imaginations.
As Elders it is our responsibility to be sensible and courageous, to know what is right; and, to act upon what we know to be true. By doing so we can bring about the change that is needed to bring forth a flourishing and thriving world for all.
Joanna Macy, who is a remarkable woman, elder, eco-philosopher, and much more, says “The most remarkable feature of this historical moment on Earth is not that we are on the way to destroying the world — we've actually been on the way for quite a while. It is that we are beginning to wake up, as from a millennia-long sleep, to a whole new relationship to our world, to ourselves and each other.
USEFUL LINKS FOR CONVERSATION, STUDY OR ACTIONS CIRCLES:
Engagement Circles, from Sustainable World Sourcebook, committed to a just and sustainable world: http://swcoalition.org/programs/engagement-circles/
Healing Democracy Action Circles, from the Center for Courage & Renewal: http://www.couragerenewal.org/actioncircles
Up To Us Community Action Circles to encourage meaningful dialogue and action: http://www.uptous.org/circles