Here we are in the midst of election season, and this time, the divide between left and right seems ever greater. But what bothers me most about all the political commentary I see posted on social media and splattered all over the “news” is that, left or right, it’s all contained in the same limited box. It just always feels like both sides are missing the bigger picture.
When we talk about revolution and change, it starts with our own minds.
A better place to start than arguing about which corrupt politician to put at the helm of an irreparably broken ship is to instead reconsider our relationship to the world and our place in it, the nature of our existence, our means of gathering information about the world and achieving real wisdom, understanding love and hatred…these are conversations we should be having.
Our problems in the world today won’t be solved by un-creative, un-compassionate politicians; they’ll be solved by artists, poets, and free thinkers who — in being unafraid to step outside of the confines of a society that is driven by keeping us quiet and contained — change the world just by living life on their own terms.
This is revolution. If our thoughts are imprisoned by our role as consumers of both media and goods, we’ll get nowhere. The first step is seeing that we are more — and switching off the social-media drip-feed of bland, mediocre ideas that keeps us feeling satisfied with being less.
Taking the time to understand our place in the world is inherently satisfying. Exploring the ecology of our own backyard is a constructive and inspiring exercise because it places us where we are; and where we are is right smack-dab in the middle of a wonderfully complex and infinitely interesting web of life that carries on around us everyday.
It’s time to participate in the “real world” again — the world of watersheds and forests, of biospheres and ethnospheres, of creating lives of meaning and purpose.
In this sense, “revolution” is also good fun, in that it involves creativity and a process of rediscovering ourselves in the world, which just feels good. The idea of making the world a better place is intertwined with the process of making our own lives ultimately more meaningful and connected.
And that’s change I can get behind.