“Let him who would move the world, first move himself.”
As we ring out the old, tumultuous year that was 2014, it is tempting to bemoan the current state of the world, and the potential disasters we face at the hands of the powers that seem to be. But the promise of change that comes with ringing in the new demands that we put those thoughts aside, and focus instead on whatever reasons we can find to inspire our hope that somehow, 2015 will bring the changes we so desperately need. Despite the feeling of despair I see permeating our present, I find real reasons to remain hopeful as I look out over what I imagine to be the landscape of our future.
Overall, a growing number of us is willing to look deeper inside ourselves for a greater understanding of what truly matters in this life. As we do, we are discovering that we are more similar to one another than our shallow differences had led us to believe. Although bigotry is still pandemic in our society, time is its enemy, as its strength significantly weakens with each new generation. Although war is still too often the method of choice in settling disputes, many more of us question the notion that violence can ever bring about peace. Exemplary of our deepening and expanding compassion is the rising tide of vegans who have withdrawn their support of the holocaust that is the animal industry. Virtually unchallenged for centuries, this horrific business, is, in this one, on the defensive, as we are, slowly but surely, losing our taste for enslaving, eating and using the bodies of our fellow animals.
As insane as individual human behavior still appears, there is little doubt in my mind that, as a species, we are evolving. Preposterous, frightening, disempowering beliefs that were accepted as truths without question not so long ago, are now openly debated and are ultimately being exposed as the sham they have always been. In their place has come a new understanding that the power to change the nature of our outer world is ours, with our willingness to change the nature inside us. And it is this understanding that is my greatest hope for rescuing the life of the 21st century.
We are seeing, as though with new eyes, that each of us has a unique viewing of the mystery that is the world we inhabit, and because we assume that the way we see it is reality, we live our lives as though it is. However, since our perceptions are determined by our point of view, which includes where we are standing and the direction in which we are faced, both of which are in our power to change, each and every one of us is empowered to evolve our world, simply (if not always easily) by standing for what is right, with our faces to the light.
If we want an honest world, we must live and speak what we know to be true. If we want a just world, we must be fair in all our dealings. If we want a gentle world, we must reject violence. If we want a free world, we must be willing to free our human and non-human slaves. And if we want a peaceful world, we must first find a way to make peace with ourselves and one another.
As we stand on the brink of 2015, I say to you, our readers, and to myself, in one breath: Let’s make the coming year the most evolutionary in the history of the human race… because we can.
With love from the Gentle World team.
Image courtesy of Gulbarto107 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net