A friend of Alissa and me from our early days in Seattle writes a food…well, more accurately, a lifestyle blog. I’m not sure she’d characterize it that way, but her posts are about far more than sharing recipes. On Saturday, she put up this post about her reaction to events in Japan. I took a different, call it lighter, approach to many of the same issues she’s wrestling with in my post of that same day, but as I read her post, I could identify with many of the feelings she describes. I won’t recount them, as her words are more than adequate and certainly don’t need any help from me.
I would encourage you to read her post (and peruse her blog for delicious recipe ideas), paying particular attention to the second paragraph of the lift-out quote from her friend in Sendai, the one talking about cosmic evolution and a wave of birthing.
I don’t know if we’re at the cusp of some great evolutionary moment. That kind of terminology doesn’t come easily to me, nor do references to birth pangs. I’m a guy after all and therefore supremely unqualified to comment on what birth pangs feel like. Still, having been present at the birth of both my children, having borne witness to those moments composed in equal parts of hope and fear, I have an idea what my friend is writing about.
The term that comes to mind for me is “tipping point”. I watch the news from around the world, from Japan and Egypt and Libya and Bahrain and Wisconsin and Michigan. I see some people choosing peaceful means of change, and I see vested interests defending themselves, sometimes with deadly consequences. I look at a country ravaged by multiple disasters, in ways that have tangible impacts thousands of miles away, and in the face of such danger and hardship, we see the best in people. We see nuclear plant workers sacrificing their health, even their lives to protect others, and we see acts of kindness, of selflessness, of community that my friend’s friend describes. These news stories, and so many others might, might just be letting us see that we are in interconnected world, and we need to take seriously the challenges that face humanity. People around the world are recognizing that the global economy is not working for nearly enough people, and they…we…are taking notice. We are at a tipping point. We can continue to divide ourselves from our fellow humans using race, sex, religion, nationality, class or any number of other artificial dividers, or we can move forward, recognize that the things that divide need not do so. We can draw on our differences to find common ground and common cause in making the world that we want for our kids and grandkids.
Which shall it be?