“Everything is going to be all right!”
By Bryan Hayes
We need now more than ever a new voice. We need a different narrative. We need to hear that there is good news, even when it comes to climate change, because we already know there is enough bad news to be found in abundance.
Yes, climate change is a top priority. Yes, we may very well be in a crisis situation. Yes, there is a lot to be scared about when we look at the number of animals that are exceedingly going extinct, increasingly rising temperatures, and the entire future of the planet may be in peril, which not only affects us directly but our decisions impact future generations.
With all of it, and it can become overwhelming, I will repeat once again that everything is going to be all right!
It is not all right for the animal that went extinct. It is not all right for those affected by extreme weather. It is not all right for the trees cut down in the amazon.
What we see in front of us, it may seem bleak our future, but this is not the first global crisis that the world has ever faced, nor will it be the last. We have encountered unsurmountable odds throughout the history of civilization, but we are still standing. We have always found a way. We will continue to find a way.
This goes not only for climate change but for the future in general. There are good people in the world making a positive impact. While the stories may be more difficult to find, because they may not necessarily get the spotlight, or headlines, there are amazing people doing amazing things for the planet every day. They often get overlooked.
Bill Gates, for example, recently introduced Heliogen’s solar technology, which creates a solar oven by focusing multiple mirrors into one specific point. The technology can be used to create everything from steel, to glass, to cement, and other material. The impacts could be immense, but were you aware of this positive story?
One of my favorite movies is called “The Mully Family.” It is a true story about Mr. Mully who as a child in Africa was left by his parents to defend for himself, because they could not afford to take care of him. He spent years struggling to survive, but made his way into the city where he began working and ultimately ended up becoming one of the wealthiest men in all of Africa. That was until he decided he was never going to work again for money, and began taking homeless children off the streets and with his wife and children, began raising these children in their home. The number of children they cared for outgrew their house, so they moved to another location but found that food and water was difficult to sustain. He embarked on growing their own food supply, developing irrigation, and even changing the entire ecosystem by planting trees that brought rain to the area. His non-profit organization continues today, and while his story is one of the most inspirational, most probably have never heard of him or the movie.
He was one of the most unlikely people to make such a lasting impact for so many children, for the environment, and this was just one person. Just because I say “everything is going to be all right” does not mean we can become complacent. What that means is it does us no good to be in a place of perpetual gloom and doom.
Saying everything is going to be all right does not lead to complacency. It is meant to inspire, to see a better world tomorrow than we have to today. It is focusing our energy on where we want to go, and where we want to be.
Climate change is one of many crisis situations not only internationally, but nationally, and even within our own minds. Watching the news is not any different in terms of the ratio of negative to positive than our own individual thoughts, which tend to also be predominantely focused on the negative. It is as unbalanced as we are. If we can change our thoughts to be more balanced, to even see a brighter future for not only ourselves but our children’s children, then we are contributing to making the world a better place.
In order to begin viewing the world a little brighter, a little bit greener, and a little bit more sustainable, the practice of meditation can be life changing. Finding what is right in the world is just as important as fighting against all that is wrong, there are studies showing that group meditations focused on peace can lead to lower crime rates.
There are countless different types of meditation, some of them walking, so if you are not someone who feels they can sit still for any length of time, there is a meditation out there for you.
A meditation I practice myself is walking and becoming present to all of the nature that is ever present all around. I will notice the individual leaves on a tree, the petals on a flower, and become grateful for each individual one. It clears my mind, and gives me an appreciation of everything I miss on a daily basis when life gets in the way and I am in too big of a hurry.
Along with meditation, finding the positive stories, and being grateful for all that is going right in the world is another way to change perception.
Another way to change perception is to see what it is like for yourself. Instead of just voting, volunteering for a campaign is a way to become actively involved. While national politics get all the attention, volunteering to support a local candidate can help involve yourself into the community, and see that politicians are people too.
Along with volunteering to support climate-progressive candidates, another way to get involved in making a difference is to instead of posting grievances online, call or write your local representative. I know firsthand that they do listen, and as your representatives, they represent your interests.
It may seem futile, at times, and it may seem like a losing battle. It is not. We must continue on, and some of that includes surrendering – surrendering to what we cannot control while continuing to take control of that what we can.
It may feel as if nothing is happening, but it is. There are great people doing great things, and sometimes, we may not see the hard work that is being done but only the end result. The results may not be realized today though but we must continue for the sake of our children’s children, and their children.
All is not lost. Rather, everything is going to be all right!