What Happens After the #Storm?

If you take a peek back through my posts, you will find a lot of musings on the coming #Storm. I have heard it whispered about in my dreams, in my meditations, and even on quiet walks in the woods in various places around the country. And every single time, there’s no one around whispering it into my ear. But the whispers are always there, warning of danger; extolling the need of others to find protection from the elements of the coming #Storm.

There were warnings that it was to arm, and prepare to defend. And then the familiar stench of racism and nationalism could be discerned on the political winds of the country. People who did not fit a stereo-typical paradigm of white, straight conservatives wound up feeling the leading edges of the #Storm – vulnerable, afraid, alone. The election of Donald Trump provided the momentary courage for the attacks on others. Legislation that protected our environment was removed with the stroke of a pen. The #Storm has arrived.

Let’s be clear, the #Storm is not Donald Trump. His appearance on the world stage is merely a symptom. Nationalism, the marginalization of minority groups in race, religion, gender – these are the elements of the #Storm that are more galvanizing. An extreme shift away from inclusive concepts such as globalism has occurred and continues to gather strength. And in some manners, there’s not much of a chance for change. Entering into the #Storm certainly presents a bleak future. As a matter of discourse, I offer the following speech by Hugh Laurie’s character – Governor Nix – from the movie “Tomorrowland”:

Let’s imagine… if you glimpsed the future, you were frightened by what you saw, what would you do with that information? You would go to… the politicians, captains of industry? And how would you convince them? Data? Facts? Good luck! The only facts they won’t challenge are the ones that keep the wheels greased and the dollars rolling in. But what if… what if there was a way of skipping the middleman and putting the critical news directly into everyone’s head? The probability of widespread annihilation kept going up. The only way to stop it was to show it. To scare people straight. Because, what reasonable human being wouldn’t be galvanized by the potential destruction of everything they’ve ever known or loved? To save civilization, I would show its collapse. But, how do you think this vision was received? How do you think people responded to the prospect of imminent doom? They gobbled it up like a chocolate eclair! They didn’t fear their demise, they re-packaged it. It could be enjoyed as video-games, as TV shows, books, movies, the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse and sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling all around you. You’ve got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won’t take the hint! In every moment there’s the possibility of a better future, but you people won’t believe it. And because you won’t believe it you won’t do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because *that* future does not ask anything of you today. So yes, we saw the iceberg and warned the Titanic. But you all just steered for it anyway, full steam ahead. Why? Because you want to sink! You gave up!  –Governor Nix, Tomorrowland

A lot of what is said here makes certain, crystal-clear sense. Well, except for the fictional Monitor sending messages to the world about the destruction of the planet. Though, as an answer to what is really going on in the world around us, it is a tempting concept. And it would certainly draw up a line of what is definitely right and wrong with the world. Except that its not the answer.

But it does provide a momentary pause. What does a world after the #Storm look like? Or is the #Storm never ending? A miasma that cannot be Febreeze’d out of the carpet and furniture? We dwell on how the #Storm affects us at this moment in time. And as the speech denotes, its a rather easy moment to handle. Nothing is asked of us, aside from huddling for shelter or providing protection. Have we given up on a better future, and therefore cannot find a moment of hope of what *might* be?

How can we combat concepts such as Nationalism, Racism, Gender Bias, prejudice?? These attitudes are deeply ingrained into people’s psyches and makeup. We fear and shun those that are different than we are. And when fearing and shunning doesn’t work, we actively work to demean those that are different. After all, if we can dehumanize people that are different, we might be able to rationalize our inappropriate behaviors towards them. History is replete with examples of this. The Nazi regime’s treatment of those that didn’t fit the uber-mensch concept. The American government’s treatment of First Nations peoples – both then and now – to rationalize the theft and degradation visited upon those First Nations peoples. And that’s only two examples off the top of my head. How do we change mindsets that believe that way?

To be honest, I am not completely sure how. But there has to be a response. Not one of violence, at least not initially. Reasoning and logic are the first weapons of choice. And violence should only be used if violence is utilized against us first. Changing mind’s doesn’t come through bashing skulls, it comes through conversations, discussions, and yes – even debates. The second step should be made through conversation, providing facts to dispel myths and propaganda. Common ground needs to not only be found, and explored – but also cultivated.

Oh?  The first step?  Exactly what we are doing now. Protecting, sheltering, standing up where others cannot. What happened on the train in Portland, Oregon is a prime example of this. Three men stood up to an individual who was threatening two women over their “muslim” clothing. Two of them died at the attacker’s hand for doing this. They did not die in vain. Nor should their actions be diminished. They stood between those two women and the #Storm. As they should have. As any of us that can protect others would have.

What happens when the #Storm passes?  And it will pass. Any #Storm passes. What will the world be like? What might we be able to re-accomplish when the air clears? I really wonder how many folks have thought about what happens when the #Storm passes. Or are we all focused on the now, because it asks nothing of us at this moment?? I know the future I would like to see when the #Storm moves on. What about you??


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