• Laura Madden

Shift or Apocalypse?



It just doesn't seem right. We were on the move. We were mostly being good and doing good. America finally elected a black president, women were strengthening their voice in the U.S. Congress with leadership posts unprecedented in the 30 years I have been in Washington DC, minorities of many creeds and colors were finally represented in BOTH major parties, the Climate Change Accord was passed by the United Nations along with some amazing visionary sustainability goals, and gay marriage was legal....

I could go on, but you get the point. This is good, right?

Of course, there was a lot of darkness in the shadows. Income inequality was out of control with wealth in the world controlled by a mere 1% of humanity. War and terrorism was the new normal. Racism was still the undercurrent with more and more signs that the pot was boiling over. Politicians got really good at fear branding and this was dividing us as never before -- anxiety grew more and more in neglected cities and towns of no consequence it seemed to those in power. At the end of the day, half of the population thought everything was under control because all signs in their bubble led to more progress, and the other half were mad as hell and wanted disruption in whatever form it came. The first group sat it out (let it blow over) and the second did not. So here we are.

I have a piece of paper taped to my refrigerator that says "This is not normal." John Oliver told me to do that on his last television show of 2016. I agree, it is not. I do not intend to view it that way, and I will hope you do the same.

The fact is without a doubt a lot has changed over the past decade, quickly, in grand ways that have created a "new normal" that many people have not caught up with, are not comfortable with and some that just are not going to go there, no way no how. Maybe we have to learn to live with that, or more accurately, learn to live away from that. I don't know.

But my purpose here is to talk about why I think it is still more shift and less apocalypse. I think we see very clearly now that the pie was not baked correctly. But we want the pie. We have already tasted that pie -- in this case the freedom and opportunity pie. We know how good it is. And, we see it online and on t.v. that it still exists ... in the Netherlands. Bottom line is that we are not going to eat a crappy pie.

The evolutionary shift to the belief that there is enough -- we are enough -- and that we can live in peaceful co-existence and must live in peaceful co-existence -- has already happened. We are just in the chaos of the transition. The fear, the anger, the betrayal, the injustice is bombarding us like never before. It is demanding that we take notice, and that we choose. Shift or Apocalypse?


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