Here’s my proposal: Let’s create a virtual global community to support the long-term wellbeing of humanity and our home planet.
Thinking people everywhere are aware of growing threats to human wellbeing. Catastrophic dangers loom in the environment, technology, biohazards, the global economy, and our eroding democracy. It’s hard to be observant and thoughtful regarding the prospects for humanity’s long-term survival – and also remain optimistic.
As we consider the mounting risks, we are surrounded by massive apathy. The more we look around at the urgent and growing challenges, the more incongruous the deafening chorus of “business as usual” becomes. Some of the apathy is just human nature, but it is exacerbated by deep changes to our ways of life.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs), the internet, and social media are becoming increasingly crucial in our personal relationships, our jobs, and our interactions with institutional systems such as education, government, and health care.
ICTs and the internet have brought incalculable benefits, but they also add complexity to our lives. Along with concerns such as balancing our budgets, concerns which are not so very different from those faced by our great-grandparents, we now also worry about changing our passwords and keeping our anti-virus protection up to date.
All of these new demands on our attention make it difficult to think carefully and deeply about anything. Our time and focus are becoming more and more fragmented as our technologies drive us into something like attention-deficit disorder. Our increasingly randomized time commitments allow less and less room to honestly encounter the growing undercurrent of existential anxiety. It becomes all too easy to retreat into one of the many avenues of apathetic escape.
Somewhere between our concerns and the apathy there is a tiny ray of hope. Despite the mounting evidence of the size and scope of the obstacles, we still have a flickering, but persistent, flame of motivation to look for a solution. Yes, we all have too many demands on our time. But we also have an insistent feeling that we should do something.
My suggestion is that we join together to form a “community of intention.” This virtual community could, at the very least, express our common desire for a long-term, sustainable future. Maybe it can become a small part of a global movement to ensure that we humans will continue to flourish on a healthy Earth, at home and at peace with our fellow-beings, our technologies, and ourselves.
What do you think? Please let me know using the comments form below.