I have always considered it a good thing that the world is getting smaller. That technology is helping us become ever more aware of what is happening in other Countries and other cultures. I have enjoyed traveling relatively freely through that world, experiencing first hand the openminded, easygoing welcome of those whose Country and culture I visited. And as long as I behaved respectfully, it never mattered that I grew up in a different religion, that my skin had a different color, that my native language to their ears was a bunch of impossible sounds. Nor did it matter that I was taller than most of them, had different ideas than they were used to, and often asked different questions than most. Ultimately each and every one of these ways in which I found myself different from them, was good for a giggle, if not a laugh!
I have always felt truly sorry for those who were living in sad circumstances under often fast changing dictatorial regimes. I have failed to understand why there hardly ever was an outcry about those type of situations in the rest of the ever smaller world.
But the world can only get as small as the events that are picked up by the media outlets. And as long as the media picks and choses what to report on, rather than presenting every event that we ~ as humanity; as people all over the world ~ need to know about (whether we necessarily want to or not), the world we perceive will have gaping holes in it. A sort of black holes that we are unable or unwilling to explore.
And whenever a dictator came to power, it was usually in one of those far away black holes of the world. And while the fact that this happened might make it to the eight o’clock news, the results, the agony of those trapped in that painful situation usually were not.
But today things are different.
Today we are seeing a dictator’s rise to power in that part of the world that is well covered by the media; the Western world. The type of personality, the ill-founded ideas, the lack of foresight as to the results of his actions; all of it is out in the open for the entire world population to see. And as with many abusive relationships, the first thing this new dictator seems to be doing is to isolate the Country. Walls are put up, and travel is made more difficult. And with that comes his need for a scapegoat. In our ever smaller world he clearly had no problem identifying one; and so now he can pitch the “us versus them” theme, isolating the Country even further. Already he has made known that the media should only report on his truth, rather than the factual truth…
The rest of the world is looking on at this dictatorship in the making. Aghast at what they are seeing. Following the events minute by minute, day by day. Wondering what it will take for the abused ~ those who live in that Country ~ to rise up. To stand up and say enough is enough! What are they waiting for?
At the same time uncertain as to what is coming next. Even though we are living in different Countries far away from these events, we are affected by them; emotionally, but also in the backlash of how we now are perceived in a world that is by no means as big as it once was.
And I have to say ~ even though I am not scared easily ~ there is a fast growing global uncertainty. And travel doesn’t feel as safe anymore (independent from the security measures at airports all over the world) as it once was. A new kind of apprehension is palpable when meeting new people, new cultures…
Everything has its cycle. Day and night, the moon, the seasons and the sun. And the same is true for our lives, and even cultures. A culture builds and builds, until at some point the scales tip, and often in a relatively short period of time a series of events occurs that bring it down. At first almost unnoticed; as whatever is happening is following the known, even valued process or the law. Things are down in the way ‘we do things’. “We are doing what is right”. But right for who? And is there a lack of flexibility when we hold on to possibly outdated processes and laws; no matter how much they have brought us in the past; no matter how much we have always valued them? And then suddenly it becomes clear that we, as a culture, are no longer at the top of our game. Somehow other cultures, groups or people have taken over those things that where had such great strength to offer to the world; and we find ourselves on the dark side of the cycle.
The ‘night side’.
It is not necessarily a bad place to be, but it is vastly different from all that we have experienced before. When we look at the cycles of cultures one may even say that experiencing the dusk turning to night of that culture during our lifetime is a fairly rare event. The cycles of cultures tend to take any number of centuries, so being there, in that culture, right at the tipping point, is by no means a ‘given’.
But when we are there, right when that tipping point occurs, does also mean that we are in a position not only to witness it as it happens, but more than that we are in a position to direct it. To make it happen perhaps even faster than it would have on its own accord; or to prevent it from happening for another couple of hundred years. After all, culture as defined by anthropologist E.B. Tylor, it is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” In other words, it is us!
In the past this tipping point has often coincided with a breakdown in communications. Either because of distances, because things taking place that would prevent efficient communication, like wars, or because that which was communicated from the top down ~ from the governments to the people ~ no longer resonated as true, logical, fair, or just to those governed by it. Thus creating unrest. Eventually it would depend on the quality of the man (or woman) at the top which way the scales would tip. Was he/she a good person? Fair and truthful? An ethical person wanting the best for all involved? Or was he/she a tyrannical person, dominating, prone to lying, and greedy? A corrupt, immoral person just wanting the best for him/herself?
The good person may well extend the bright time ~ or day time ~ of that particular culture, where as the tyrannical person may tip the scales to the dark time ~ or the night time ~ of that culture.
And as I said, the night side of the cycle is not necessarily a bad place to be. After a hard day’s work, we may be looking forward to the dark of night in which we rest and recuperate. In a sense the same is true for any cycle, even in the cycle of cultures that takes hundreds of years to complete…
We all have ideas. Some may be very practical, others may be more ‘out there’ or even be considered fantasy. We have ideas about what we want to do, or perhaps what we most certainly don’t want to do. We have ideas that we have grown up with; arguably the ideas our parents have passed on to us. And we have ideas that are uniquely ours. Ideas that may start from our dreams, our ideals; and if we have the patience to just let them form, we may find that those are truly ideas that are ‘outside of the box’.
Whatever our ideas are, and wherever they originate from, there are always many ways to look at them. Each idea has multiple aspects, many facets; and it almost always depends on where we ourselves are coming from to determine which aspect of that particular idea we will see at that precise time. This means that it can be fun to take an idea ~ any idea ~ and to, in our mind’s eye, observe it from any and all directions we can muster! It will give us different perspectives, and possibly new inspirations. And even when we can not truly envision all of the aspects of that particular idea; even if it becomes a mind game ~ sort of a ‘what if’ game ~ it takes us out of our (thinking) pattern…
And all of us step out of our thinking patterns in slightly different ways, seeing different aspects of that one idea. So by sharing the aspects we see of that idea, and the new lines of thought ~ the new visions that gives us ~ we can help others see the idea with ‘new eyes’. And ultimately help others see the world around us with ‘new eyes’. Help ourselves and others to see ourselves with ‘new eyes’.
Personally I like to be inspired to see the world through ‘new eyes’; to see multiple aspects of just one idea. Even if that means that the way I look at things is a little quirky. I also like to share different ways of looking at things with others; I like to write about it, and talk about it. I like to gain different perspectives, and will sometimes go out of my way in order to explore not just the idea, but what else is there… What does it have to tell us?
Then suddenly it can become apparent that even the most fixed ideas have any number of different sides, different aspects to it! So perhaps it is not the idea that is fixed, as much as it is the person coming up with it…
That being said, now seems to be a good time to explore further. To un-box ourselves and our ideas. To be inspired, open-minded dreamers who dream big and come up with grand ideas and truly innovative ways to look at the world!
It is that time of year again when the light returns. Whether we look at it from the physical, seasonal perspective of the Winter Solstice or from the perspective of the celebration of Christmas; these last days of the year are marked by the return of the light; or Light as the case may be.
With that, it starts a time of new beginnings. The most obvious one the beginning of the New Year. And that often spills over into our lives when we start the year with our New Year’s Resolutions; our decisions to make the New Year even better than the old one has been; to set out to become an even better person as we have been up to now in our lives…
With the physical return of the light on the Winter Solstice, our vital energy starts building again, enabling a greater focus on everything we want to accomplish over the next year. At the same time the days are growing longer again, literally shedding more light on just about anything we focus at so that we can see it with more clarity. With the return of the Light as we celebrate Christmas, the inspirational Light returns. This is the Light that guides us ~ and while some may see this Light as outside of themselves, others will experience it as the inner connection to the highest counterpart of themselves. As this Light returns, it brings us closer to the (higher) wisdom we need to make the best, the wisest decisions in order to move ahead on our personal paths.
It means that just over a couple of days, both the physical light as well as the inspirational Light come into our lives to give us that opportunity to set our goals for the New Year ~ whether these goals are personal or even global. Independent from our drive to come up with the best New Year’s Resolutions, or whether we have given up on those entirely (as we tend to forget about them, sometimes as early as January 2nd when ‘real life’ begins again), we are pushed to look ahead, to make plans and set goals.
The timing gives us all the tools to see clearly what we want to do, and why. It gives us the light and clarity to envision the structure through which we will achieve the goals we set out to achieve… This makes this time of year ~ on top of all of the celebrations ~ a truly productive time of year as well. Even if you just use it to create a little list of the ideas and plans that come up so you can revisit them later.