Can You Stay Positive While Preparing For The Worst?

Working together with our biosphere, we can thrive

Building bridges saves more lives than walls. Photo: Christyl Rivers

My husband and I are slowly getting set to move. We live on an island, much more distant to any major land mass, then, say, Puerto Rico. We are regularly, now, getting hurricanes each year. Most miss the island, but we know it’s just a matter of time. Climate change is also affecting things like food prices, and all imported goods. From our living room, we nervously watch creeping fascism and nationalistic fervor sweeping the free world. It is about what you would expect when corporate interests own entire nations and many politicians. We witness casual and cruel, scapegoating that wins elections and normalizes evil.

Once cooperative people are torn apart with divisiveness and hate. We have culture wars and gender wars. We have racism and sexism rearing the ugliest heads we have ever seen in our lives. We mourn the loss of animals and their beautiful, former habitats. We know that when climate accelerated acidification destroys the coral reefs, that it’s pretty much game over. We know that when humanity driven desertification hits impoverished places, droughts, famine, fires, floods, fanatism, fatalities and all manner of “F” words are going to FIND us, to use the most polite four letter word out there.

Survive and thrive

How could anyone remain optimistic given the harsh reality of the modern age? To survive is one thing, to thrive seems almost Polly Ann-ish. But to thrive is just what we intend to do. We know that every day, more people are feeling the effects of climate change and the fierce damage of fanatical rhetoric. As people begin to understand the threats we are under, they begin to act. They sense that abundance in the world is threatened and they know, instrinically, that life begets life. Science says so. Facts say so. Beauty says so. They become politically driven and make their voices heard. They see injustice and they see who owns the world. The “they” becomes “we,” and we work to defend ourselves, and our planet. The very small, local action becomes a very large global movement. Eating real food becomes an option as people learn that planting even a small rooftop, or window garden provides oxygen, sustenance, and beauty. Or we may choose to use less plastic. Or we may choose to be more physically active, so we bike to work.

It doesn’t matter which small steps we take. Taking some small steps creates the most important substance known to create a better world. It provides empowerment, and empowerment, having a choice is what makes people not just survive, but thrive.

This is true because people learn that even those they may disagree with are allies. We are all on the same boat. If the boat is sinking, we must cooperate to save ourselves. So, we do. It has happened so many times in history, that cooperation itself is part of the grand reward. This is the reason there are so many World War Two monuments. People worked together. Originally, they were apathetic. They may have even disliked the Jews, or gays, or gypsies, but they worked tirelessly to empower themselves to defeat a clear vision of an evil genocide. Stronger as one, better with pride, unstoppable as action.

In my home, we know very well that people are already dying of bad air quality, and the unrelenting storms and fires of climate change. But, we also know that more people are sensing that it is time to prepare for the worst. Do that. And don’t forget empowerment provides the most wonderful things that humanity can experience. It is what Churchill called “our finest hour.” But now that horrible, hot hour is bigger than ever, and we must be bigger than it.

Written by

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

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