The wrathful deities of Tibetan Buddhism help protect the people from evil. These deities look like ghouls and ghastly figures drifting along the streets on Halloween. As the holidays are upon us, the world’s leaders at the climate conference in Glasgow gather to help solve the climate mess. I feel quite removed from this conference where decisions for the planet’s survival must be made. Maybe you can muster up some cynicism over political optics, but most likely you’ve had it by now with promises that aren’t kept. Greta Thunberg will not sway the big greedy companies that run the world. The world leaders are not our protectors.
Interestingly enough, just as Halloween isn’t a politicized holiday (ghouls aren’t Republican or Democratic yet), we can also agree across the political divide that climate change, real or not, will not be solved by you or me.
So why bring it up? In a prior blog I’ve written how we can do our minor part in terms of “reduce, re-use and recycle”; but unless everyone in the world comes on board, that approach won’t make a real difference. And when was the last time everyone in the world came together around an issue? Even the pandemic hasn’t brought people together. That’s just it. With all the talk of community building in America, we are more divided than ever in our enclaves that stick to stuck perspectives, and hate the other enclave. Sounds like high school all over again? The US is an adolescent society, a young country with very little experience in making it through hard times together. We are people rooted in rugged individualism who can do hard stuff, but building unity isn’t one of them. And if we build communities, they tend to be temporary, because people pull up stakes, change jobs, move across the country, start anew, try something they haven’t done before. The USA is a country of starting new things, not fixing what’s broken. We haven’t found what sticks and works for us as a whole.
When I think about community, be they friends or family, or both, I think about caring for one another, keeping each other safe. I think about creating opportunities for growth and offering new perspectives. I think about sharing love and enjoyment of life. I think about joining in activities that promote health. These communities don’t pull guns on others, they talk to each other. These communities don’t ignore each other when there’s a need. They help. These communities don’t tear each other apart with their criticism, they share their joys and successes and invite others to be a part.
What has happened to our news media, our politicians, our leaders? Has greed and hatred poisoned the shared well, called Earth? Are they having their talks in Glasgow to pretend that the Earth can be saved, as they’re extracting goods as fast as they can while there’s still a profit to be made? I feel minuscule next to the corporate and political forces. And so I go out and get lost in the wide open spaces where the sky is blue and fresh; I climb in the mountains where the trees are doing their fall beauty dance; I take others on the trails where we share our joy and move in unison while bettering our health. I walk with women from different walks of life. We connect, we share our love of nature. We encourage each other to walk the extra mile. We help each other feel our vitality.
My grandson started kindergarten this fall. A big change after 18 months of pandemic home schooling. I asked him what he liked about school. His answer: “I have so many friends!” Easy, pease, 4 weeks in school and he has a large group of friends! I’m glad he values friends more than anything, while in school.
Humans hanker for community. Look at the string of holidays that are here, starting with Halloween. Holidays that bring people together. I’m sure there are people in Glasgow who want the best for the world, but fear, inflexibility, lack of trust, and “me-first” drive them away from maintaining a wholesome world community.
So, it’s up to you and me and the wrathful deities to do the best we can by building life-enhancing communities. Talk to people you meet, care for the downtrodden on your path, pay attention and share the beauty and wealth you’re blessed with in your life. Avoid and correct critical hateful speech, any speech that creates an us and them, that puts down the “other”. Teach your children and grandchildren, and the world will become a better place. Happy Halloween!
Comments and sharing are appreciated!