We are living through the time of the Great Upheaval. Everything in our world that was built on the foundation and for the purpose of fear, power, oppression, and control is in some form of collapse. Governance, education, healthcare, the capitalistic-corporate culture, the industrial model, etc. etc. etc. Everywhere we look, we see systems on the verge of collapse.
As is true for all experiences of loss, there have been several responses to this collapse:
Denial. Bargaining. Depression. Rage. Sorrow. Acceptance.
Denial: “Everything is fine. Nothing’s wrong with the current system. Let’s just continue with things as they always have been.”
Bargaining: “If people just had the work-ethic of my generation, all would be well. If younger people would just get off their devices…”
Depression: “I had to close my business because no one would work.”
Rage: “It’s ‘their’ fault that the world is like this. Let’s wage a war/protest against ‘them.’”
Sorrow: “I’m deeply sorrowful for the changes I see happening in our world.”
Acceptance: “I see and understand all these external symptoms as signs of impending death and I am hopeful for the new world that will come forth out of these long-needed changes.”
The world in which we have been living and the systems that have created this world are not and have never been sustainable. We have created for ourselves a feudalistic system in which the many are slaving away for the benefit of the few. Corporations and their shareholders are reaping the benefits of their employees work while hoarding wealth for themselves. Educational systems are geared toward churning out obedient workers for the system while ignoring the growing needs in our culture for innovation and creativity and the specific educational needs of those primed for the future and not for the past. Post-secondary education has turned into a capitalistic/money-making corporate scheme. Healthcare flounders because it is no longer geared toward the care of the patient. Instead, healthcare has become about profits and the wealth of stockholders.
These are just a few examples of how the upheaval is presenting itself in the systems in need of change.
Other examples of this upheaval are evident in those who were born to help bring about the change and who are here to plant the seeds and nurture the growth of the new world. Let me offer a few examples as I have witnessed them as both a mother and an advocate to the generations who are bringing forth this change:
- Young adults refusing to work in environments where their needs for respect, a living wage, work/life balance, etc. are not being met.
- Young adults finding innovative and create ways to make a living (entrepreneurial ship, online businesses, social media, making a living through their creative abilities, etc.)
- Technology: our young people intuitively know how to work with emerging and the ever-increasing advances in technology. They have harnessed this ability and daily come up with new ways to use technology for the greater good of our world.
- Global Awareness: The younger generations think globally and locally, with an eye to how our local actions impact the larger world.
- Acceptance of Diversity: The younger generations are far more accepting of diversity and are finding increasing ways to honor and celebrate this.
- Education: Children and young adults rebelling against an educational system that doesn’t work for them. Young adults refusing to invest in a university education because that model no longer guarantees good work with adequate pay, more importantly, the current model of higher ed has not changed to meet the needs of a changing world.
- Connectivity: Our young people are more connected than we ever thought of being. Thanks to technology, they are able to communicate with the world, have found their tribes, and are working together to bring forth change.
These are only a few examples, but ones that are likely to spark judgment and condemnation from those benefitting from the status quo.
This judgement is another face of grief. If we judge the young ones for their “strange behavior,” then we can condemn them and continue in our comfort with the status quo while ignoring a world on the verge of collapse.”
As is true of any death, it is appropriate to grieve, but we can only remain in denial for so long. Eventually the truth comes to bear. Death is the only outcome of a system beyond repair. When we open our eyes to the symptoms of that death and look toward the possibility of new life on the other side of this death, we find comfort and hope. I, for one, am beyond excited for what the youth among us will do to bring forth the new world after the current one is gone. The good news is that they are already doing. We must simply open our eyes and release our temptation to judge, then we shall see it clearly.
What are you seeing as signs of a new world coming into form?