This short 5 day discussion is based upon the contents of my Eco-Anxiety presentation which focuses upon understanding the anxiety that we all feel right now, and using it to fuel change. In this social messaging discussion, the following topics will be discussed.
Each day sparks a conversation. Each section contains links that will help you explore what Eco-Anxiety means to the individual.
We are living in the most confusing and challenging period of at least my life. There is no doubt that the way we have fabricated society is just not working. Everything from what we eat and drink, the car we drive, the financial system and where we live… are being questioned, poked and prodded.
The challenges of our time have consequences for all of us. The next few years will see a disruption in our expectations of society, and at the same time, usher in a rejuvenation of how we live our lives.
As the cracks in our day to day lives are beginning to show in every area of society. Fear and anxiety towards an unknown future is impairing our ability to act rationally and within the realms of common sense. One thing is for sure. It would be insanity to think that we can maintain our lifestyles without change. There is no place for hope, inaction or wishful thinking.
What we do in the next 10 years, will have a profound affect on the next 1000 years. We need action and we need it now!
Question Can you give an example of any breakdown of society that is personally effecting you?
Lockdown has demonstrated a connectedness that we all have as a human race. How much we rely upon each other, how we behave, who we do business, with whom we socialise. It demonstrated how fragile and precious life is, and how it can be taken away at any moment. It has demonstrated a connection that transcends race, language, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethic background, geography and economic status.
The connection that we all share is that we are Earthlings, living at the very edge of a unique and fragile environment on which we depend on for life. Lockdown is not a time to wish for things you do not have, but rather, to be grateful for things that you have!
Many people said “we need to get back to normal as fast as possible”, but “normal” is what got us all into this mess in the first place! Each one of us has to adapt and come up with a plan to best weather the new normal in our own unique way.
Question How have you received help from other people during lockdown, and how have you given help?
In the same way that young children cannot differentiate between facts and marketing, many adults cannot differentiate reality from fake news, hoaxes and misinformation. It is tragic that if we don't control our values and beliefs, then someone else will! Much of today’s advertising, marketing and news, is contrived to take advantage of the flaws and weaknesses in the human mind, and manipulate our fragile attention span.
The more we contemplate the challenges of our time, the more our fraying psychological resilience, creates a feeling being over-whelmed by the scope and consequences of the future.
Covertly slipped into those areas of our lives where we least expect it, external manipulation is everywhere. It is in the food you eat, the clothes you buy, places you visit, the politician that you vote for, the news reports you believe, webpages you read and social media posts you like! There is no more of a convincing person than yourself, and because the human mind has an infinite capacity for self deception, what goes on in our heads can easily become a danger to ourselves and society.
Our anxiety sits firmly between our interpretation of reality and how this interpretation aligns with the real worldy. The wider the discrepancy, the more anxious we become. We have to be mindful as to what we let into our minds, and catch ourselves in that moment of intellectual derailment.
Question How are we manipulated, and where does this manipulation come from?
Anxiety effects us all in vastly different ways, for some people anxiety prompts a subliminal, yet obvious change in who we are, some people manage to keep anxiety bubbling just under the surface, while in others, anxiety prompts a Jackal and Hyde scenario.
Charles Spurgeon said “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but empties today of its strength.” Irrespective of who we are or our relationship with the world, anxiety influences our live in 2 different ways:
We cannot blame other people for not feeling the same level of anxiety that we do. We experience the world on different levels and in different ways. However, now is the time to acknowledge anxiety as an influential force, create meaning from the struggle that anxiety creates in our lives, and step up to the challenges that we face. We all have to find ways to deal with anxiety a constructive ways.
Question Does your anxiety propagate negative feelings, or does it inspire you?
The Covid-19 pandemic is a wake up call for humanity, a trial run for something far worse that is looming in the not too distant future. Covid-19 is not as bad as it is going to get. If we arrogantly ignore the warning signs and resist changing who we are as a collective species, then the next crisis to sweep across the Earth is going to break society in a far more dramatic and profound way.
It is ironic that mankind’s quest to seek out and develop a more comfortable life, an easier life and a more convenient life, has brought us full circle to a life of fear, anxiety and hardship. Human ego has created a world that is horrifically unprepared for the future, but it doesn’t have to be this way. No one Googles “How do I screw up my life and the Earth”, or at least I hope no one does. There are far more sinister and subtle forces at work in our lives.
Out of any societal change will come a revolution of human values and beliefs. Tomorrow will require a new way of living, a new way of doing and a new way of being. Lockdown is not about putting our lives on hold, but rather about understanding and embracing change. In order to do this, we desperately need to filter out the internal and external manipulation in our lives and focus up creating an accurate and true perception of the world.
Activity Spend 15 minutes by yourself, working through my Eco-Anxiety Conversations.
Lockdown has been a tough time for many of us. There is one reality that we have to face. The world will never be the same as it was before 2020.
How we experienced this time, and how we reacted, should represent a learning curve that we must leverage in order to recalibrate our daily lives and prepare ourselves for the future. There will be another pandemic, and if we do not learn from this experience, we are destined to relive the same mistakes and failures, again and again and again. Being locked up in our homes has provided a moment of pause for our nagging internal narrative, and awakened the opportunity to stop and re-imagine who we are, and the future of who we aspire to be.
We all need help in our own unique way. While you are waiting for someone to be your blessing, you can be someone else’s blessing. So give what you can, and take what you need.
If you found the content of interest then you will love my latest, award winning book entitled One World.
Jonathan, your articles are so Educational and thought provoking.
It is time we all change our mindset