What does it really take to unite people to a cause? Do we bond more easily in good times or does it take a crisis? Unfortunately, it seems like many of us are only motivated to respond when the going gets really tough – when situations reach critical life and death proportions. Whether we are talking about war, environmental destruction, a global health pandemic or economic collapse… nothing spurs the public on quite like a good tragedy.
So is this a bad thing? Perhaps we’d wish for people to see what’s going on sooner or that it would take less severe circumstances to get us all moving, yet, it’s through these extreme examples that we can often learn the most. Out of horrible, desperate circumstances we find incredible examples of heroism. Like a wildfire that burns long and hard, but leaves fertile soil in its wake, offering nature the opportunity for new growth – people who have been similarly devastated have to reach down deep to find the strength to turn their situation into a positive. But for those who are able to meet such a challenge, the rewards are often unpredictably wonderful and far-reaching and almost make sense of the original sacrifice.
Is this, perhaps, what life is all about? A continuous cycle of birth, death and renewal: proving our metal through the ups and downs, taking on the challenges that come our way, and growing better and stronger along the way. I think so.
I truly believe that as a people, we are on the spiritual cusp of something really wonderful and it has taken our current environmental crisis to pull us together, so that even the least spiritual-minded among us are forced to recognize how interdependent we all are on one another. We are not separate. That is an illusion. And the only way we can thrive on this planet is to recognize this as fact. We are all connected to each other and to this Earth – and the time has come for us to re-examine and embrace all the ways we are the same, instead of focusing so much on what makes us different.
Images: Belfountain Conservation Area in Ontario.