Change, for sure, is the topic of the day. That’s easy to say. Butchange ‘from what and to what?’ I ask. Add ‘how and by whom?’and then perhaps we can begin to talk some sense, even in these days of nonstop news cycles and naïve but well-meaning mantras clamoring for ‘change.’
Communities in Maine have been engaging in a struggle to protect their groundwater resources from the multinational corporation Nestlé Waters N.A., the largest food and beverage company in the world. Nestlé, which is in the business of mining water to fill plastic bottles for their labels such as Poland Springs, seeks to expand its business by increasing the number of wellheads throughout the state. It is pumping millions more gallons of spring water from aquifers each day.
YES: There is power in the word ‘yes’. ‘Yes’ affirms our commitment. ‘Yes’ focuses us, strengthens us, enables us to move mountains. Ambivalence, hesitation, fear and apathy, by contrast, foster the status quo.
The moment everything changed… was it really just one moment when everything changed? Or was it a silent, invisible struggle—questioning, reflecting, enduring, shifting to try to make everything work—that finally led to the critical moment when the changes became visible and our lives were transformed forever?
At a national professional conference thirty years ago, I stood before a hand-painted poster that so captivated me, I wanted it the way a child wants a treasure found at the beach. Since then, that sheet of newsprint has hung where I see it every day. The paint is faded and the paper worn, but Teilhard de Chardin’s message is timeless.
The global financial crisis has created tremendous uncertainty about the future prospects of human society. Very few people saw it coming and even fewer, if any, can say with much degree of certainty what will happen next. National governments are currently injecting trillions of dollars into their financial systems and the broader economy simply to cushion the fall of equity prices, home values and employment rates.
The global economic crash is very big news. But what the media headlines and reports do not mention is how deeply this crisis is rooted in our history. During the past several centuries, businesses and government have become enmeshed in a single system. State capitalism now exists in virtually every sovereign nation.
Great changes are blowing through the world: it is, as the ancients understood, “all things change.” Yet even the Greek philosophers would have been more than a little startled to witness our current planetary hyper-acceleration. Five thousand years ago humans were carving their best wisdom in words and symbols into rocks