My work requires a certain amount of social awareness. Trends. Politics. Arts. Sciences. Norms. The edges where these grind together in order to create the mortar that binds the bricks of daily life into the structures of order and sustainability. Buildings of education, institutions of law, the ebbs and flows of human tidal drifts in living life. These streaming movements cast through the hierarchical nets that sift humanity into heaps and piles defined by class, race and social acceptability.
Most days this is challenging for all the obvious reasons. As a collective of individuals we have managed to provide (whether intended or not) the fertile soils for some of the most destructive behaviors towards each other. In the last few years hatered and intolerance have flourished under a man some seem to think is God’s chosen one. We grapple with the injustice of power in it’s most abusive expression. Some call it a battle between good and evil.
I sit with the definitions I learned for “humanity”, “humility”, “human” and I wonder about how this social evolution of us has shifted our sense of self and service. On one side we seem to be de-humanized as we grow in a monetizing of social value. This grinds our human dignity into a mud of confusion and in this slurry as it covers the ground and permeates the soil of our consciousness wakens the seeds of a deeper more complex ideolgy of what humanity is and can do. Goodness. Kindness. These are some of the natural states of the human spirit. These traits win even in the darkest of places. They find ways to push beyond the circumstances of their conditions.
To borrow from gardening…. it is easy to till up the soil and plant the same seeds. Dismiss the new green unidentified sprouts as weeds. Or slide into a phobic place of calling these unknown seedlings poison. This metaphor is I think, where we are now as this country careens towards an election half drunk to not feel and prepared for violence in order to find its collective center…. humanity.
Blame is an easy outlet and a false direction to change course. We must root our vision and take responsibility for what we build next. The world is changing and we are being sqeezed through a threshold that requires we are open to working together, taking care of each other and creating something that is nothing like we know. That requires finding a faith in ourselves that is not defined by money, fashion, social trends, consumption, greed, power, etc…. It will be defined by our creativity, vision, determination, compassion, science, arts, willingness to design outside of what we know and are familiar with.