Going in Circles…

The night after participating in a virtual political convention to choose candidates to endorse for state races, I awoke from a dream. The details remain a bit foggy, but I remember being in a car that I couldn’t steer. It was racing in never-ending circles, seemingly controlled by remote external forces. There was no clear purpose or destination in sight. Just unending circular movement in a dark, barren, asphalt-covered landscape.

It reminded me of the convention and my recent, though distant, involvement in the political process. The convention itself felt unwelcoming, focused on rules and the need to appear inclusive by making meaningful dialogue impossible. In fairness, though, I doubt there’s a way to effectively hold a Zoom meeting with 300-plus people, some of whom were seasoned political operatives with clear agendas, and many of whom were strangers and newcomers. All had different perspectives without any opportunities to connect. We were all just tiny faces and names on a screen. Those who jumped through the hoops to speak rarely seemed to care about focusing on things that would matter to the group or the state overall.

I couldn’t stay until the end, but there was one hopeful candidate with clear visions about what needed to be done – protecting clean water, building jobs through sustainable alternative energy initiatives, and supporting workers’ rights. She spoke with passion about hopeful possibilities and highlighted a successful track record for building necessary relationships to overcome political divides. Fortunately, two-thirds of the conference delegates voted to endorse her as the party candidate for state senate, the necessary threshold for approval of her candidacy.

I understand why many people are unhappy with politics and politicians. Why shouldn’t they be? I just wish more people knew at least a little more about US and global history before voting! And a little bit more about the dire situations the world is facing on every level right now from sources other than mainstream or social media. Maybe then people would be able to stand with others who stand for something positive, hopeful, and worthwhile. Until then, I fear we’ll continue going in circles as the world falls apart around us, unable to collectively act on issues that will affect generations yet to come.

*

car

*

I have noticed that community meetings are not really designed as listening sessions or opportunities to create a collective sense of dignity and belonging. Yet the choices are clear. One is the world we have now, where people are programmed to continue in a perpetual winner-take-all tug-of-war to impose their ideologies on others in two party systems that pit the 99 percent against each other for petty reasons. The other is one where the 99 percent work together to build a world where life, love, and laughter matter more than power, money, and things. Maybe then we could finally set a course forward toward a kinder, more peaceful world and steer our collective journey in the same direction…

22 thoughts on “Going in Circles…

  1. Carol, Tubularsock couldn’t agree with you more and Tubularsock commends you for having the tenacity to put up with that level of bull shit! Change will and does happen ………. we shall see.

    Tubularsock is starting to look fondly toward nuclear holocaust. Just as long as Tubularsock is NOT the last person standing ……… the clean up is going to be a bitch!

    Cheers ………..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, Tube, it’s always a delight to hear from you. Yes, change is a constant, and these days it seems to to be accelerating. It’s hard, impossible really, to rebalance or catch one’s breath in between each new seemingly insoluble catastrophe. But who could ask for more than friends like you who can still find humor in the oddest places? 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  2. oh yes, it Carol, it is such a balancing act to find the right level of engaging and at least a reasonable forum. Forced to focus on health and getting a book sold, I restrict myself to signing online petitions which seem plentiful at the moment round here – and not always unsuccessful. Keep well –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to find reasonable forums, Barbara. It’s gotten harder with age to muster up enough patience and compassion to put up with some of the things people do and say. But a sense of humor (humour) helps.
      Wishing you the best! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol, I’ve lost hope in America’s political system to do what is needed to make meaningful changes. I agree with your concluding remarks. Our challenge now is to stop that circling car and head it in the right direction. The sooner the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand the feeling, Ros, and while I share it, I still sometimes try to engage. Most often, I am disappointed but I hope that the candidate I supported during the convention is re-elected to the newly redistricted State Senate. The alternative is rather frightening given the issues the state is facing right now from mining and tar sands oil pipeline interests.

      I am also grateful for the work you have been continuing to do to raise awareness about environmental issues. I just read a post of yours from April 22, 2012, Earth Day, with a powerful waring about the challenges we needed to address. We haven’t done so yet. I had to find an updated link to the video you recommended, “Overview.” Here’s a new link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDfEnKcHBSc
      I hope others will take the time to watch it and hear the message. We share one tiny planet. We all have a stake in helping our only home heal and stay healthy. Our lives depend on our success.

      Sending my gratitude and best wishes, dear friend. 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carol, thank you for your kind appreciation of my work in spreading awareness of humanity’s predicament. I’ve updated the link to the “Overview” video. Thanks. The view of Earth from space had a profound effect on me. Never before was it so clear of our oneness and interconnection with all living beings on our planet.
        My best wishes to you, too, dear friend ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol: Fascinating that your subconscious dream imagery was so appropriate to the current political situation we face—not just in the US but in Canada too, where the mask of niceness was ripped off when Prime Minister Trudeau sent riot police to put down peaceful protestors in Ottawa this January. Democracy has been hijacked by the power elites. It is in full, free- falling collapse, and unless major, systematic reform is at least attempted, participation in the political system merely perpetuates its crimes. The historian Arnold Toynbee in his masterwork A Study of History notes the consistent pattern of failing civilizations: as the dominant elites run out of creative, innovative ideas, they resort to force, as we’ve clearly seen the past two years. At this point, the only possible path toward a truly just and fair society may be partly in its breakdown into localized systems of governance, along the lines that the great Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin advocated. True anarchism has nothing to do with throwing bombs and everything to do with recognizing the sovereign right of peoples to self-governance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Art. I don’t often remember dreams that awake me mid-night, but this one stayed with me until morning and seemed such an apt metaphor given recent events. I shared the dream with a friend who encouraged me to write about it and this post is the result.

      I was deeply concerned about the response to the inspiring, legitimate protests in Ottawa and the deliberately deceptive manner in which mainstream media portrayed the situation. Media often play that role. It seems so easy to destroy hope.

      I, too, have often thought about the need for “localized systems of governance.” Yet when I look around at my neighborhood, at my city and state, I wonder how it could be achieved. The “me first” culture, the sheer number of people who seem to be so easily distracted, entertained, and manipulated makes me wonder if that’s possible. It’s something I often thought about when I worked with tribes because they at least have shared roots. But even in tribal communities there are deep divisions and serious issues that are not easy to bridge or resolve.

      I sincerely hope we can figure out how to bring people together to work on peaceful ways to transition from exploitation to stewardship for the sake of all of precious life. But I don’t know what else I can do at the moment…

      Like

  5. I try to stay informed and involved, but the politicians of every ilk seem to be taking us in endless circles… It is a disheartening state of affairs, but we must not become disheartened as informed and concerned individuals who can and will make a difference if we keep trying!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No political functionary speaks for the future inhabitants of this planet who must suffer the consequences of their self-involved folly. Being awake and aware of the criminals is discouraged and demeaned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill, thank you for sharing your important insights about the power of those who control all of the social institutions for their own agenda – education, governance, industry, and media to name a few. Dissent has never been welcomed by most of those in power. But these times have upped the risks posed by despots and robber barons to all of life. I’m not sure what else I can do about that…

      Like

  7. Participatory democracy is so hard to make real when groups are so large, so yeah, we try to work locally, and it’s still difficult – contrived to be as undemocratic and non-participatory as you note. But at least in this instance, the best candidate was chosen!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: