Our Planet in Distress, a Call to Action

Our Planet in Distress, a Call to Action - GBF BlogDo you ever feel an intense urge, like a stirring volcano waiting to erupt, compelling you to connect with something greater than yourself? It’s a longing, an inspiration, a yearning to merge meaningfully that can transform feelings of emptiness and individual separation.

We can experience this longing when we see and identify with our most meaningful characters and heroes on TV shows and movies. I have noticed, when I watch a show like Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under, or 1883, their characters became like an interconnected family that we want to connect with again because we feel a love or depth of feeling that is easier to feel when it’s not directly about ourselves. For some,this is even more potent for shows that show a sense of purpose or make a statement in our society. 

Similarly, when we root for athletes like Steph Curry, who’s a team player with an unusually healthy level of competition and love for the game while being an individual star at the same time, our unconscious wants to be like him because he’s a hero and a symbol of   goodness or quality of life itself. This is also the case for music with singers like Sting, The Moody Blues, and The Beatles, who create songs like Imagine, Question, All We Need is Love, and How Fragile We Are

All of these well-known figures help us identify with our best selves, especially if we carve out the best parts of each message. They can inspire and reflect the part of us that hungers for a more connected, caring life with a sense of purpose.

Most people have their own heroes that consciously or unconsciously represent qualities they aspire to develop, even if they haven’t fully recognized this. Today, we are at a time when our actions and motivations are profoundly needed in today’s perilous and  interconnected world. This interconnectedness can be both inspiring and unsettling for the ego, making it harder for living in a comfortable and isolated way.

We need to expand the American Dream to not only take us to our personal opportunities but also to tap into our natural desire that is often buried to care for the greater world in increased ways. Many of us have lived as if we’re on a bit of an island or only done a bit of what is possible to contribute to the well being of the world, but there has never been a time where it’s been so critical to break free from the illusion of security and success while living dominantly separate lives. We need to each in our own unique way pragmatically and with integrity reach toward the wider world.

Once we exit the illusion of thinking to ourselves that “everything is fine,” we can lessen our desires to play it safe by limiting the ways we use  our money and so dominantly caring for those in our closest circles. In simple terms, it’s like vaccinating your family members, but if the rest of the world doesn’t get those vaccines, your family is still at risk of dying from the disease. 

Does this sound like a guilt trip or a lecture, or does it feel like an appeal to inquire about your best potential self? 

This isn’t an “I should,” but a “I get to” moment. Of course we can do this from guilt or pressure, which is not what is being encouraged here.  The whole point is if we see if we can find a natural place that is in our interest and for our kids and grandkids. When seen clearly,  it is a joy and brings gratitude and intimacy. Most of us are aware that we’re living in a world different from any other time in the past. Still, we haven’t found the motivation or a way to do something about this change with time, effort, or money. 

Our founding fathers were brilliant, but they endorsed equality while oppressing Native Americans and supporting slavery. Examining our past helps us address underlying issues like racism, bigotry, being consumed in the desire for wealth and security, and exclusivity in religion, which contribute to global alienation and war. We need to recognize this not as an accusation but hear it as an invitation to make a difference by listening and responding from a desire that wants all of us to have a chance to survive and thrive.

After we take care of our own needs and comfort, a significant percentage of wealth needs to be given toward work opportunities and support to those in desperation, and for the planet’s health. I think this is a universal urge still mostly buried in our world that is on the brink of a civil war. We need to balance our desire to contribute to the world and caring for our families and loved ones. 

Does this make sense to you, and are you open to contemplating how to make small and potentially larger shifts in your life?

Every little bit from the 8 billion of us matters regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. If we are food insecure, then we need to do our best to survive, and that has great dignity that is universal. For those of us who have more opportunities, without being motivated by guilt, we can ask:

“How can I help with my energy and my resources? What are my next steps, no matter how large or small they may be?”

In my experience, when we make those moves to reach out, we find many doing the same outreach, looking for other “team members.” 

Think about it from the perspective of scientists and historians: it’s clear the best way to preserve our families is to support families across the planet—the great home on which we all live. We are helping prevent future terrorism, war and alienation, and giving as many an opportunity to survive as possible.

One of these dangers is conveyed clearly in a song from the 60’s
       Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say
       Can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
       If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
       They’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave . . .
       —The Eve of Destruction (Barry McGuire)

We’ve had a wake-up call, and many are sounding the alarm. I hope you will find the desire to merge with others doing positive work in the world and contribute to the best of your ability to make a difference.

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Robert Strock practiced psychotherapy for 45 years. He is a distinguished teacher, author, and humanitarian. His unique insights are shared through a comprehensive selection of online videos, blogs, and guided meditations at AwarenessThatHeals.org. Robert’s work resonates with anyone seeking inner peace and a compassionate engagement with the world. He co-founded a non-profit organization, TheGlobalBridge.org, to innovate, create alternatives for underprivileged communities, and develop initiatives to combat the climate crisis. For more information and media requests, visit www.RobertStrock.org.

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