|All parents hope their children will grow up to be responsible
adults. Do you ever consider what the word responsible actually
means? My favorite definition is the ability to respond. Most
people are able to respond to challenges at home, at work, and
in their community. Broaden the domain, and the picture gets fuzzy.
Are you a responsible Texan? American? Earthling? Is it enough
to vote regularly and hope that the powers that be are looking
out for you, your family, and your descendants? I think not.
To whom are we entrusting the stewardship of this planet?
Look carefully at the fabric of our civilization and youll notice
how easily we transfer responsibility for the basic essentials
of life to third parties. Thanks to technological progress, life
has become especially convenient for anyone with a checkbook or
credit card. Take inventory of your basic needs: food, water,
healthcare, education. How many of these do you personally provide
for your family? As little as three generations ago, your ancestors
dug a well, harvested food, applied basic health remedies, and
taught their children. They were directly responsible for the
quality of their life.
Thanks to a vast technological infrastructure (factories, trains,
planes, computers, and modems) most North Americans live a life
far more luxurious than royalty of the 19th century. However,
this infrastructure may experience a disruption on January 1,
2000 by a computer bug called the year 2000 problem (millions
of programs that cannot calculate dates after 1999). This situation
brings to light our critical dependency on countless microprocessors,
software, and programmers. At this time its too early to know
what will happen, but observe your own reaction to discussion
of the topic. Do you feel that its much ado about nothing?
Are you researching the situation? Are you packing up for the
country? Your response to the year 2000 problem is simply an indicator
of your level of responsibility —your ability to respond to
a unique situation.
We entrust our city with water service, the media with our information
needs, and a vast chain of unknown suppliers for the very food
we eat. (By the way, did you know youre already eating genetically-engineered
food?) We entrust critical health decisions to committees of experts
and government agencies. We listen to the experts, the talking
heads on TV, and convince ourselves that everything is OK in our
world. We feel that most problems are somewhere else. When we
respond to a situation its often only to rally our neighbors
to ensure nimby (not-in-my-back-yard). Just a few months ago it
became clear to me that nimby does not work on our small planet.
Smoke from fires in Mexico blanketed our sky and forced many people
indoors. If a problem exists on the planet, then it potentially
affects every one of us, directly or indirectly.
Our world is riddled with pollution, disease, famine, overpopulation,
conflict, and injustice — problems that require real solutions.
Do you feel uncomfortable leaving these problems to the experts?
Are you unsure if someone out there is working on solutions?
Do you wonder if corporate interests will undermine whats best
for the environment and your health? Entertain these questions
and you can begin to feel powerless in the face of looming crises—align
yourself with other concerned beings and youll find the strength
youll need to enact positive change.
Overcoming the current crises and evolving into an enlightened
civilization will take alignment, determination, and most importantly
— a shared belief that its possible. Our society is in its collective
adolescence. The first step toward adulthood is to expand our
sphere of responsibility to include the entire planet and its
residents. It begins with a change of heart—in the words of Dannion
Brinkley, know that you are a powerful spiritual being. Get
in touch with your life mission and carry it out with enthusiasm.
There is no greater gift you can give the world. Your parents
would be proud.
Publisher, The Holistic Networker
©1998, Tony Cecala