The Times, They Are A Changin'
I have spent the summer watching the world. And one thing we can always count on with the world is some new shit happening every day.
It can get very confusing if you try and keep up with it and report on it on any sort of regular basis, which I was doing for quite some time.
But this summer was all about changing things up, so I really started to make the effort to take in more than I was putting out, just to see if it would change my perspective a bit.
The most important thing I did was to wind down the amount of attention I was paying to the United States. Certainly as a Canadian I have a vested interest in what happens there. But I also noticed (about myself especially) that I was developing a rather unhealthy obsession with all the goings on down there.
Sadly, this is easy to do, because the sheer madness of even just the political world down there is something I have never experienced up close and personal. Kind of like watching a train wreck…I mean you know it’s gonna be gory and destructive, but at the same time, it’s really hard to look away.
I liken my withdrawal from USA watching to quitting smoking. I smoked from the time I was 14 till I got married 10 years later, to a women who was violently allergic to cigarette smoke. It took a little more than a year of pulling back from it to the point where I was smoking so little that it was easy to walk away.
I started this USA withdrawal around 4 months ago, so I still have a while to go. But I will tell you…it’s working. And it’s working for a couple of reasons.
1. It has finally occurred to me that there is nothing in it for me other than making new enemies. That’s how divided the US has become. No matter what kind of message or observation you post, you’re always, always going to piss off some one of some bunch of someones. So there’s the futility factor.
2. When you start looking at the world from as international a perspective as you can, the first thing you see is that, this same kind of shit is going on all over the place. So there’s the ubiquity factor.
Universal Observations So Far
I have come to believe that all this chaos is being generated, in great part, by the need for change.
The need to become a world that treats everyone fairly.
The need to become a world where the opportunity to have a good life exists for everyone.
The need to develop and implement ideas that will protect and safeguard the environment, which is quite obviously the most important priority we have.
The need to stop putting adjectives in front of the way we describe ourselves and all start thinking of ourselves as citizens of the world, which, at the end of the day, is really what we are.
The need to respect belief systems that are different from our own.
The need to see men and women as equals in all the ways that really matter.
The need to embrace and support new renewable and recyclable technologies because that is where the opportunity will be the greatest for everyone.
The Stumbling Blocks
The biggest stumbling block and the one from which all the others derive is attitude.
The status quo in the world is defined by political entities that are slaves to the industries who support them financially and expect favorable laws in return.
But if you look around, you will see that some of these industries are in decline. And new industries that are much greener are taking their place.
It’s most obvious in the energy sector, which is key because most of the danger we face currently comes from the unrestricted burning of coal and fossil fuels.
And these industries have no intention of going quietly in that long night.
But on the upside, you can see transition. You can see solar, wind and geothermal industries developing. You can see the electric vehicle industry developing. You can see whole countries setting achievable carbon reduction goals for themselves. You can see hemp farming and tree planting on heretofore unheard of scales. You can see innovation in the hyper-efficient growing of fruits and vegetables.
And, and most importantly, you can see laws being passed that force polluting industries to reduce their carbon footprints, which may be baby steps today, but are positive steps nonetheless.
Too Little, Too Late?
Who knows. That’s the thing about the future. Nobody can really predict it for sure.
But one thing I believe, is that as a new generation of people start taking over a lot of major industries, ‘the times, they are a changin’, will undoubtedly be their mantra.
And because they have seen what happens when the world only changes for the worse, they will be highly incentivized to make reversing that trend a key part of their modus operandi.
At least that’s the hope.
Jim Murray is an experienced blogger, copywriter and art director and former professional photographer. He has run his own business (Onwords & Upwords), since 1989 after a 20 year career in Toronto as a senior creative person in major Canadian & international advertising agencies. He is specialized in creating communications for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world.
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