Author and futurist David Korten writes in his book, Change the Story, Change the Future:
“Choice-making beings of many possibilities, we humans live by shared cultural stories. They are the lens through which we view reality. They shape what we most value as a society and the institutions by which we structure power……When we get our story wrong, we get our future wrong….
“We are in terminal crisis because we have our defining story badly wrong. Seduced by a fabricated Sacred Money and Markets story, we live in indentured service to money-seeking corporate robots and relate to Earth as if it was a dead rock for sale….
“Communications technologies now give us the capacity as a species to choose our common story with conscious intention. This is a moment of unprecedented opportunity to create a future consistent with our true nature and possibility as living beings born of a Living Earth, born of a Living Universe….”
With instant communication and the vast reach of all forms of our news media, we are being subject to the story of our troubled times through the filters of social media algorithms, fake news and editorial choices. Fires, racism, the pandemic, the recession and rabid politics have become the defining story we are living. No wonder so many report being traumatized and alone. All this on top of the tyranny of scared money and markets.
As Korten reminds us though, we have the power of communications that can tell a different story. The story I am promoting is a story of a billion acts of kindness every day. The story I want to hear about is the story of how you have found some hope in these last few months.
So here is my challenge to you all this week: Share with me your stories of living on earth in a living universe. What have you done or heard about that reveals the promise of our better selves? Send them to me and I will post as many as I can next week.
In his recent bestseller Humankind: A Hopeful History, Rutger Bregman outlines a historical narrative that looks beyond conflicts towards our feats of cooperation: the allies stopping Hitler, the war on poverty, sending humans to the moon. More often than not it is our tenacity to overcome struggle that defines our story, not our failings. Bregman proposes a radical idea that changes the narrative of our troubled times profoundly: if we add it all up, we are living in times of unprecedented peace and prosperity even if in the moment it all looks so bleak. He concludes with a question, “So what is this radical idea? That most people, deep down, are pretty decent.”
Ours is a story of deep struggles and redeeming hope. Let’s tell the other side of the story beyond what we see in the news. What do you say to that?
Yours Always, Rev. John