Updated: Jan 2, 2020
I'm going to get a head start on my New Year's Day, 2030. People don't change, culture doesn't change, and then suddenly, like an ambush, everything is different. Things that are good and normal for me on this sunny day by the river will be intolerable to my 2030 self. So why carry them around with me for the good part of another decade?
I'm recalling New Year's Day 2010. It was this unsophisticated world where supermarkets gave out those rustling single-use plastic bags, vegans were considered difficult and possibly dangerous, and my gay friends couldn't marry. In 2010 used to pay good money to slather myself in phylate-laden perfume, and inflicted it on everyone around me, thinking I was being charming. Actually, the perfume detox only changed last year. My whole culture changed, and so did I. The me of 2010 presumed I'd marry and have children, and a few other things I now consider narrow escapes.
The word of the year for 2019 was Climate Emergency. Even the Pope and the Queen spoke of it. Who saw that coming? We are going to do something as a culture we don't yet know how to do.
I'm declaring something related, but different. I'm declaring a 'where I'm at' emergency. I'm going to be unexpectedly different by 2030 anyway, why don't I start today? Am I going to wake up to a life with with those crappy consumer items, bad habits, bad spelling for another ten years? How about I design a way to get rid of them now? What kind of me is waiting to emerge, in this 'emergency'? I'll probably call you up and ask for help. I had better get busy offering help too, because Ive been in the luxurious position to practice culture change for a long time, in creating my Permaculture life. A splendid and virtuous 'me' in a doomed culture gets no special prizes. What I want is to be right in the middle of a culture of moving lightly and deftly though this world, connected and creative and not wrecking things. I'd need to use a bit more bravery than usual, and get more irrepressible with my envisioning. I'd need to face difficulty with curiosity, and value surprise over controlled outcomes. Maybe you are getting with the program and declaring your life as solution to the Climate Emergency. Good on you. Culture is how change happens, and being cared-for yourself is the best way to create a cared-for world, even if the change seems impossibly costly before it happens. Make a list of the things you resisted and resisted, then exclaimed 'Why didn't I do that 10 years earlier??' Remembering past success gives us power and impetus. Declare an 'I'm at' Emergency for your life. Be brave, and get 2030 happening early. As a symbol, go to the kitchen draw, or the bookcase, and find something thats been hanging around like a barnacle since 2010, not improving your life one bit. Send it away. Don't carry it another 10 years. Open up 'creative void'. Get that decluttered home, cared-for body and better world. You already know what to do. Me too. Find mates to help you make them real. Share this post with a favourite friend and have a creative conversation. I'd love to hear what you are going to do next, and I'll try to do it with you.