Monday, October 29, 2012

Power Shifting to Truth

I haven't written anything recently to explicitly state my views on anything.
By recently, I mean probably in more than a year.
I find it hard to express specific views about most things because most of the time, I'm just not that certain.  There is a lot of uncertainty when you look deeply into issues and I'm not very good at looking into things any other way.
I have an incessant desire to find the heart of issues or to find the root or to find the truth.
The truth is not a straight forward thing.  The truth is messy.  Most of the time, I have no idea what it is, but it is always there.  It is at the centre of all the tension and arguments and disagreements.  It is like the eye of a hurricane, silently and calmly creating differing views and opinions to surround it.  Often creating massive destruction.
'Woah. Woah. Woah.  Are you bad talking 'the truth'?!?!' You might find yourself asking.
'No', I reply.  But I think it is very hard to find one truth. I think everyone has their own truth which may differ from others' truths.
'But isn't there a single underlying truth that is ultimate and undeniable?'
'You mean, like a God?'
'Well, maybe some people would look at an ultimate truth as God, but it doesn't necessarily have to be 'God', perse.  Just something that you know is right.'
'How do you know something is right?'
'I guess, sometimes you have a feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is right or you learn enough about it and so it seems obvious that one thing is right over another.'
'Such as?'
'Well, like when you lie.  Most people don't feel good about lying, even if it's a small lie.'
'Interesting. We're talking about lies already when we were talking about truth a minute ago.  But yes, it usually doesn't feel good to lie because we have some information that we know for a fact we are falsifying.  But I think rather than falsifying the information it's the impacts that lying has that makes it a problem.  The smallest lie can have a huge impact on the world. Can you imagine if you were the queen of the world and you lied about something as tiny as liking tea when really you found it horribly bitter?  Tea plantations would be set up all over the world in your name!  Tea brands would market their tea as your tea! The people of the world, forced (or genuinely) to show their admiration and respect for you, would drink tea enmasse!'
'So it's actually those little lies that make the hurricane.'
'What do you mean?'
'You start at the truth but you come into a world where there are lies everywhere. Basically, you're born into the hurricane. Then you get caught up in it. You start working with the lies instead of working against them and stop trying to get back to that point where the truth was, being totally true to yourself. The hurricane gets stronger and stronger and more and more convoluted'
'I suppose that could be.'
'But it could start with just one person.  One person makes one small lie and people believe them and this whole hurricane spirals out of control and eats North Eastern United States and Eastern Canada!!'
'Or one person could be totally true to themselves, unafraid of what anyone thinks, and have the counter reaction.'
'Just one truth?'
'Well, if one lie can have that effect, why not one truth?'
'So then truth is being true to yourself?'
'What is being true to yourself? Can you ever know that? How much of me or you was created by all of the people who we've ever met or talked to and how much of it was inborn?'
'The nature vs nurture debate.'
'Exactly. Together nature and nurture led us to this present moment where we exist.'
'Both are there simultaneously.'
'All of that biology and all of the people who have encountered you in any way are all there simultaneously inside of this present moment.  In that vein, the future, that will unfold after this present moment, is also already there, because you are creating it with whatever you do in this moment.'
'So the truth is everything all at once.'
'If you can put your mind around it.'
'I see what you mean about the truth being messy.'

My mind sometimes derails my writing like that, sorry.  I decided to just let it be hashed out rather than ignore it and not write anything.
But, if that made any sense to you, please let me know because I'm not even sure it makes total sense to me.
Anyway, it is because I have an inkling that truth is a multifaceted thing that I was very encouraged this past weekend by Power Shift 2012.  It wasn't perfect (is anything, ever?) and there was still a lot of representation missing, but the base of interested people is certainly growing.  Both in numbers and diversity, and that is extremely encouraging.
Now we can start talking about bigger issues and really get the juicy, messy debates going with a lot more of the stakeholders of the future at the table.
People are getting interested in this stuff and it's really exciting.  Mostly, it's exciting because we're starting to talk about systemic problems and challenging the underlying theories that have been used to reproduce and legitimize the status quo for a long time.
I think really, people are getting fed up.  More and more people are getting concerned about climate change (which I do believe is real, just for the record), they're getting scared because it's becoming less and less possible to deny, and simultaneously, they're seeing the government slash environmental regulations and protections.  There is an increasing disregard for indigenous rights and treaties, and increasing awareness that the tar sands are causing indigenous peoples a lot of harm.  Not to mention that it's an extremely energy intensive process that is not a long term or sustainable solution to help alleviate climate change.
People are understanding the weight of the situation we are in and seem to be waking up.  It's exciting because people are looking to young people and want to be involved.  It's exciting because a lot of young people, especially indigenous youth, seem to have a pretty good understanding of what the systemic issues are and how widespread they are.
But there is no easy or proposed one solution.  The thing is, that one solution doesn't really make sense.  There is no bandaid or quick fix to problems of this magnitude.  But I do know that solutions will involve building stronger and more robust communities, sharing information and knowledge and brainstorming.  They will take time investment, negotiation, team building and passion.  They will take creativity, innovation and honesty.
They will take all of us working together for our survival as a species.  If we are not all willing to stand up, in this present moment, our future is already written.

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