Ripples #919: The Future is Present.
Jan 2, 2017
Those whose hope is strong see and cherish all signs of new life and are ready every moment to help the birth of that which is ready to be born.
-Erich Fromm, shared by Bea in Vero Beach, FL
The future has no bigger moments than we experience right now. The world changes for the better with every act of kindness, and for the worse with every act of cruelty. The future is nothing grander than the very next moment, and it arrives solely from the present.
-Bo Lozoff, shared by Jessie in Burbank, CA
Another year has ended, and a fresh one has begun. Many people have commented that 2016 was a particularly difficult one, and plenty of us are more than a little concerned that 2017 contains potential for even more challenges (or at the very least more uncertainty), than any year in recent memory.
Because I’m determined to be a reliable source of light in what may be troubling times, I’ve been busy prepping and pondering over the last few months. One useful activity has been a careful reading of Rebecca Solnit’s powerful book, “Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities” written in response to earlier darkness in our young century when so many people were feeling hopeless because of our country’s decision to go to war in Iraq. She has helped me reconsider how I perceive hope, which Solnit suggests is less like “a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch” and instead more like “an ax you break down doors with in an emergency.” Her comment about hope’s predictive power also struck me as potent: “Hope just means that another world might be possible, not promised, not guaranteed.”
I’m not sure what 2017 will hold, but I do know that it will unfold just as all the previous years: one day at a time. And I’m confident there will be some good days and there will be some bad days and there will be lots and lots (and lots) of in between days that will have a mix of options for joy and opportunities to grow. And, just like before, our capacity to create a more palatable future depends to a great degree on our ability to focus on that which we can control (or least influence), rather than becoming hypnotized by fixating on the forces beyond our control.
I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the most optimistic version of the successes you would like to experience this year, and identifying what actions you’ll need to cultivate and/or extinguish in order to manifest your dreams into reality.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. A few months ago Rebecca Solnit released a new edition of the book I mentioned above, and I’ve invited a few people to explore it with me. I’m assembling a Facebook Group if you’d like to join us!