Never again will we stand
On the threshold of a new age.
We that are here now are touched
In some mysterious way
With the ability to change
And make the future.
Those who wake to the wonder
Of this magic moment,
Who wake to the possibilities
Of this charged conjunction,
Are the chosen ones who have chosen
To act, to free the future, to open it up,
To consign prejudices to the past,
To open up the magic casement
Of the human spirit
Onto a more shining world.
This verse from a poem “Mental Fight” by Ben Okri, the Nigerian poet and novelist, describes very graphically where we stand as humanity at this time. While we can get caught up in all the prevailing adversity and turmoil in the world, my constant question to myself is, “where can I make a positive difference?”
In South Africa, where, until recently my wife Ruth and I lived, some radical steps have been taken by the incumbent president that will seriously damage the country’s financial and humanitarian wellbeing in the short term but is also likely to lead to his own political demise in the medium to long term. He doesn’t seem to care. And he has plenty of lackeys who stand to gain enormous wealth by protecting him and backing his obviously destructive policies.
What to do in the face of such anti-populace, contra-sanity, ultimately self-destructive and seemingly irrational behavior? While I’m fully aware that this is not close to being unique on our current world scene, it is the most personally impactful.
The “new age” that Ben Okri describes is not birthed through studiously ignoring what is happening around me and blindly maintaining a business-as-usual routine. Clearly, “business” is increasingly becoming un-usual, and the old age is fast becoming redundant. Well then, what’s next?
I’m not, and never will be a politician or economist, or strategist at those levels. I have no easy answers to the apparently intractable dilemmas that face humanity (me) at this time. And I certainly do not claim any in-depth understanding of all the factors at play. But still, I do feel the challenge of what Okri describes as “this charged conjunction” and count myself as among one of the “chosen ones who have chosen to act…”
The “magic casement of the human spirit” is indeed the only viable connection between what is possible in the natural design and what will actually show up as a positively evolving world. It has been said many times that the planet has enough resources and the right technology to meet all of the challenges of poverty, hunger, inequality, environmental degradation, the decimation of species and all the rest. So, what’s the problem?
Maybe the vision of a freed-up future that holds the promise of peace, abundance and fulfillment lies too far ahead for a humanity that has largely been enrolled in the expectation of and demand for instant gratification. This is where I come in!
I do have a feeling for what is possible. I have the desire and patience to open up to that possibility, knowing there’s still internal work to do that will take time. I accept that there’s some urgency—we don’t have unlimited time. I know there are many others who are taking the same stance in their lives and I already work closely with some of them.
So, I can make a difference right now, right where I am. And so can you! Each moment of conscious, creative, compassionate living, each step taken away from the old, into the new does bring change. We may never see direct evidence of that difference but we will feel it, slowly but surely, as a more shining world unfolds around us and inspires others to join us at the threshold.
PHIL RICHARDSON is an international speaker and teacher who invites people to reconnect with their deeper innate spiritual awareness and to bring that awareness into their everyday lives.