I was born and indoctrinated (brainwashed) into the Presbyterian Church. My personal beliefs about the church is that it seems to have not taken many of Jesus’ teachings as seriously as possible. Regardless, the church’s main requirement for inclusion is “personal salvation.” But what does that even mean? For many people it means accepting Jesus Christ as your own personal savior. But what does that even mean? I have yet to satisfy that question in my 31 years of life so far. But ultimately, it’s not even the right question to ask.
The right question to ask is: How do we create a sustainable world where everyone’s needs are met?
The answer is in existence itself. I believe that the earth is crying out in agony. I also believe that when one of us suffer, we all suffer a sort of sympathy pain. With so many suffering, and the world’s natural resources on the verge of being totally overwhelmed by our global population, it seems that our collective measures should be escalating.
But where do we escalate to? I can only speak personally, but I protest because I believe that a sustainable world is possible. We simply cannot keep going down this road of infinite population growth and continued environmental destruction. Thankfully, I think the people are waking up to their collective power.
But are we really ready to make the necessary changes to shift into a truly sustainable world? It will require many different strains of activism uniting to begin the whole transformation of our civilization.
The consensus that I perceive amongst the occupy movement is that the next step in its evolution will be to “de-colonize.” I’m happy to see it go in this direction. The colonialist mentality is anathema to human rights, equality and freedom itself. The colonialist mentality is one of domination and oppression. It is the mentality that has embraced the machine and shunned humanity.
So in order for us to de-colonize, we must first understand the inherent injustices and hypocrisies that our country has embraced due to the influence of corporatism. Please don’t forget that corporatism is just another word for fascism. And while a fascist state may give the illusion of sustainability, it is a lie which is not to be believed.
To de-colonize means to dismiss fossil fuels outright. We will need to rely on one another as communities of compassion and support if we are to make the transition.
Now this is where the discussion begins to be more complicated. There are many that believe that we can make the shift from fossil fuels onto renewable energy. This would entail continuing our technological progress and ramping up fossil fuel burning in order to make the necessary materials for all the solar panels, wind turbines, and essentially the whole sum of our infrastructure getting an overhaul to meet clean, sustainable requirements. This appears to be the great gamble. It means that we would remain on a monetary system and use our greed to compete with one anther to determine who can make the industrial shift fastest. Success would require the full participation of EVERYONE. It would be a final victory for the wobblies.
However appealing this great gamble might appear to be, it is still a gamble with lots of risk. In reality, I don’t think we can deny the fact that every step forward as a species is risky. But if the reward is sustainability, is it then worth it?
Or, there is another world which is sustainable as well. This is the world that I am beginning to prefer. This is a world where we pull the concrete from the streets and in its place we plant fruit and nut trees, and berry bushes. And every front and backyard is a garden overflowing with vegetables. We outlaw the car. Our survival as a species must become dependent on mutual aid and altruism.
For me, sustainability equals salvation in a very real and tangible way. My spirit is connected to the spirit of every other living creature. But for as much as this spiritual realization may be true for me – it is nearly impossible to persuade people that there is indeed a better world possible. So the struggle continues, and the momentum builds. The choice is of course not in my hands, nor has it ever been. A sustainable world must be the product of ALL OF US.