“Your past is not your potential. In any hour you can choose to liberate the future.” – Marilyn Ferguson
General consensus among most people I know is that 2016 sucked for lots of reasons: the 2016 election chaos, the deaths of so many beloved artists, authors and leaders, wars around the world, natural disasters, terrorist acts, loss of loved ones and a general lack of civility among and between people. Indeed, there is much to fret about, to fear and to face during the coming year. But, Marilyn Ferguson once wrote “Things fall apart, so they can fall together at a higher level of order.”
I am a believer in goodness. I know that positive energy and actions can lift people up. I see love transcend hate every single day. I believe that what we choose to surround ourselves with – the images, words, voices, people, and work – become a part of us, shaping our worldviews, our thoughts, and our actions. Our worldviews, thoughts, and actions determine the kind of life we live. The kind of life we live has an impact on everything and everyone around us.
I believe we have an obligation to each other and the planet to live life well. So, what does it mean to live well?
David Orr writes, “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more “successful” people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.”
Living well means different things to different people, of course, but I like David Orr’s notion that living well requires us to have detailed knowledge of the place where we live, a capacity for observation, and a sense of care for the place and its inhabitants. Those things require active participation, learning, and compassion. I’ve tried to live by this lesson for many years now, but this year, during 2017, I want to be really good at it. I want to live well enough to help make the world more habitable and humane.
So, I’m starting the year by choosing to live well in 2017. I choose to surround myself with words, images, voices, people, and work that help me to make peace, restore hope, tell stories, create art, nurture relationships, protect wild places, and lift others up. My goal is to be more mindful of my actions and their impacts so that I can magnify the positive energy, love, and goodness in the world around me.
Every day I will post a graphic on this blog that is both reminder to me and message to the world about living well in 2017. Today’s graphic will become my daily mantra, my signpost, my guide.
What will yours be?
Let’s live well together in 2017. Will you join me?