4.0 Editor's Pick
December 31, 2018

How to Save our World in 2019.

We can do one thing in 2019.

Don’t “like” this & keep scrolling. Get offline, close your eyes, & think about what your heart calls you to do, that’s of benefit, this year.

You know the expression “if you aren’t mad, you aren’t paying attention?”

From a Buddhist point of view, we’d change that to “if you aren’t sad, you aren’t paying attention.” It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel your broken heart when you look at the suffering of animals, wars, climate change, nuclear weapons, sexual assault.

Our world is wonderful, too. It’s worth protecting. Here’s my New Year’s message, with the Buddha’s Four “New Year’s Solutions”:

Thank you to all of you who’ve supported Elephant in any way, this past year. As independent media, we’re inconvenient & irrelevant to the moneyed dreams of Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Google & Amazon—who’ve vacuumed up the energy & hard-earned $s of “users”—what we at Elephant call “humans” or “readers.”

But in 2019 Elephant will fight the beast by becoming the beast—our Ecosystem will take us from being a huge online magazine to being a small platform. A platform that’s mission-driven, & entirely free of investors & the pressure for quarterly returns that comes with being public, or privately funded.

We’re here for one reason only: to bring together those who might disagree for fun & tough conversations so that we can all be of benefit.

2018 might have been the darkest year in my lifetime. Climate Change. Facts, made irrelevant. Division. And yet, healthy institutions fought back, & We the People showed up.

Subscriptions are up. Readers realize that journalism doesn’t just happen. Sure, we still spend most of our time on Instagram & TV (there’s (some) worthwhile stuff in both). But many of us are getting back to reading, to engaging in community, to supporting our local farmers. To buying that book from our local indie bookshop. To supporting fair-trade, or USA-made. To driving less, & walking/bussing/biking more.

Perhaps it’s all a pipedream, what we call “the mindful life.” All heroic efforts were once called idealism by cynics. We’d rather give up & watch Walking Dead than see the zombie in the mirror. We’d rather watch Tom Cruise or James Bond save the world.

This world needs saving, blah blah blah. Even those of us who care don’t do much about it. What can we do, after all?

We can do one thing. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, once she discovered serving others & the joy that came with that that’s all she wanted to do.

Service isn’t just for those working a too-low minimum wage, or noblesse obligé. It’s for all of us: get off the couch & to your real community. Do something. Do one thing. And let the empathy flow.

The way out of our problems is not fear, but non-aggressive action. Love is not passive. Self-righteousness will not get us there. Our planet needs us. Our children need us. Their children will need us.

A recent study shows that concern for climate change is bipartisan, though the causes of said climate change are still, magically, debatable. Let us treat Climate Change as we did WWII: let’s mobilize. Big & small actions made the equality-increasing war effort work: from Victory Gardens to driving less to recycling scrap metal…to supporting vast changes in our economy—let’s build tanks, not cars, say.

We can do the same thing—make national & domestic changes. Don’t “like” this & keep scrolling. Get offline, close your eyes, & think about what your heart calls you to do, that’s of benefit, this year.

 

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The Buddha's Four New Year's Resolutions.

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