I am not sure how many people out there still need convincing that we are drowning in a sea of corruption. There may still be some vestiges of an ideal, but for the most part, the system is failing us. Our water is being poisoned or bought up, our food is full of toxins and antibiotics, our agricultural system is in the hands of a few and to belabor my point, we knowingly put carcinogens in our baby shampoo. The system that was created to work for us is no longer at our service. Now my particular issue may not be yours, but there is enough to go around. The important thing is that there is recognition that we need and deserve something better than the status quo. From a health perspective, this fight is a good fight. It will ignite passion and purpose and that is exactly what we need at this moment in history.
You may not see the parallels between the ever growing obesity rates, our out of control chronic illnesses and my call for activism, but they are highly related. We are so connected on every level; from system to cell. Every single thing we put in our mouths, wear on our bodies, and interact with in our surrounding affects the health of the individual, community, and the environment. But so many of us don’t see that and I would argue, are even being conditioned not to. Complacency is a breeding ground for poor choices. Too many feel as though we don’t have a choice, and that our voices won’t be heard. Too many people have the idea that a single person cannot make a difference, but nothing is further from the truth.
It turns out there are many good reasons from a health perspective to find your cause and take action. Consistently we see that people who live with a sense of purpose have a better quality of life. Purpose is about more than goals and behavior, it is about meaningful connection. Neuroscience is even showing us that having a sense of purpose can decrease our risks for things such as Alzheimer’s disease. This makes a lot of sense when you really think about it. To live with purpose is to wake up every day and see the meaning in our lives. This forces us to learn and stretch as a person. Continual learning staves off brain decline. Having social support no matter what you are trying to accomplish, improves your chances of success and your quality of life. It turns out that people who feel more connected also make wiser health choices. Isolation, depression and lack of social support lend itself to poor lifestyle habits.
Another part of activism that I really appreciate is that is garners awareness. A person really needs to be in touch with what is going on around them and how they feel about it to get excited enough to participate. Many of us already feel that the key to our spiritual growth is an understanding of our oneness. Activism is an acknowledgment that our oneness is being overlooked. After all, if we did understand this whole heartedly, we could no longer clear cut our forests, pollute our waterways and feed our children pink slime. These would all be seen as atrocities, truly crimes against humanity and nature. But for us to get up, find a cause that means something to us, that is score one for humanity and our health. It is that awareness that frees us from the conditioning, so complacency no longer has free reign over our psyche.
Some feel that we are moving into a new age, one that is characterized from a shift of competition to cooperation. I feel this is as well. I see activism as our first step. It is not divisive, it is groups of people awake enough to feel indignation, to see injustice and be moved enough to do something about it. The true spirit of activism is never violence, it is simply action. We need more people moving through their lives with a sense of purpose, a grasp of our unity and the awareness enough to give a damn. Inspired action breeds passion in others. So write a letter, join a group or form an on-line community of like-minded people. When we improve ourselves it creates a shift that happens energetically and that will move quickly through a more conscious population. This is where the true change happens.
Individualism and competition drove us a long way. In the last two hundred years, we have seen unprecedented leaps in our population, food production, and technology. All of this with little sense of our connection. This is the true cause of our current health crisis. It is a manifestation of our lack of conscious choice based on the knowledge of our connectedness. Now it is time for our next frontier; building our consciousness. We need that collaboration. We are all given different gifts for a reason, not so we can go it alone but so we can flourish. What are your gifts and how can you lend them to make your community stronger?
Top down action will never change this world. The reason being is there is no shift in our consciousness. We cannot dictate or legislate change. That type of change happens outside us. It is not something that occurs in the heart. People need to feel impassioned in order to understand, not just be told how to live or what needs to be done. Too much gets lost in the politics of it all. It once again becomes a dichotomous battle. The left vs. the right. The blue vs. the red. If the change comes from the bottom up, then transformation is real, sincere and enduring. There is less resentment and fear. Search your hearts, find what moves you and become a part of it. Always take action with a calm mind and an open heart. Make your choice and make a difference. In the words of Margret Mead, “Never underestimate the power of a few committed individuals to change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
(c) Can Stock Photo