|Photo: Solveig Larsen|
Last week I wrote of my jubilation in the face of impending environmental and social collapse. Some readers, especially those of younger generations, may have interpreted that as the attitude of a typical uncaring, apathetic, or unconcerned boomer.
That accusation has some justification. Acceptance of life as it is, is one of the states-of-mind that has come to me as I grow older. Acceptance is one of the joys of older age. Radical acceptance however, does not automatically equate to a detached, unrealistic view of what is happening in, and to, the world.1
My jubilation is not brought about by the pain and suffering that will be inflicted upon many people in the coming years. I am jubilant because the system that has brought us to the brink can no longer exist, in fact, it must collapse.
Many boomers were aware of the dangers of the industrial-growth system, and actively sought to oppose that system. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful. Nature is now bringing on the collapse herself. And that is why I am jubilant. However, that jubilation is tempered by recognising that the collapse of our climate, environment, and biodiversity is highly likely, and that will have a far greater impact on generations to come.
I consider myself lucky to have survived to an age where I can enjoy the peace that comes with radical acceptance. Acceptance does seem to be one of the benefits that comes with advancing age, but not unique to it – other ages may also discover the freeing power of radical acceptance.
However, the fact that we were unsuccessful in halting the dangerous behemoth of the industrial-growth system (or, for many of my generation, actively colluding with it, and continuing to do so) means that many younger generations may not reach the age at which acceptance becomes a rewarding state-of-mind.
My generation may become one of the last generations that are able to experience the pleasure of acceptance and jubilation. That necessitates a responsibility no less than it was when I was much younger. Perhaps, moreso.
1. “Radical acceptance” was coined by psychologist and author, Tara Branch, who describes it this way: “Clearly recognizing what is happening inside us, and regarding what we see with an open, kind and loving heart, is what I call Radical Acceptance. If we are holding back from any part of our experience, if our heart shuts out any part of who we are and what we feel, we are fueling the fears and feelings of separation that sustain the trance of unworthiness. Radical Acceptance directly dismantles the very foundations of this trance.”