We’ve lost our way. All over the world we seem to be lost, or at least, confused about where to go andWe may even be uncertain how we got to where we are.
If we are looking for a world of greater biodiversity, peacefulness, and racial and sexual egalitarianism, then we have lost our way. If we are searching for a world where all have their nutritional needs met, where access to clean water is available to all, and where we can ensure that future generations will be able to appreciate beauty, then we have lost our way.
We’ve lost sight of our social and environmental goals and are fumbling around trying to find our way back on track. We’re going round and round in circles, following our own tracks, and repeating the same errors time and time again.
Orienteers know this scenario well. Heading towards a defined point on a map an orienteer may suddenly find themselves unsure where they are. What to do? First – don’t panic. Orienteers learn to re-locate. Orienteers learn how to re-locate themselves on the map.
Two re-location techniques are: 1. Go back to where you last knew where you were, and 2. Find a high point and gain a wider point of view. Both techniques may be of use to us in re-locating ourselves and finding our way back on track towards our social and environmental goals.
Oftentimes one is confronted with the refrain that “we can’t go back.” In terms of our technological inventions that may be true (or, may not.) However, to “go back” in terms of our technology limits our thinking to one simply of utility. We can go back to a former way of thinking; a form of thinking that those of us in western-styled culture have lost. We can go back to a thinking that recognises that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We can go back to a thinking that understands community, cooperation, and mutuality. We can go back to a thinking that realises that what we do has consequences. We can go back to a thinking that admits to limits and concedes when enough is enough.
Gain A Higher Ground
When we get to higher ground we gain an overview, a wider picture. We begin to see how things are inter-related. We may even see, if we’re lucky, where we just were and where we need to get to, or at least, a prominent feature along the way.
When we take an overview in terms of our social and environmental goals we come to understand that all aspects of life are connected and inter-related. We come to understand that the healing of the planet, the healing of our social relationships, and the healing of ourselves are all part of the same work. Woking to save the planet is doomed if not connected to healing our damaged communities, and neither are obtainable if we do not heal our fractured selves.
Someone once said, “If you want to change anything, start everywhere. If you want to change everything, start anywhere.” When we gain higher ground and see the bigger picture, the veracity of that statement becomes unambiguous.
It’s Not Easy Going
Going back to a previous way of thinking, or taking a wider perspective does not, however, guarantee that the way ahead is any easier, or clearer. The terrain is complex and simple solutions do not present themselves easily.
But, re-locating ourselves may be just what we need to do instead of blithely and furiously charging ahead with no idea of where we are headed, or where we have come from.