By Valerie Savino
People say that they can’t wait to get back to normal, but is that what we really want for the future? Now that we have had a chance to experience life at a slower pace, what have we learned from this pause? It’s time to consider what we want our future world to look like.
I have spoken to many people in different situations. Some have been working day and night in essential services, helping us all to survive. My heart goes out to the medical professionals who are helping us heal through this pandemic. To the doctors and nurses, the mental health professionals, the medical technologists and the researchers who are developing a vaccine, you deserve our deepest gratitude. Think of the grocery workers who put up with hordes of people on a daily basis. People who sometimes are rude and uncaring. People who refuse to wear masks or follow social distancing guidelines. You are my everyday heroes. Thank you for continuing to do your jobs, even though you are so tired of everything. I would like to see a future for you, and all workers, that involves a living wage and medical insurance for everyone. A future that recognizes that your contribution to society has as much value as that of the CEO of a large corporation.
There are other people who have been working from home, or homeschooling children, or even both. Perhaps you are glad to be home. It’s certainly better to be working from your own home than driving, day after day, in heavy traffic. The air we breathe is much healthier now, because there are less cars sending exhaust fumes into the atmosphere. We are far less stressed out when we do not have to brave the freeways to get to work on time. The Moms and Dads who are homeschooling have a big job. It is difficult to teach our children when they really want to be outside playing with their friends. I applaud you for your efforts. Take this opportunity to see what your children are learning in school. Your children will remember that Mom tried to help them with math, even when she had to relearn everything herself, first. They will also appreciate the extra time they had to spend with family. So many of us miss seeing our children growing up because we are so busy working and commuting and going to after school activities. I hope, in the future, we can have more of a home-work balance. Perhaps work from home a few days a week, or have a part virtual, part in-person education system.
One of the best things we have seen from this pandemic is that the natural world is thriving and recovering from the damage so many humans have caused. We must reduce the pollution and waste we create. Do we really need new, fashionable clothes each season? Must it always be bigger, and better things to buy? Can we do more to reduce product packaging? Can we do more to reuse and recycle? Can we use less gas, plastic, water and electricity? Do we have to use so many chemicals in our soils? My vision for the future is that we will buy things thoughtfully. That our food will come from fresh, local sources. That we embrace the European model of Slow Food. That we only eat organic, natural, healthy food that sustains our bodies. That we treat the animals that nourish us with kindness and gratitude for their gifts. That we will be more mindful of the environment before we throw something away. That we will use more public transportation and electric cars instead of burning up gas. There are newer and better technologies for transportation than ever before. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Train System is just one exciting look at a future technology that will move more people, faster than ever before, and use less energy.
We cannot forget the people who have not fared so well during this time. Those who lost their jobs and businesses. Those who are struggling to put food on the table and pay the rent. The farmers who are throwing away food in the fields because the restaurants no longer want the fresh produce. The homeless drug addicts living on our once beautiful streets. We can do better than this as a society. It should not take our government so long to respond to the needs of the people. We want and deserve a government that functions quickly and effectively. One that truly represents the people it was created to serve. Such a government was the vision of our Founding Fathers. The Constitution allows for one representative for no more that each 30,000 citizens. Currently, we have one representative for every 710,000 citizens. The reason for this disparity is that we are simply out of seats in the Capital Building. There is no room in the House Chambers for more chairs. This month, because of the pandemic, the Speaker of the House decided to let our Representatives vote virtually. My vision for the future is that we can have more elected Representatives per person, who continue to vote virtually. That they live and work close to the people who voted for them. That they will be more available to their constituents. That they will spend more time in their home districts and limit the time they spend campaigning and fundraising. That we can have a better response when a crisis arises. That our government will no longer be held hostage by big money from corporations and lobbyists with deep pockets. That the vision of true representation created by our Founding Fathers can be fulfilled.
This past week has been anything but slow. All the protests in the United States and even around the world have placed the spotlight on the inequalities in our society. We all know that the racial prejudice we live with on a daily basis is wrong. We all want a better world for our children, of all races, religions and socio-economic status. A world where each person can pursue their dreams without the chains of inequality. I have no answers to these big questions. How do we change? How do we teach our children to be inclusive? How do we change the response by law enforcement that is so different, depending on the race, religion or perceived innocence of the person or persons involved? I can only hope that people far smarter and more dedicated that I am can find a solution to this madness. I can only do my small part by recognizing my own prejudices and trying to change them and by reacting with more love and compassion for my fellow man.
How you want your future world to look really is up to you. Think about what you really would like to see. Solidify those thoughts in your mind. Don’t worry about how we will get there, just be certain of the end result. Once you have your mind made up, take a few minutes each day to visualize your new world. The creation that you want, with all the joy and excitement you can feel. Our minds are far more powerful than we realize. Look at all the change we have created already in the natural world. Remember when we saw all the fires in Australia? We felt the pain and need of the animals, people and all of nature. We all collectively asked for change, and the Universe responded, in a way we could never have imagined. Let’s put that power to use again. The whole world now, is asking for change in our society, economy and government. What an exciting time we have chosen to live in this world. I am looking forward with excitement and anticipation to what we will create.
For free, guided, daily visualizations please visit Mike Dooley at club.tut.com