As we kick off a new year, I’ve taken some time to dream about what 2022 might look like for me. Hell, for everyone really. Will it be full of opportunity, magic, joy, new relationships and extraordinary experiences? Or perhaps another repeat of 2021… more mandates, lockdowns, fear-mongering, social distancing, political battles, hidden truths and even stronger encouragement to be on one side of the fence or the other? Ideally, it’s the former. At least that’s the intention I’m setting for myself. Assuming some aspect of those latter elements will be a reality though, I’ve also set an intention to stand up, hold the line, and remain true to what feels right to me.
Just a fair warning – there’s a little doom and gloom in this article, so please bear with me. If there’s one thing I know we’re good at, in terms of the history of humanity, it’s our unequivocal ability to repackage and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. One person’s new idea, solution, or grandiose vision, inevitably based around some underlying act of control, becomes another’s downfall. It’s not always intentional, just near-sighted in most cases – causality in its rawest form. Each culture glides through history on various wavelengths, remarkably predictable with definitive highs and inescapable lows. You can sum this up with the following statement:
Hard times create strong people, strong people create good times, good times create weak people, weak people create hard times. Repeat.
It’s very easy to see and an extremely logical statement, but why do we continue to follow this pattern again and again and again? It’s like there’s something buried deep within us all that limits our ability to simply remember… truly remember, as if we are living it again, those hard times that we try so hard to block out and forget. Maybe that’s the reason – we all loathe the experience of pain. Whether emotional, physical, psychological or whatever else, we avoid it like the plague. It’s more/less a subconsciously driven instinct anymore, probably developed over generations to help preserve our way of life. What if, however, our way of life is on a path toward humanity’s destruction, unbeknownst to us? Sounds dark, I know. If you take a step back and look at things from a 30,000 ft view though, it’s just hard to ignore.
If you look back at all the great civilizations throughout our documented history, and study the many reasons for their falls from greatness, most can be summed up with one word: suicide. Wait, what?! Seriously?! Hear me out… while some were ended by being forcibly consumed by others, most fell as a result of the hostilities that permeated within each culture. Political factions, lack of trust and lack of moral obligations to fellow humans. Is it unreasonable to say that the U.S. is quickly moving to follow suit? I think not. It’s our ego, internal conflicts and entitlement as a nation. I feel our core values being set aside for political gain, and our fundamental freedoms being slowly and surely plucked from our fingertips, one-by-one, and by our own doing no less.
What's This About Anyway??
So why am I sharing all of this and what does it have to do with CreativeFuse? The purpose of this article is pretty simple really:
I’m feeling called to vocalize the many indicators I’ve seen and felt in the hopes that it may bring about some greater awareness of the pattern referenced above.
I have a lot of love for a lot of peeps, especially locally, and I feel a moral obligation to encourage everyone to more/less be better prepared at a fundamental level. It feels like a guitar string that keeps getting wound tighter and tighter. No one knows how long it’ll hold before it snaps.
And honestly this really has little to do with the service offerings of CreativeFuse. That said, we tend to blend the lines between work and personal life within the organization and use this journal as just that — a journal. A safe, creative space to share what’s on our minds. As a team, we regularly look into our patterns, discuss openly and don’t shy away from having tough conversations, both internally and/or with clients, when they feel necessary. Allowing space for this is a huge part of what keeps us operating with full transparency and authenticity.
Keep in mind, I’m not trying to invoke any feeling of fear with this uncertainty, rather just recognizing the state of affairs today. Normal life is all but gone these days, at least the norm most of us may have known prior to “that which we do not speak of because I’m sick of hearing its name.” We’ve been all but programmed to accept the “requirements” that “will get us all through this together,” one ever-evolving fact after another. This is just me, but my intuition is screaming right now, telling me that everything is not as it seems on the surface. For one, working together through something like this requires people to communicate, listen and compromise if/when needed. It’s NOT creating divisiveness, silencing someone because they don’t repeat exactly what you say, and it sure as hell isn’t forcing your will upon them because you have the power to do so.
Everything that is happening at the moment is so far from anything new as well. In 1841, Charles Mackay wrote Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. He outlines his accounts of the South Sea Company Bubble, Mississippi Company Bubble, and the Dutch Tulip Bubble. The madness of crowds, such that we’re witnessing on a global scale today, is a cyclical commonality throughout human history. The quote from Charles MacKay sums it all up:
In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.
Regardless of your political point of view, or even your stance on the vaccine, this pandemic has wreaked havoc on all of our lives. Over 5 million people have lost their lives, tensions are skyrocketing all over the world, and trust (in authority as well as each other) is quickly becoming something from a long lost fairytale. It breaks my heart that we’ve allowed ourselves to get to this point. Most of you who know me, know that I would do just about anything for you, friend or just acquaintance. You know that I’m not aggressive by any means, and I’m a fairly calm, authentic and transparent person. I preface with this in hopes that you may resonate with how difficult all of this is for me to share. If we continue fighting each other and allowing our politicians and media to further divide us, it’s going to turn violent at some point. History has shown this to be true over and over again.
So What's the Plan?
So what can we do? For starters, we could all stand to be a little more kind and inquisitive toward those who might share a different opinion than our own. As I mentioned earlier, we can also lean more into the opportunities, magic, joy, new relationships and extraordinary experiences and less into all the doom and gloom that consumes pretty much all media outlets these days. Turn off your phone, TV and radio for a bit, brave the world at large and try creating some new experiences for yourself. Go somewhere you’ve never been. Try something you’re afraid to try. And rather than being angry with someone who shares a different perspective, try having a conversation with them to simply understand one another. If you do nothing else, please take a moment to pause, allow yourself to breathe, and release all the trauma you may be holding onto from the last two years. As much as I’d love to just ignore all the things in life that worry me, or make me feel less than excited, that kind of denial isn’t good for anyone. Which brings me to #2 above… we can still choose to be better prepared for extenuating circumstances.
I’m not saying to become a doomsday prepper and build a bunker out in the middle of nowhere. Or to go out and buy up a bunch of toilet paper and freeze-dried foods… what I am saying is that we’ve all sensed some red flags in recent months and things could quickly take a turn for the worse if they continue as they are. For instance: there is a major supply chain problem right now, and it’s getting worse every day. There are riots popping up all over the world due to the mandates being pushed. Russia is on the brink of a war with the EU/NATO. And the political landscape is so far divided at this point that the next presidential election is sure to bring about even more chaos than the last. The list goes on, and regardless of who’s at fault, the fact remains that these are real issues that aren’t going away anytime soon.
Just think about your current situation and what would happen if there was any kind of disaster, natural or man-made, tomorrow. Something that forces you out of your comfort zone and even just temporarily removes access to all the things you have readily available to you at the moment. How much food do you have in your home? Enough to feed your entire family for a week? How about a month? What if the water isn’t safe to drink, or stops flowing out of your tap and your power goes out for a couple of weeks? What if the supermarkets run out of food because their shipments continue to get delayed, even for a few weeks? All hypotheticals of course, and I’m sure I’m not the only one with a normalcy bias telling me that these scenarios could never happen here in the U.S., but they can and have… many times over.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that we all have a moral responsibility to be prepared for the inevitable ups and downs in life. Self-reliant, not system-reliant. The system is great while it’s here, and I have no qualms with taking full advantage of the resources available to us all. We humans are also fully capable of taking care of ourselves though, as well as those around us, with a little basic knowledge and fundamental skills that have all but been forgotten in today’s society. What harm is there in simply having a sort of “savings account” in your home with some basic essentials? I just care about you… all of you, and I’m more than happy to help you if you resonate with this mindset. Just hit me up. And if it makes you feel better to call me your crazy doomsday prepper friend, then go for it. While I don’t consider myself as such, it’s a small price to pay for potentially saving the life of a friend.
Onward & Upward
Whew, that was a lot, I know. All things aside, this year has just as much potential to be the best year of our lives as well. I’ve shared my intentions for the year, but I’d love to hear about yours! Let’s grab a drink, raise a glass and chat. And here’s to 2022… may it be full of extraordinary experiences, delightful conversations and zero apocalypses.