Searching through some old emails I ran across a letter I wrote eleven years ago to a friend, Barbara Shipka, about an article she wrote to articulate the transformational potential of a global threat at the turn of the century. I had pointed out one passage I particularly loved and, as I read it today, I found I still loved it, and found it profoundly fitting to our new day and age. With some minor edits to bring it up to date, here is that passage by Barbara:
What we need and seek are visions that are not mere reactions to the emerging crises of our times but that leverage those crises. We need and seek visions that make the 21st century into a petri dish for experimenting, incubating, learning, and growing into the greatness that we are so deeply longing to emerge in ourselves anyway; visions that serve us both locally in terms of directly addressing our personal and local concerns, but also serve us globally in that we learn principles we can apply to the global systems and issues we face. Too many visions in our crisis-filled times are almost exclusively based on what we want to prevent and/or protect ourselves from rather than on what we want to create and/or bathe ourselves in. We are called to the place where our deep joy meets the world’s deep hunger.When and as more of us create and articulate our collective, creative visions. we will see that, while they appear to be impossible, we still relish them, give ourselves to them with abandon and passion, experience joy that is contagious, attract others to our visions because of their unparalleled possibilities that generate hope and renewal in each of us. These shared visions will contain and hold infinite possibilities for unique participation. The looming crises of our era are bringing our global citizenship and global responsibility into our conscious awareness at the level of lived experience today. I find that I am having to do more than see, think, or write about our roles. I am having to live into what I have known to be true. It is becoming my life.