career strategy professional life professional wellness purpose reflections for professionals Jan 19, 2024

This time is like all others in history.

Some of us look out of our windows to some kind of beauty - snow, sunlight, forests, oceans. We look in towards those we love. We feel gratitude, even if there has been pain in the year. We will enjoy a meal together. 

Others are embroiled in violence. Conflict is in our nature. We have the tools, both physical weapons and aberrant philosophies, that make killing easy. The rewards, revenge, vindication, land, money, are the dark obverse of love and gratitude. 

So the main thing that I can see we all have in common is a desire for peace. This is not easy. It is not about being at peace with oneself, which is a start, or sitting peacefully with those you know. It is about loving those you don't know, who have suffered because of you, or who have caused you suffering. About noticing that what we have in common as humanity are all the things of beauty, including the infinite tiny corners of beauty we can all touch. It is about noticing other living things and our responsibility, as the 'intelligent' ones, to look after them as we would our children. 

This is not easy. Time has helped me to notice my own blindness and ignorance, with hopefully enough time left to change. 

We are approaching a period when for most of humanity, nature will be in conflict with us. As a great system, we have thrown it so far out of balance that it will disregard us in finding its new balance. We will become irrelevant unless we become in balance with it. The global system that is so hard to grasp, so seemingly remote, is also local.

This means being in balance with each other. 

There is reason to be optimistic. In many directions, technology, business, new professions, the innovations of youth, the philosophers of the metacrisis, and even a few politicians, a framework is assembling. A framework for better ways to live with the real limitations of our little world. 

As far as we can tell, we are the only 'intelligent' beings in an infinite universe. That means we are custodians of not only our planet but of consciousness itself. We know we are making this one planet uninhabitable, but because we have a limited lifespan, a limited social horizon, and limited knowledge as individuals, at least in the 'West'. we don't act well. 

Professionals of all stripes have unique knowledge. A shaft of light into the truths of the world. Capacity to generate new knowledge, tools to make the entire world better for the entire living ecosystem. Each effort from each personal circumstance, combined, has the power to change our course.

It is now time to apply it. For you and I to apply it. 

Peace is more than the space to enjoy a meal. It is the space for each living thing to enjoy its meal in the continuing dynamic balance the world can sustain. 

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