Can You Save the World?

Sep 15, 2010

I’ve been having conversations with friends in the last month about my new clarity. I’ve actually been saying, “I want to save the world.”

Try saying that to an old friend in the grocery store at 9:30 on a Sunday night. (Lois, you were so gracious.)

I get that “save the world” is one of those phrases that makes people back away, just in case your spittle lands on them as you expound your latest conspiracy theory.

I get that it’s a phrase that presumes you are a god-like creature who can do the saving and who gets to determine who and what gets saved.

I get that it’s even a fusty phrase, twinged with pot smoke and hairy underarm funk.

It’s also a phrase heavy with “been there, tried that, too tired now, doing what I can.”

I get that it is almost unbearably naive.

I get that language is power and I need better language.

I get all that. Really.

And I’m not ready to stop using the words “Save the world.”

Because they make me profoundly uncomfortable. They help me see my desire for comfort is often greater than my desire to lessen my impact. They help me see my desire to be special is often greater than my desire to be of service. They help me see my story of “who do I think I am?” to take this on. There are professionals doing this, for god’s sake.

This dated, fusty phrase is helping me wake up.

These words are helping me open, to hold, with tender mercy, my discomfort, to see it and say yes to it.

To love myself for wanting to do this without falling into “Oh how special!”

For a long time, I’ve been part of a sub-culture that believes if you raise your consciousness and do good stuff like buy quinoa in bulk and shine light to others during hard times, that will be enough to change the world.

I say that’s crucial, that’s glorious, and that’s not enough.

As Lynn Twist, author of the Soul of Money says in this stunningly good video delivered to some of the very most influential people who are teaching consciousness:

….Talking to people who are in the business of transformation because that is the key factor that will turn the tide… your capacity to shift attitudes is the key…

and

As fast as we are all working and as successful as we all are [at shifting consciousness]… it’s not fast enough, it’s not deep enough, it’s not adequate for how fast the future that we don’t want is coming toward us… as scientists tell us the future we don’t want is coming at us faster than we realized.”

Do me a favor, please: watch the video.  Lynn is all about consciousness and she is about a call to action.

Then tell me what words will help us stay awake, help us create “a positive tipping point out of choice and sourcefulness, out of our longing to serve and to be the people we want to be on this planet?”

If not “save the world,” then what?

Thank you.

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