People speeding down our residential streets. Loud music blaring from car radios. Everywhere you turn people of all ages think what's in it for me? Businesses of all manner open day and night, of course for the small business owner this is a requirement for without those extra hours, they would be unable to compete with all manner of both national and international businesses around the world, who demand your attention, loyalty, and money.

Vehicles were once the pride of every owner, today they are more than playthings used to escape the doldrums and drudgery associated with many people's daily existence. Disease and health issues embattle and wage their own warfare on our bodies that have been violated and plugged with untold amounts of chemicals and pollutants.

Should you be brave enough to walk along streets and roads once frequented possibly even played on by children, you now find buildings and residences often in such disrepair it makes you wonder what manner of disaster has befallen them, desiccated shrubs everywhere, garbage is strewn about, people sleeping in the streets, drug paraphernalia clearly evident. Hot days see many yards with plants wilting due to a lack of water which is unavailable due to rationing, boil advisories, or just plain apathy.

My words are bleak but accurate, and I haven't even mentioned the crime. Hopefully, you do live or work in one of those areas, especially where people are wary to walk at all. Trying to find a location to live and 'enjoy' our lives and family has almost become a job unto itself. Few people are willing to take the time to ensure that they put as much back into our world and life as they take out of it.

Personal consumption has reached an all-time high, no wonder, our throwaway societies are constructed not to provide quality just quantity with as low a price as possible, forget how long it lasts use it and throw it away, the dumps can worry about it. The plants and animals raised for us are of such a diminished quality it's amazing we get any actual nutrients from them, chocked full of chemicals from pesticides, herbicides, and minimal fertilizing.

In many areas of our once grand world, trees that were once plentiful and everywhere are increasingly becoming a memory themselves, occluded by time.

With each outbreak of disease, with each violent interaction between nations, we reveal more and more of our vulnerabilities. Often people who are unable or unwilling to argue for themselves die from these conflagrations.

Our psyches are experiencing tremendous turmoil daily, including confusion, agitation, disquiet, forgetfulness, sadness, and fear. These feelings increasingly lead to demonstrations, rallies, and violence. We see it almost daily in more than one place in this world of ours. As more and more significant events occur we edge closer and closer to a time of change. An uproar so massive that few will be able to ignore its importance. I believe it will come upon like a wave building ever larger like a tsunami rippling and growing larger with each wave it absorbs until no still water exists.

Many of our most recent problems can be directly linked to interpersonal and societal relationships, and to ideals that some find acceptable but upon closer inspection, their fallacy is evident. We have seen how quickly and easily this leads to riots and a virtually complete breakdown of so-called norms, with no regard for others.

Many have lost faith in our ties to familial, religious, political, bureaucratic, judicial, educational, medical, or scientific. WHY?

The plain and simple truth is the societies and institutions of our world have developed, but not in a way that benefits people in general. It has developed into a controlling and disparaging environment, where money is often the most important thing. As the old adage goes "Follow the money and you'll find the answer". I have seen over and over again people's egos, pride, and greed get the better of them, and this usually then turns into a push for control and money.

We are all part of this world. It is our only world. Without it, we are all done for. Everyone needs to have the same rights and abilities as everyone else. It can be no other way.

Humanity as a whole needs a great many reminders, such as why it is important to have and make connections with others. What we should do with our resources. Where we should place our greatest emphasis, to benefit the greater good. When we are faced with a decision that affects the planet we live on, the planet needs to come first. We need to live together in like-minded communities, in which we are all doing for each other. Not just ourselves.

We need to go back through our memories, to our history books (even those that have been taken away and denied to us), and look at previous examples of communities who worked for and with one another. Use them as a model to teach us what a community is and what they are meant to do.

It's easy to say some of these things in hindsight, It's easy to see what has and what has not worked.

Too many in this world have become inattentive. Many are so overwhelmingly consumed with greed and ego that they find it difficult to think of anyone else. We must be very careful and not underestimate what any of those people might do to retain the control and power they have accumulated, and what that may mean for the rest of us.

Humanity is now in the midst of its fastest-ever period of change. There are over 8 billion people on this planet in just a hundred years our population has quadrupled. The majority of those have migrated rapidly into cities, which since 2008 have become home to more than half of all human beings.

These centers provide most of the basics which people require, but should a crisis event take place most would be without even the basic necessities. Our world is disturbingly vulnerable and in many respects is becoming quickly more so. We have become prone to forgetfulness and shortsightedness, rich and poor: myopia has worsened considerably and continues to do so.

Crisis events reshape our society in lasting ways and occur at a pace faster than ever before. Widespread disease, Pollution, Loss of drinking water, mismanagement of resources, over-regulation, Security, and surveillance are increasingly forced upon us.

Crisis moments do also present opportunities: more sophisticated and flexible use of technology, less polarization, and a revived appreciation for the outdoors and life’s other simple pleasures. No one knows exactly what will come since our relationship with governments, businesses, neighbors, friends, and even family has changed so much. Ask almost anybody what things might look like in the coming years, and the response is often unsettling at best.

Our complacency, about all things in this world in which we live, must change.

The more recent and ongoing run-in with COVID-19 and the attendant-related issues have shown us better than ever that we are connected whether we like it or not. Touching things, being with other others and even breathing the same air can be risky. How quickly the awareness recedes will be different for different people, but those thoughts will never vanish.

We must come together to help and aid others. Our best qualities must be used to truly show who and what we are. Many have been heartened by the ascending qualities of human goodness, compassion — generosity, and altruism. We must allow these qualities of spirit to dictate our actions.

We must break away from the so-called “normal way of doing things” as they have proven to make things worse not better. Given our current levels of tension globally, the scenarios suggest that now is the time to begin to promote more constructive patterns in our cultural discourse.

The time for change is ripening. It has already forced many to reevaluate what has significant meaning for themselves and for others. I believe this trend from individualism to more community will continue.

A re-orientation and change of all of our current and future systems —are required—in order to move forward. With those changes, we will all be better able to see how our fates are linked. People have already found new ways to connect and support others in adversity. I’m sure they will demand other major changes with a view towards inter-dependency and community.

No one can predict the precise way things will change, but I feel certain more developments are coming. I can only hope that they get close to if not surpass what I feel is necessary for humanity to continue into the far future.

Dave SW

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