Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – The Future is now – July 22, 2012

Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – The Future is now – July 22, 2012

CFN – One of the joys of the human experience is eavesdropping. This practise is common to all humans – we all do it. I overheard in a local coffee shop recently:

 

“Human beings are inherently violent and if uneducated they would simply kill one another. The human race is doomed and we are going to destroy ourselves.”

 

Even though the person the man in question was speaking with did not agree with him, the man just went on in this vein, overriding all objections. He was so convinced he was right that he ignored all attempts to interrupt him and kept on going as if what he said was all that mattered. I am sure he is a nice man; it’s just that this was not a courteous conversation – it was more like a sermon or a lecture with an audience that cannot get away. It got me thinking about how people interact and how difficult it is to have a conversation about anything that matters.  Yet, conversation, really good conversation, is the starting point of everything that matters in human interaction. We really need to have good public conversation. It is vitally important for the development of the community.

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The topic of the future is a great subject, one of the most important we can have. After all, what we do now is a reflection of how we perceive our future. If it’s all doom and gloom, with death and destruction, why would we bother taking care of ourselves and doing our best every day to help others? If we believe, like the gentleman in the conversation I overheard, that human beings are inherently bad, it would be depressing to say the least. It might lead us to stay stuck in patterns that keep us creating that very future.

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For example, if I believed that I was not worth much, I might do things that kept me stuck in that belief, such as staying in an abusive relationship or taking a substance to dull my mind from thinking too much. I consider myself fortunate to have overcome some of these old belief systems and re-pattern my thinking into a healthier model. Although it’s a work in progress – like climbing an inner Mount Everest every day, it’s a very worthwhile task because I have a vision of an amazing future.

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It would be good to have a public conversation about the future. While it’s a good practise to live in the moment and be grounded in the now, if that is all we do, then we will get what we’ve all got. But how are we going to solve any problems in our lives, in our family’s lives, in our community and in our world if we only focus on the now?  How can anything get better?

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Could we create a public discourse about the future? What are our dreams, hopes, aspirations, inspirations, fears, concerns, desires and passions?  If there could be a shared vision about the future, then, in the present, we could work together to get there. Our forefathers and foremothers had a vision of the future, but did they ever imagine that we would be so successful and would soon be reaching a global population of 9 billion? Did they realize that we would leave behind their belief systems in order to create societies where no mention of a higher power was allowed?

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Our ancestors were God-fearing people: they really believed that they were accountable for their actions and would be answering to this power when they left this world. They created structures which would ensure that we, their children, would thrive and be taken care of.  Now that we have, for the most part, a secular, non-religious society, we are abandoning our ancestor’s ideals in favour of materialistic pursuits. For the most part, we have abandoned religious institutions.  We are in love with money, with things and with satisfying our flesh. We are in love with all the things that lead to our abasement – alcohol, drugs, violence, gambling, over-eating and generally getting more stuff than we need, all the while hating ourselves to some extent in the process. And this raises a number of interesting questions going forward: Have we indeed lost ourselves and forgotten our souls somewhere along the way?

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On that note, I offer you a song by one Canada’s greatest talents, Leonard Cohen on this subject:

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Shirley Barr lives and works in Cornwall, Ontario since May of 2010 and is a member of the International Baha’i Community.

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1 Comment on "Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – The Future is now – July 22, 2012"

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Paulette Pitre
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hi Shirley – like what you are doing – Spirit Matters
please reply to this e-mail as you have changed your phone no. and email adddress. God Bless

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