by Terry Sterrenberg
(written the day of the Georgia election)
We keep hearing that this is a dark time for our country in two enormous arenas. One is political and the other is environmental . I find it hard to have any sense of hope when the reality is that our way of life continues to be described as the darkest of times.
The most personal environmental crisis is the pandemic. I recently went through the isolation of testing positive for covid -19. I had mild symptoms but the fear of them escalating created a lot of stress as well as the uncertainty of the lasting effects. Now I’m suppose to have antigens which makes me immune for a period of time. In spite of that my sense of danger is still heightened when I leave the house. Everything I have read still leaves me wondering what having antigens actually does. There are a lot of unknowns about covid. So we read that the U.S. Health system is or will soon be over taxed and that the next couple of months will be the toughest of the pandemic. Over 350,000 people already dead from this disease and we still haven’t reached the most difficult time yet.
Then of course there is the election in Georgia and the incredible and dangerous actions of President Trump. All of these antics leave me feeling like everything I value about our way of life is about to be changed, regardless of how the government “works things out”. On the one hand change can be exciting, but the more present stance for me is one of apprehension and insecurity. My white privilege has given me some sense of pseudo control and protection from this kind of insecurity in the past. Now the changes in the world that are happening seem completely out of my control and people in power seem completely unable or unwilling to influence them (the changes).
My sense of righteous and arrogance sometimes astounds me (i.e.that my values of cooperation and collaboration are universally accepted as more advanced than “power over” values); that people would just naturally choose to cooperate in a way of life that creates the best for everyone. I have to honestly say that I truly believe this to be the case. “Power over” lifestyle strategies in the end only lead toward self destructive outcomes. I truly cannot understand why that is not obvious. This is particularly true for me in this darkest of times. People working together toward common good literally make life worth living. The “other way” produces eternal conflict (i.e., the state of the world).