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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/7/22

A Leap of Faith: Reviving Democracy

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We find ourselves seemingly locked into an all-encompassing system determined by a set of financially dominant leaders, based on the principles of free-market capitalism and implemented by technology. There is little concern for the individual human being, or, for that matter, any human factors. It is mechanistic and totally beyond any control we might exert, as individuals.

Within that system there is little to offer individuals who are trying to survive, allowing only the acceptance of a submissive role and playing by the rules of that system. In the process we watch the human spirit shrivel and die before our eyes since it can neither be sustained nor nurtured in a system that focuses on seeing all life, both human and natural, as merely saleable commodities, and uses technology to further those ends. We see nature being decimated, the planet stripped bare and democracy under attack.

What to do?

What are we willing to risk in the pursuit of a different way of life? Are we willing to let go of the meagre lifestyle we are being offered, and instead accept the belief that there is a better, more human approach to life on this planet?

One way to accomplish this change is to realize that we can keep private ideas and beliefs within our minds and hearts no matter what masks we may be required to wear on the outside. We have historical examples such as the early Christians within the Roman Empire secretly meeting in the catacombs; or the masks that slaves learned to wear during slavery in the South while plotting slave rebellions and using the Underground Railroad to find freedom.

Such a change allows us to focus on a better way of living, instead of trying to fight the present system from within, putting our energy into positive changes and a new system, instead of wasting our energy trying to batter down the walls of the present system.

As a matter of fact, we do not need to destroy capitalism or technology, but to simply rise above them to create a world in which capitalism and technology support human goals and a sustainable future, a world in which the needs of the ordinary people control and direct how capitalism and technology can best function; to resurrect democracy.

To create such a new world, we need both an individual and a social "leap of faith" to step out of the morass of the present empty system and into a humanized system that offers survival for us, for nature and for the planet.

A leap of faith is to take a risk with no guarantee of success. It is a step into an unknown future, which will test your vision and your adaptability. It will test your strength, your resolve, and your internal resources. On the positive side, it will also offer growth and development and an opportunity to discover things about yourself that you may not have known were there. It is an opportunity for transformation, perhaps a blossoming into the "you" that you always hoped for but were almost afraid to explore.

What spurs such leaps can vary. It can sometimes be the feeling of being stuck without a way to make progress. It can be a sense that you are in the wrong place in your life. It can be that you have no other options for survival. Or it can be some event that changes everything in your life. Whatever it may be, it requires that you dare to walk away from the norms of the life you find yourself living. In our present situation, it is the awareness of the dystopian direction of the present system and the looming necessity of finding a new way to live humanly and sustainably on this planet.

The hope is to move to a new place in your life, to discover what other capabilities you have, or how to use your known capabilities in different ways. It is a rising above the ordinariness of your life to find new options, new possibilities and perhaps a new life. It is becoming an empowered citizen.

The leap itself means you must let go of an old, dysfunctional system. It is a release that allows new growth. It is a belief that there is something out there that is better and more fulfilling than where you now find yourself. It is always a personal choice, even when others are also doing it.

Such a social leap of faith offers not only the opportunity for the survival of the human spirit, but also the re-creation of a democracy that restores balance within the web of life and the survival of a sustainable planet.

Do we dare to make that leap?

Such a leap requires embracing the possibility of transformation. It requires an acceptance of new paradigms, and a new narrative with stories of earlier successes by groups and individuals as inspiration. It requires recognizing the earlier prophets who predicted such a downfall and offered solutions. It requires remembering those who came before and led the way. It requires inspiration and dedication to accomplish such transformative ends.

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I have a deep belief in participatory democracy, the value of ordinary people and finding a path to a sustainable future. I also understand the immediacy or the need for significant action to save democracy and our sustainable future on this (more...)

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