As the dogs and I walked this morning, beneath that silver sliver of moon, it sure felt like spring, what with the soft air, and light at a time when not so long ago it was dark. But mostly it sounded like spring, with the birds madly twittering, trilling and tweeting, chirping, cheeping and crowing, and it smells like spring, with the fragrance of puakenikeni, spider lilies and gardenias wafting past my nose and filling the house.
And at 7:14 p.m., when the sun enters Aries, it will be spring, a time to think about what direction we want our lives to take, what kind of world we want to dream into being. Because we can do that, you know.
I've been dreaming of a world where it isn't all about money, money, money, money, money, money, money. Why are we the only species obsessed with that construct, especially when it's sowing the seeds of our destruction, both from an environmental and social perspective? A recent study published in the National Academy of Sciences found, according to the abstract, that:
[U]pper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. [U]pper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving ...exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies … take valued goods from others ... lie in a negotiation ... cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize … and endorse unethical behavior at work … than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.
So why does every industrialized society treat them like gods, allow them to destroy the commons that we all depend upon so that they can continue to accumulate personal wealth?
I've been dreaming of a world where women have more power. Even China, Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba, those supposedly backward places that we're itching to “modernize and democratize,” have more women in government than we do.
More disturbing was the revelation that women comprise just 16 percent of the nation's writers, directors, editors and producers, which does a lot to explain why movies, TV and advertising are filled with violent, sexually exploitive and misogynist images that work to keep women down.
I've been dreaming of a world where plants and animals are given the consideration and respect they deserve, where it's accepted that they — gasp! — have intelligence, self-awareness, consciousness. Already a move is under way to promote a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans, which was presented at the recent Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Canada, the world's biggest science conference. As Ethics expert Prof Tom White, from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, noted:
"We're saying the science has shown that individuality - consciousness, self-awareness - is no longer a unique human property. That poses all kinds of challenges."
Yeah, like we might have to get our heads out of asses, then shut down slavery-as-entertainment places like SeaWorld and stop the Navy from dragging marine mammals into our wars.
Heck, even honeybees have personalities, according to a study done by the University of Illinois:
[Institute for Genomic Biology Director Gene] Robinson believes that insects, humans and other animals have made use of the same genetic “toolkit” in the evolution of behavior, which each species has adapted. “It looks like the same molecular pathways have been engaged repeatedly in evolution to give rise to individual differences in novelty-seeking,” he concluded.
Which prompted a friend to note:
Why oh why are we still surprised at stuff like this!! Guess it's that 'scientific proof'........
And that's why I've also been dreaming of a world where we stop treating the scientific method as the Holy Grail. Sure, it's got its place, but through my own experience I've found there's a lot more going on than can be replicated or “proven” by a method that has its own underlying biases and flaws.
Mostly, though, I've been dreaming of a world where people lose this mindset that they don't make any difference, that they can never stand up to right the wrongs, that they have to live with greed, environmental destruction, patriarchy, just because that's the way it's always been, or at least, that's how it's been for as long as we'd conveniently like to remember.
To borrow the words of Alice Walker: “The most common way that people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.”
Arm a dream with power, and anything is possible.