Monday, January 02, 2006

Something is on the Rise in 2006

Yesterday my husband and I had a little New Year's Day get together with some friends and the night before I went to a New Year's dinner at my neighbors' house (my husband had to work). It was the first year that I felt like celebrating the New Year. I've always thought New Year's was an arbritrary, rather boring holiday--woo hoo it's January-- but for some reason this year I wanted to celebrate and interestingly I have talked to a number of people who feel the same way--something is on the rise in 2006.

I don't know if it is that we're halfway through the 00's, or that it is over 4 years since 9/11, or that Hurricane Katrina put extreme poverty on the evening news, but it feels like America is waking up from a long sleep and somehow becoming more conscious of the country that it needs to become . . .

Perhaps it is the Have Fun * Do Good lense that I filter the world through, but I think that part of the benefit of the many tragedies of the 00's is that many of them have been the kind of moments, for at least the American collective conscious, that life is short, it can change forever in one moment and that what we do in this moment does have a "butterfly effect" and can can change not only our individual futures, but our collective futures as well.

It feels like we are at that on the edge moment when either all of the predictions of global disaster will start to become true, or our world will take a different direction.

The blog HorsePigCow had an interesting post yesterday about how this has been a year of great change because of emerging technology:

We came together to create, break down, build up, and cause trouble. We saw the amateur rise and get redefined - not as the lesser opposite of the professional, but as the celebrated antithesis to the stuffy, top-down controlled corporate world. We started to see power structures crumbling, former 'respected institutions' baring cracks and the general shaking up of 'conventional wisdoms' and hegemonies. People as individuals are no longer powerless, mostly due to our ability to connect to others to form strong collaborative efforts against injustice.Yadda yadda yadda.

But I'm starting to see what could really throw a wrench into the growth of this hopeful revolution. It's the ugly head of co-optation. The corporate engine seems to be more well-oiled than ever.

I guess I feel hopeful from the co-optation of positive things. If we are what we eat, at least we're feeding the corporate beast that we've created good food.

My friend, Alli Chagi-Starr, reminded me of Margaret Mead's famous quote yesterday:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Perhaps if small groups continue to make choices to have fun and do good, larger groups will eat them up and the world will be transformed.

Jory Des Jardins writes in her New Year's Day post about 2006 being a year for her to sort through all of the ideas and opportunities that 2005 brought her way and to focus on the few that are the most important in 2006.

As Americans, we are so good at creating--products, ideas, work--but I think no one can argue that we have too much of everything. Perhaps 2006 is the year to focus on what matters the most.

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