Fear or Hope?

Which statement do you agree with: 1) “the world is becoming more divided, dangerous, and scary”; or, 2) “amazing new opportunities for planetary transformation and unity are now rapidly emerging”?

I ask this question because I see ample evidence of both.

On the one hand, I see hard lines being drawn in the sand, accompanied with a lot of fear, destructive forms of anger, and worse. The issues may be the “dangers” of urban farming, smart meters, social housing, etc. Sides are taken and people labelled as ‘misguided’, ‘stupid’, ‘ignorant’, or ‘law-breaker’, to name but a few. Positions harden. Evidence supporting one’s position is gathered and (if it’s a public campaign) spread around in a highly emotional way. In this toxic environment there is often very little willingness to hear any perspective but one’s own. Usually most everyone loses.

Many of us are feeling less secure financially/economically, socially and environmentally, so naturally such divisions are very easy to foster. I feel sad watching intelligent people act irrationally, sometimes even turning against people who were formerly respected.

Simultaneously there are quite a number of people who see the emerging crisis as the opening into a new age or era. Some call it the Age of Aquarius. Some point to the end of the Aztec calendar as boding a time of exciting new changes. Others recognize that the current world order is crumbling, ushering in huge opportunities for cooperation, community-building, much greater sustainability (such as urban gardens, local green building practises, cycling trails), and a spiritual awakening.

So, which do we choose? Fear or hope?

Evidently the Chinese word for crisis is spelled with two characters: the first is “danger” and the second as “opportunity.” The first group mentioned above primarily focuses on the danger aspect — reacting fearfully. The second group primarily focuses on the opportunity aspect — responding hopefully.

Each perspective has its blind side. The first group can act in ways that makes the situation far worse (e.g. putting offenders in prison can actually result in an increase in crime rates). The second group can get lost in ethereal wishful thinking and ignore very real dangers.

A week ago I learned that I was being let go from the agency I formed 15 years ago. While there had been warning signs, receiving the news was nevertheless heart-breaking. I am very sad about this turn of events. If nothing else it means there is a grave risk to my financial well-being.

I am also seeing this news as being a real personal opportunity. Without losing sight of the fact I will need to replace my income (the ‘danger’), I am opening myself to the guidance of Spirit, to what is about to emerge out of this wreckage.

Am I scared? A little. Certainly I will take some time to move through most of my grief. What I am now also experiencing is an opening to exercise my purpose on and for this planet.

For this, I am glad.

Ian Gartshore is a realistic visionary.