I am going into the vault of my masters program and am bringing my work into the light of day. Please enjoy my early reflections after reading Sapiens: A brief history of humankind.
I loved the question posed by Yuval Harari to the reader at the end, “what do we want to want?” (2015, p. 414). If the answer to this question is not clear to us then we will be lead to believe and participate in ways that are dictated to us.
If we do not want what we see, what do we want to see?
We cannot begin to lift the veil until we identify the facade cleverly designed to placate us. I want people to want to come together, listen emphatically and convene with nature. For natural systems to come back into alignment and people to be kind to all other beings. Less me and more we.
When one looks at our history with a wide angle lens one can identify short sighted actions leading toward unintended and unknown consequences. One can only look forward via our internal compass and values.
Giving one word to each section of the book would be: communication, place, collective and understanding.
How do we communicate to develop a collective understanding of our place on this earth?
I was pleased that this book went into the difference between the what, why and how. For a lot of things one can see and know what happened and to a lesser degree how it happened but one cannot always be certain why it happened. This is also why the future can be so uncertain even with present clues.
What in our minds makes people hold so dearly to the past?
Maybe because it was clear, it happened, it was the way it was. If people do not have certainly about what will come, we can at least be certain about what we have done.
Admit and own the atrocities, begin reparation.
Let us work to shift certainty towards the present. If the present moment is the only moment there is, then it is the only thing we can be certain of. Right now. There is no time like the present to take action, to make change, to think in a new way.
If one wants to be solutionary minded, then one needs to be aware of not only the problems but the underlying systems that are perpetuating the problem. Be willing to take a bird’s eye view, do things differently and restructure. If people are truly a humankind empire then living behind invisible boundaries will only perpetuate the us versus them thinking that has gotten us to where we are.
We need to strive to make connections and recanonize our common myths.
As a child, I grew up thinking myths were stories and it turns out they are. Even the stories one thinks have some truth are still just that, a story. Acknowledging this allows space to begin anew.
Our place is not only our local community, but our global community as well. Our collective acceptance of this mere fact can go along way towards shifting away from the negligent state and market parents; back into the loving arms of family and community.
Today we can share this new understanding in a myriad of ways with mindful and nonviolent communication. As we truly tune into our biology and our interdependence with the land that sustains us, we can realize that human lives are saved not only at the hospital, but every moment of every day through our nourishment, and our mind body connection.
We all have the power to act now.
Harari, Y. N. (2015). Sapiens: A brief history of humankind. New York, NY: HarperCollins.