The challenges we face in our lives and our world seem to keep mounting. With each passing month, the list grows longer. As a result, our belief in our capacity to meet these challenges can sometimes be hopeful and, at other times, overwhelming. I believe we are in a race to see if the evolution of humanity can match the challenges we face. Will we learn to think and act with a long-term view applied to the consequences of our decisions today? Will we see our interdependence and connection to each other and the earth and begin to align our actions with that view in mind?

These are just a few questions I wonder about and reflect on as I observe the patterns swirling around us in the external environment. Now you might wonder why, given the disruptions and challenges, I believe we will evolve and learn how to adapt to a world built on new world views of sacred connection and social and ecological wellbeing. It is because I have hope for our future.

Bright Spots on the Horizon

  • Nature and people evolve with information and feedback. Every day we have more information about our interconnectedness with each other and the earth. That constant flow of information will and has continued to shape our evolution. We see our actions impacted in ways we might have been blind to before. We also continue to experience extreme weather events. These once-in-a-century (or once in 500-years) events are feedback loops coming from nature and disrupting our lives. For example, as I write this I’m experiencing nearly a foot of snow. Two weeks ago, it was a “bomb cyclone” that brought 11 inches of snow and frigid weather. My brother in San Francisco is experiencing their second “atmospheric river” of rain in two weeks and will experience flooding, mudslides, and of course, more rain. Climate change will continue to give us these feedback loops to get our attention about how we impact the world around us. Over time, it is shaping our evolution and consciousness.
  • Our world and life are interdependent, even if we don’t see it – or we deny it. Once you see our interdependence, you can’t unsee it. In writing my book Leading from the Roots: Nature-Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World, I deepened my understanding of nature’s design and how interdependent everything is in our world. Now I can’t see life any other way. There are people who deny our interdependence with each other and nature, but ignoring or denying connection doesn’t make the connection go away. When we act as if we are separate and autonomous from the rest of the world, we trigger feedback loops that have negative consequences over time for ourselves. Once we shift our thinking, we see and act differently.
  • We are entangled with each other, just like particles are, and therefore can influence each other at a distance. A friend is reading the book The God Particle and learning about quantum entanglement. When particles connect, they become entangled in the universe and remain entangled and influencing each other regardless of how distant they are.

With this level of connectivity and feedback, the ability of individuals to influence a system increases exponentially. 

Living in a world built on interdependence transforms the rules of who can influence change. Just like the particles that become entangled with one another, our connectivity carries an influence that can transform the larger system. We have this narrative that only those at the top of our systems/organizations can change our world, which leaves everyone else with nothing to do but worry or be frustrated. Interdependence changes this. In an interdependent world, individual shifts in consciousness and action can ripple across the system, and like-minded individuals will resonate with these shifts and align with the transformation that is happening. This kind of change often goes underreported because it exists under the radar of positional leaders and news media.

Our actions and thoughts matter when we believe that we exist in an interdependent world. And they have the power to flow along the lines of connection to tip the world into another way of being.

This is why I have hope for our future.