Staying sane during crisis
I stay sane by focusing on hopeful things happening, not on the bad news that is creating a rise in anxiety and panic attacks.
If we take the long view, we can see evidence of human flourishing. Dawson Church, PhD, a researcher and science writer, lays it out. His writing in Unity magazine shows that, as a species, we are becoming more compassionate.
Hard to believe? Here are some of his words.
In 1800, child labor was not controversial. In the coal mines of Britain, 8-year-olds pushed heavy tubs inside underground tunnels. Sweating and breathing black coal dust, they emerged from the pits black with grime. they died young.
Then we changed our minds, and in just a few decades, child labor was banned.
We're in the process of changing our minds about the legalization of drugs. About doctor-assisted suicide. About the death penalty. About gay marriage. About gun control, About racism. About universal health care . . . each of these historical changes involved people becoming more compassionate.
People in power, with no incentive to relinquish it, were able to mentally place themselves in the shoes of those less privileged than themselves. They then voluntarily shared their power.
In 1890, the number of countries in which women were able to vote was 0.
Within 40 years, . . . women could vote in virtually every democracy.
To his list I add compassion for animals and awareness of the planet’s needs. Dawson Church maintains “we are in the midst of an explosion of spiritual, physical, and material well-being,” but media depict “the opposite of what’s actually happening.”
If we look, we can see the evolution of human consciousness to be more compassionate, more aware, and more mature. Dawson Church quotes Charles Darwin, who wrote that communities with “the greatest number of the most sympathetic members, would flourish best.”
Dawson Church’s thought is available online, although this article in Unity magazine is not available online.
The crisis that for decades has worried me the most is global warming and the seeming determination of political leaders to avoid looking at it. Dawson Church assures me by pointing to the massive changes in global consciousness already realized. His large view gives me hope that humanity will act in time to save the planet and all its inhabitants.
I want readers to know that soon I will stop blogging. I’ll say more about this soon.
To the popular sign-off, “Stay safe,” I add “Stay sane by staying hopeful.”