A month or so ago a friend asked about what we thought was the "American Dream. And earlier today vicar
posted about among other things, dreams...I wouldn't go back, I wouldn't go back to the ignorance, but I had all those hopes and dreams
hopes and dreams of what? I didn't know what they were then other than lights, sounds, colors
now it's all just a blur and I can pick apart each thought
each hope each dream
show the hues in the colors I didn't see, pick apart the sounds from the background
smells can be replicated and the feelings predicted,
the reactions controlled. Subdued, always stifled, restricted, controlled and held in check.
but i think I remember that hope, those dreams...not the dream but that feeling
the want and the illusion that out there was an answer
I'm not even sure there is an answer in here anymore
but if there is one that's where it is.
Which got started my brain wondering about how my dreams have changed over the years, how my hope for the future has shifted. Somewhere along the way I stopped believing that I could change the world, and accepted that I may only able to make my corner of it somewhere I'm proud to live. But I'm frustrated with that acceptance, and want to make the world change too.
We as a species, and USAians in particular (from my POV) seem bent on hurting each other and our planet. I don't know how to make a difference, but I do think that if we don't start changing (and for those in the US, that change needs to start here, not in Afghanistan or North Korea or Yemen or...) future generations don't stand a chance.
There are things that seem so obvious to me but we can't seem to comprehend: basic needs that every human must have to succeed (not bare minimums but enough to live a full healthy life): food, clean water, health care, safety and shelter. We need equal rights for all - sex, race, religion, sexuality, physical/mental (dis)ability, age, wealth, and gender among others should not be a reason to treat anyone as less than. Everyone should be entitled to live and love, to worship or not, to learn and dream and be happy so long as they do no harm to others. Basic education should be available to everyone; rooted in reality and science not religion or mythology or wishful thinking.
But in addition to humans needs, we need to start taking better care of our world. Less pollution, less environmental destruction, less toxic waste, less trash. Make more intelligent use of our limited resources and protect all life on earth.
We should also start seriously working toward settling those planets and moons within our limited reach which can support life, and direct our energy toward the stars. I don't know whether we're the only sentient creatures in the universe at this time, but unless we encounter other life on the worlds we reach I believe we should settle them.
But those dreams and hopes cannot be reached unless our culture changes dramtically. Our constant need for newer, better things; our refusal to accept those who don't look like us or share our beliefs; our treatment of women as second class citizens; the way we refuse to accept those who are LGBTQIA; the poor treatment we give to our disabled and elderly; our racism and classism and homophobia etc; our lack of stewardship of our home planet are all clear indications that we have major issues.
But those are dreams I have held forever; in many ways I am still the idealist I was in the 80's when I started working with the groups that evolved into Act-up, Amnesty International, etc. And I still want to see humanity both in the US and worldwide make more strides toward meeting those human needs head on.
So then the question becomes what do I dream about for myself, and that is a question that I've never been able to answer well. The things I would like to be able to do are pretty simple - eat good food, surround myself with friends and loved ones, learn new things until the day I die, work at a job I enjoy, love & laugh & dance, and maybe ride & climb & travel again. A lot of those dreams are within my grasp, even if the way that I go about them has changed or even been wiped from my mind due to my health problems and limitations. And those I may not ever be able to do will be missed, but I think I can live without them as long as I still get to be me and am happy and fulfilled.
I'm going to end this with a quote from another friend, feistydiva
... This is something I struggle with a lot lately; it's become increasingly difficult to fight with my body and maintain a positive attitude, but I'm trying and I'm sure I will eventually get it down (this is something worth cultivating forever):I will not spend the rest of my life in the pursuit of happiness, but in finding happiness in everything along the way.
That's something I need to be mindful of and actively work toward everyday, and it's a good thought.
What are your hopes and dreams? Do you have concrete ideas on how to make them come true? Thoughts on how to fix the social and societal problems we face?