An Empire in its Fall

So often we carry about our day – our life – without questioning why we do what we do. Why the world is structured the way it is. How we came to this exact moment in time – a moment that, in an instant, joins countless others in history.

The National Geographic series, Origins, takes a look at all that has occurred to create humanity as we know it today. There are so many pivotal moments that have shaped society. We’ve learned, grown, corrected – evolved.

With news of pandemic, climate crisis, systemic hate, and a raving lunatic in office, the world today seems bleak. A majority of people are marginalized. There are food deserts across the world, even in the most developed countries like the United States. Native people have been stripped of the last of their land and culture. For most living beings beyond our species – from farm animals to threatened wildlife populations – one could argue that existence has never been more unfair or unfree.

At the same time, the plant-based diet is surging in popularity. Cities like Paris are recognizing their responsibility to their citizens – rich and poor – and are providing access to free spring-fed water across the city. Iceland is working with thermodynamic energy as they continue to power their country without the use of fossil fuels. People are continuing to evolve – to face the greatest threats to life and to our only home.

It’s difficult to see this progress when you’re surrounded by a culture that values greed and designs its infrastructure to tailor to consumerism and convenience. The United States has failed to address the coronavirus crisis and has taken active steps to roll back progress on the climate crisis. The policies that this administration has adopted towards immigration, healthcare, and our remaining natural spaces & threatened species, have one common denominator.

A main driving factor in this administration is greed and monetary gain. Now especially, our main focus should be the well-being of humanity and our planet. Money itself is a made-up construct – created to make trade easier and, initially, to give selfish leaders control and unlimited wealth. Our natural resources, however, and the life that has evolved for millions of years before we began to destroy and enslave it for our own gain – those are our precious resources. Our focus should be on protecting what we can never get back once it’s destroyed. That destruction could be the end of the purest beauty ever known. It could not only mean the end of all other beings not under human control, it could very well mean the end of humanity itself.

The job of government should be to protect its citizens. To ensure our health through clean water and air. The “Gangster Gardener”, Ron Finley, says it so well. Cities aren’t built for the people, but for commerce. We need to re-shift our priorities – feed people and plant in otherwise empty spaces to heal ourselves and the planet. We need to re-design cities to prioritize human health and the health of the planet – both of which go hand-in-hand.

The United States is far behind other countries in innovation. Instead, we’ve focused on creating negative policies and rolling back progress. People are fighting to hang onto their right to hate. Americans are thinking small when we need to think big. There is no “greater good” existent in this presidency. No altruism or benefit to humanity as a whole. Only reassurance for those cowards that stand behind his hate. Only stripping away of human rights, environmental & animal protection, and our own humanity.

All of the greatest empires of the past have lasted about 200 years, give or take. From what I’ve seen these past four years, that may very well be true for the United States. And if this hateful, small-minded, irreversibly destructive, self-centered, greedy minds continues to poison our country, I hope that’s the case. Our planet needs progressive ideas, thoughtfulness for each other and for the planet, and the sacrifice of greed for the greater good. Humanity is evolving to meet the needs of the planet. There exists innovation, strong leadership, and biocentrism. There is a path to a brighter, healthier, greener future. There are countries creating the future as we fight for our comfortable space in the past.