Not in the sense of getting in our cars and driving somewhere.
Not in the sense of home as an identity.
We Have Gotten Lost!
The holidays are more than a celebration. And I am not talking about a spiritual event in the traditional sense.
But this year presents us with a particular urgency beyond shopping, food and families with all of their conflicts.
Hurricane Sandy and the Newtown, CT killings of so many young children have touched a nerve in many us. We have gotten lost and need to do something about it.
What Has Happened To Us?
Our world is devolving into a series of disasters: wars, ecological damage and superstorms, and tragedies like Newtown which make our hearts hurt.
No place on earth is exempt, apparently. No age or innocence is a deterrent for the wars, violence and environmental harm that is taking over our lives.
Many systems which should be supporting our lives have become military or disaster handling systems. Healthcare, which treats health issues as a problem to attack, is a perfect example.
Disasters and wars are expensive and drown our the rest of the lives with their huge costs. Social “entitlements” are frequently touted as the causes of our problems, while the huge costs of our wars and large scale disasters are accepted in an offhand manner. $100-150 billion is the financial impact of storms like Katrina and Sandy. Wars have a huge cost as well.
But this is not just about the money.
Something more important is at stake.
Progress Is Up For Grabs
I read once that war stops growth and I think it makes sense.
I am not referring to capitalistic growth; I mean personal growth.
Anyone living in a war zone can only attempt to survive each day. Longer term considerations of education and other forms of development are necessarily put on the back burner. Therefore allowing disasters and wars to dominate our cultural lives is a way of hijacking the social space. It is a way of hijacking priorities. It is a subtle or not so subtle form of discrimination depending on your awareness of it.
It is very controlling.
We are at a point in our history where many people have been working on themselves to be a part of creating a world that is more humane, generous and sustainable. However, we are at risk. With 7 billion people on the planet, we are now being overwhelmed by disasters of all kinds.
Life Is Not War
I do not think that life was ever meant to be a war, I think we have made it that way. When we go to war, we claim the world for some and not for others. Unfortunately that has never been true.
The world is a home to all creatures and living forms. We humans are a small part of it.
So finding our way home means coming to terms with it – with our small place in the larger cosmos and respecting that we share it with everyone else.
It means being a part of making the amazing world a good home for everyone.
It means asking, “What is my part to play in making this world a great home?”
This year has provided us with a serious wake-up call in many ways.
Home is not a building. It is not a place.
Home is inside us. It is a soft place of wonder, generosity, and humility. It is open, sharing and creative.
It is a place each of us needs to find so that we can offer it and help us to do the same. Then we will truly have a special place on this amazing planet that is a home to all of us.
I wish you the best of holidays and a great journey home.