2020 is upon us, and I can't wait. I've always loved the unrivaled decade of the 1920's- an era of discovery and boundlessness that gave us F. Scott Fitzgerald and prohibition; Ernest Hemingway and the jukebox, T.S. Eliot and mass-produced automobiles. The Roaring Twenties weren't so different from the era we're entering, if you think about it. Capitalism ruled the day, technology was progressing at the speed of man's ingenuity, and otherwise law-abiding citizens took to enjoying the occasional night out at the local speakeasy. Not too different from our current obsessions with money, fast and easy communication, and THC gummy bears.
I learned a lot in 2019, and I often wonder if people in 1919 examined their year and went into 1920 like, 'THIS IS IT. This is the decade people will be talking about for centuries...'
One hundred years later, going in to 2020, here's what I know:
It's only our polarity that unites us. The idea that I'm right and you're wrong is often the only thing we have in common. The problem with polarity is that it suffocates compassion and empathy, and forces conflict to the surface. Having our own opinions and belief system is what makes us special, what elevates us above every other species in existence. When we deny the possibility that what someone else believes is true or real, we deny their spirit and cast them into the realm of less-than-human. A wise man once said that the mark of intelligence is the ability to entertain a thought without either accepting or rejecting it. Some people come out of the womb questioning everything. Others happily accept every idea they're given as gospel truth. I've spent the last few years examining everything I've ever accepted to be true about my opinions, beliefs, and prejudices. The more I shed the dogma of the environment and belief system I grew up in, the more I cease to see issues and instead see people- more accurately, I see human bodies full of souls that are constantly at war with ego, and I no longer have the desire to be 'right'. There are more than seven billion souls on this planet. Do you really believe that the only people getting it right are the fraction of people in your church, or the fraction of people who voted like you, or the fraction of people who have lived an existence similar to yours? Maybe our human-ness, our ego, keeps us from asking the big questions because we're collectively terrified about what it means if there are no "right" answers.
You can't blame people for the paradigms they choose to live in. Expanding on my last point, one of the things that I have come to believe wholeheartedly is that our reality is created solely in our minds. Our lives, from the house we live in to the car we drive to the way we eat our eggs is a function of expansion; we live in worlds outlined by our childhood and colored in by experience. We look to the religion that raised us to implement rules that help us make sense of the things that don't make sense. We mimic the behavior of people around us until we realize we don't have to, and then we experience conflict inwardly and outwardly until we settle in to the person we are supposed to be. We feel guilty when the reality of what we are doesn't match the expectations of our community, and for the first time in our existence we are compelled to conform- completely living in someone else's paradigm as a barter for acceptance and love- or we are compelled to rebel, and recognize that the reality we're creating may cost us the relationships and approval of the family that made us. Every moment of life is flavored with choice, and you really can't blame people who choose to eat scrambled eggs all the time. It is, after all, the easy choice.
People will surprise you. In good and bad ways. The capacity for forgiveness and grace is as vast as the capacity for deceit and treachery. There's a certain beauty in all of it; we would never know what darkness is if it weren't for light; and light cannot exist without darkness. The two are mutually exclusive yet overtly co-dependent, and the moment any person says they're not capable of extremes will be the moment the universe takes it as a challenge. Go ahead and mutter the words, "I would never..." and see what happens.
Perception is everything. With all the talk about 2020 vision, I think it's worth noting that one of the most profound truths I'm carrying into the new decade is an old saying from Anais Nin: "We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."